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Things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and beyond

By Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, Notes on Nonprofits

As we celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I am happy to share one of my favorite columns of the year. I am thankful for:

  • First responders who provided rescue and relief throughout our state and region after Hurricane Ian and Tropical Storm Nicole.
  • Volunteers who serve on nonprofit boards and when their term is up, make recruiting a replacement one of their highest priorities.
  • You, the readers of this column, who reach out with your feedback, questions, and encouragement. You are the best part of writing this column.
  • 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, and frequent guest editor Bob Harris for your contributions to help make this column a reliable source of information and inspiration.
  • Parents and grandparents for teaching their children about the joy of giving.
  • Volunteers who generously donate their time and talents in so many ways. You are the heart 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 donated to a nonprofit this year. Your gifts are tremendously appreciated.
  • Sustaining donors who make a gift every month. We see you and are thankful for your loyal support.
  • Children’s Services Council members and staff for distributing your first round of grants. It’s never easy to start something from scratch. You laid the foundation in 2022 to address critical community needs for years to come.
  • There is no health without mental health. That’s why I am grateful for the new 988 suicide and mental health crisis hotline answered 24/7 by 211 Big Bend.
  • Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and this year’s National Philanthropy Day honorees: Kathleen Brothers and Claude Hendon, Outstanding Philanthropists; Vicki Bradley of WTXL, Outstanding Media Personality; Tallahassee Beer Society, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization; Target Print and Mail, Outstanding Philanthropic Business; Jack Hitchcock, Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy; and Stephanie Schwartz, Outstanding Fundraising Professional. Local nonprofits also honored Crystal Benson and Budget Printing, Dana Farmer, A Bag for Hope Team, George Harrison, Dr. Scott Tetreault, Envision Credit Union, and A Full Summer Team.
  • Boards who are writing succession plans, taking steps to grow operating reserves, and establishing endowments to support a smooth leadership transition and ensure future services.
  • Business owners who donate cash, in-kind goods, and services while also supporting their employees who give back to the community.
  • 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.
  • Boards of Directors and funders who support sabbaticals for their chief executive.
  • Funders who make internal investments in nonprofits by supporting technology, leadership coaching, training, and strategic planning.
  • 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.
  • Artists of all kinds whose talents inspire us and contribute in countless ways to our quality of life.
  • 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.
  • William Hatfield and Martha Gruender at the Tallahassee Democrat for their steadfast support of this column.
  • 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 Saturday, November 26, 2022. Please send your comments and questions.

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