When I think of the holiday season, I think of brisk walks on chilly mornings, fresh air, but also, being safe and warm indoors (with a hearty cup of dark roast from Anderson’s Coffee in Austin, Texas, if at all possible).
Having worked with several Texas outdoorsmen and women during my career, I have come to appreciate and enjoy wildlife. A mentor told me several years ago when I left a post in the arts to pursue a job with a leading conservation organization, both fields involve – and require – keen powers of observation. He owned a well-regarded art gallery and also a ranch, and he understood perfectly how I might enjoy both fields.
I discovered this vintage postcard of a regal deer, and wanted to post it for the holidays. While perusing websites for information of all kinds about deer, I stumbled upon Ina Woolcott’s thoughtful description of deer in a blog called Shamanism. With that, I stopped. Ina notes,
“Deer’s medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understanding of what’s necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland goddess, alternative paths to a goal.”
This past year has been challenging for many of us in the nonprofit sector. Although our respective economies are improving, public discourse has at times been vexing. How refreshing to read about gratitude and giving, and to ponder the higher good.
I also appreciate the above referenced attribute of deer, that they symbolize, “alternative paths to a goal.” I believe it is safe to say nonprofit organizations today are exploring new pathways to survival – more than ever before – from new collaborations to new fundraising strategies (myself included).
“By observing the ways in which deer behave, it is possible to see what amazing qualities – or powers – they possess. From the deer we can learn that the gift of gentleness and caring can help us overcome and put aside many testing situations. Only love, both for ourselves and for others, helps us understand the true meaning of wholeness.”
That seems to me the ideal state of mind for this holiday season.
I hope all our nonprofit efforts to secure charitable donations by year-end are successful, and that our many worthy missions will be furthered beyond our dreams!
Carolyn’s Holiday Picks
Donations to any nonprofit organization will be greatly appreciated this year. Having said that, a few of my favorites are listed below. You might also refer to my GreatNonprofits page for more!
- EcoRise Youth Innovations
- IREC: Interstate Renewable Energy Council
- NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network
Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog
This blog is based on more than twenty-five years in the nonprofit sector. Included are some of my most rewarding experiences as well as some of the challenges I have faced. You will find in this blog many old fashioned “tried-and-true” ideas, as well as several new ones. I consider myself to be both a traditional fundraising professional, and someone who values innovation.
The encouragement of NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network has been invaluable. Without the always helpful NTEN staff, I would never have created this blog. NTEN continues to help me navigate the ever-changing “tech” world of nonprofit management, fundraising, and communications. Consider joining today!
A Few Notes …
- A personal note about deer – I watched an enchanting PBS documentary earlier in 2013 about Althorp Estate. Although my early academic training was in art history (19th century landscape painting), I admit to being captivated by the black fallow deer herd at Althorp. I hope to visit one day! When I do, though, don’t leave me unattended because I will be off in no time searching for them ….
- Questions about how I set up my WordPress blog? See my article covering this and related topics: “Blogging ~ How I Began, Set It Up, and More.” I maintain three WordPress websites: 1) the blog you are viewing now; 2) Fundraising Resources (more casual in focus); and 3) my biographical website.
- Blogroll – for those who want to know the blogs I tend to favor, see my partner blog, Fundraising Resources (right hand margin under, “Blogroll”). It is a diverse mix!
Sunflowers – my personal logo – continue to be a theme of my blog. Sunflowers symbolize hope, strength and resilience to me – traits we in the nonprofit sector need to forge ahead and succeed despite our many challenges. This past summer I encountered some lovely fields of sunflowers in North Texas during a road trip, and my Tumblr discusses that happy experience. For my new Pinterest board on sunflowers, follow the link.
- Information is provided as a public service, free of charge. Every nonprofit organization is unique; please be sure to tailor your fundraising activities accordingly. All content has been developed and is managed by me. All rights reserved.
- Opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit organizations with which I have worked – or with which I am currently working. I also “own” everything I write – including the occasional typographical errors, smiles. I handle all my social media writing and postings personally. If you spot an egregious error, please do not hesitate to let me know (see the contact form link below).
- I refer to companies whose services and products I have used with success. This blog is not underwritten by those companies.
- My top ten countries in terms of visitation – of over 200 countries to date – are (the past year, in order): United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Philippines (our thoughts are with you), Singapore, France, Netherlands and Germany. I welcome my international visitors!
- I receive many e-mail questions. Sometimes, my e-responses appear to have bounced. Perhaps this is because we are communicating across countries. Apologies! Please know I take every question seriously. In the margin at left, I have posted a number of articles that attempt to answer many of the questions being asked. Please check them out, and also see my other blog, Fundraising Resources, for even more!
- Your comments and questions are welcome. Enjoy the blog, and thank you for visiting!
“Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also. He attracts and follows.”
~Jean Paul, German author (1763-1825)
Thanks to BrainyQuote.com for quotation assistance throughout this blog, and Fotolia, Instagram (my account), The Graphics Fairy, Microsoft Office/Bing, People Magazine, Wikimedia, and others for their respective imagery contributions.