Photo by Priscilla Du Preeze, Unsplash

Gratitude is contagious: Tallahassee lucky to have so many people who care

By Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, Notes on Nonprofits

I am happy to share one of my favorite columns of the year because, in the nonprofit sector, there are so many things to be thankful for:

First responders who provided rescue and relief throughout our state and region after Hurricane Idalia.

Volunteer Florida for their management of the Florida Disaster Fund and year-round programs to strengthen communities, celebrate outstanding Floridians, and encourage volunteerism.

Planners and readers

The following nonprofits for being part of the planning for Tallahassee’s bicentennial celebration in 2024: Council on Culture and Arts, Riley House Center & Museum, Tallahassee Historical Society, Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, Capital City Chamber of Commerce, Florida Historic Capitol Museum, Leon County Schools Foundation, and Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority.

You, the readers of this column, who reach out with your feedback, questions, and encouragement. You are the best part of writing this column. Please keep them coming!

Boards and donors

The boards and staff of Council on Culture and Arts, Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence, and United Partners for Human Services for all you do to strengthen the sector and support nonprofit leaders.

Boards that remember their Executive Director during the holidays with a gift or other remembrance. While the ED supports their staff, the board supports the ED.

Kelly Otte, founder of this column, Bob Harris, and Maria Bryan, for being guest editors and helping to make this column a reliable source of information and inspiration.

Volunteers who generously donate their time and talents in so many ways. You are the heartbeat of every nonprofit.

Board members who read the agenda in advance, arrive on time, are fully engaged during the meeting in person or on Zoom, and follow through on their commitments.

For everyone who has donated to a nonprofit this year or plans to before December 31. Your gifts are needed and tremendously appreciated.

Sustaining donors who make a gift every month. Whether that’s $5, $25 or $50 or a month, we see you and are thankful for your steadfast support.

Children’s Services Council, including Council members, volunteer reviewers, committee members, and staff for awarding over $12 million in funding in its first two years. Keep up the good work to ensure all children thrive.

Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and this year’s National Philanthropy Day honorees: Staci Inez from WCTV, Outstanding Media Personality; James McGowan of Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Outstanding Fundraising Professional, Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization; Holland & Knight, Outstanding Philanthropic Business; FSU student Urielle Laurent, Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy; The Johnson Family, Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year; and Ken Boutwell, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award.

Extraordinary volunteers

In addition, local nonprofits honored these outstanding donors with a Heart of Gold award: Envision Credit Union by Second Harvest of the Big Bend; Doug Baily by Lighthouse of the Big Bend; Chuck Rolling and Parker Services by 211 Big Bend; Alex Spencer and Common Ground Books by Equality Florida; John Outland by Elder Care Services; and Gloria Stewart by Westminster Communities Foundation.

Hats off to these amazing people who change our community with their giving hearts.

Boards who have adopted a succession plan, taken steps to grow operating reserves, and established an endowment fund to support a smooth leadership transition and ensure future services.

Business owners and professionals

Business owners who donate cash, in-kind goods, and services to nonprofits while also supporting their employees who give back to the community. I know you get asked to give all the time and we thank you for saying yes.

Young professionals who are the future of the nonprofit sector. I see how hard you work to pursue degrees, seek certifications, and learn all you can to be the most effective leader you can be.

Public and private funders, as well as individual donors, who direct their giving to support employee salaries, continuing education, technology, sabbaticals for Executive Directors, leadership coaching, and strategic planning. These internal investments are equally important as direct services.

Colleges, students and artists

Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M University, and Florida State University who encourage students and professors to support the work of nonprofits in so many ways. Thanks to nonprofits who provide these students with meaningful volunteer opportunities and internships.

Boards of Directors who take their job seriously, learn what it means to be a high performing board, and invest the time needed to advance their organization to provide vital, lifesaving and life-affirming services and support.

Artists of all kinds whose talents inspire us and contribute in countless ways to our quality of life. Thank you for saying yes when you are asked to donate your works of art to raise money for nonprofit causes.

A well written thank you letter. Gratitude is contagious. When people feel personally and authentically thanked, it fills them with joy and inspires them to thank others. When a thank you is personalized and heartfelt, there’s nothing better.

William Hatfield and Martha Gruender at the Tallahassee Democrat for your continued support of this column. I am grateful for the privilege of writing it.

Our local nonprofit sector for your professionalism and hard work to serve the community. I am grateful for all you do.

Notes on Nonprofits is a column in the Tallahassee Democrat produced by Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, President of Stansbury Consulting, and includes resources, responses to reader questions, guest columns, and timeless topics. This column first appeared on November 27, 2023 in the Tallahassee Democrat. Please send your comments and questions.

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