As we continue to navigate this new reality, we are challenged to step up as leaders. Whether we’re leading a company, a nonprofit, a team or a family, people are looking to us to understand how to live, learn and work in very altered and difficult circumstances.

    That also means we need to lead ourselves, keeping our attention focused, managing our own fears and finding space to look beyond today’s to-do list to what the future might hold.

    Our challenge is the rise above the “hype” – the news, the anxious thoughts, the rush to take advantage of the CARES act – and provide hope.

    Hope is:

    • Looking for the good, and looking for ways to make more of it.
    • Remembering that we’ve been challenged before and that we rose to meet those challenges.
    • Working together, even if we have to be apart.
    • Focusing on what we can do, not what we can’t.

    Hope isn’t:

    • Promises you can’t keep
    • Plans and goals that aren’t flexible
    • Catastrophizing and only focusing on the worst case scenarios.


    Need a little help restoring hope in your team... or in yourself?


    Celebrate what’s working, even if it’s a small thing.

    Don't wait until we are "back to normal" to celebrate. Lift up milestones achieved and challenges met, to bolster yourself and your people. 


    Limit your news consumption.

    Instead catch up on the news from friends and loved ones. Reach out to your colleagues, donors, volunteers, neighbors and maybe even a friend you haven't talked to in years. Those connections will restore you rather than drag you down.


    Acknowledge your suffering, but also remember your strength.

    Be honest about what worries you with your spouse or a trusted friend. All of us are making difficult decisions, and limited in our ability to help others. This is hard stuff, but we can do hard things.


    Lean into your faith.

    Lean into your faith, be that a spiritual belief, a centering practice or the reason you were drawn to serve others the way you do. What got you inspired then will help get you through now.


    Take breaks.

    For many of us in leadership positions (or parental positions), it is hard to rest until we are certain all bases are covered. But in times like this, there is no way to anticipate or control what will happen. We will be better able to deal with whatever arises if we give ourselves space to rest and regroup ... even if it’s just five minutes here and there.


    As I write this, it’s Good Friday. This is the day we remember Christ’s crucifixion and death. It’s a somber day in the Christian calendar, but it is also a reminder that even in the darkest days, there is hope. Whatever you believe, I hope that you can find ways to renew your hope and detach from the hype this Easter weekend.

    We’ve got a long journey ahead of us as this pandemic unfolds. Hope will get us through.


    Do you need to talk to someone about the challenges your organization is facing? Contact us and request a free consultation

    We are continuing to update our resource page on Fundraising in Uncertain Times. Please check back frequently for tips and samples to help your organization quickly respond to our changing circumstances. 


    Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash


    Posted by Bruce Berglund on Apr. 10, 2020
    Bruce Berglund

    Written by Bruce Berglund

    Bruce Berglund, CFRE, is the founder and President of Donor by Design Group, LLC, a national firm providing comprehensive fundraising services to nonprofits, churches, community colleges and schools. Donor By Design is currently managing more than $1 Billion in capital, annual and endowment campaigns. Bruce is a highly sought-after writer, speaker and teacher.

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