7 Ways To Make A Difference

Any day is the perfect day to be a little more thoughtful and show your appreciation for those in your life. As a fundraiser, appreciating donors is always top of mind. But, one area that you might be overlooking is your colleagues– the people you spend nearly a quarter of your weekly hours with. Here are some tips to be a little more thoughtful and show your appreciation to the people in your work life.

1. Take the time to say thank you for something you appreciate, but have come to expect. Does your co-worker always start the coffee in the morning – have you said thank you recently?

One area that you might be overlooking is your colleagues – the people you spend nearly a quarter of your weekly hours with. I encourage you to take the opportunity today, and every day, to make someone feel valued and appreciated.

2. Share that article you just read. Did you read an article that made you smile, made you think of someone, or that was about a topic you know someone is passionate about? Take a minute to send an email. It can be as simple as “thought you might enjoy this.”

3. Listen, fully and completely. If someone comes up to your desk and you don’t have time to give them your full attention (and stop typing, reading, or whatever it is you’re doing) just ask if you can talk later. Your undivided attention makes people feel valued, if you can’t give them that at that moment then let them know when you can. And, for goodness sakes, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN.

4. Ask about their family/hobby/weekend. Get to know a little about your colleague’s life outside the office and be sure to take the time to ask about their interests.

5. Leave a sticky-note of thanks. Was there something this week that a colleague did that made your week a little easier? Leave a sticky-note on their computer screen that they’ll find the next morning saying thanks.

6. Take a coffee break. Know that a colleague is having a not-so-great time either at work or dealing with personal matters? Take 15 minutes and invite them to go grab a cup of coffee.

7. Compliment them. Share something you admire about them—their creativity, calm under pressure, attention to detail, how they handled that difficult person… Share why you think they are such an important part of the team. Maybe you think they know, but perhaps they don’t and if they do, it still is nice to hear it.

Here are two articles that have some great ideas and two of my favorite videos around being thoughtful and showing appreciation.

KidPresidentTrice

I encourage you to take the opportunity today, and every day, to make someone feel valued and appreciated.

Your turn! What has a colleague done to make you feel appreciated that really meant a lot to you? Feel free to share below in the comments.


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Sara Leonard
IN HER 25 years of nonprofit work, Sara has held many titles and been a solutions-oriented advancement professional. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tampa and an MBA from the University of South Florida. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive and has been named as a Master Trainer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. As the founding director of the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Fund Development Academy, Sara created an extensive curriculum of fundraising and board governance courses. She has had the privilege of working with organizations to achieve their fundraising goals through instruction, coaching and consulting. She continues to serve as an instructor for the Fund Development Academy. She has worked in the nonprofit sector raising funds for healthcare, educational and cultural organizations. She managed development operations including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors, managing annual giving, major gift cultivation and solicitation, training and management of staff, board and volunteers, foundation and corporate support, sponsorships, annual funds, special events and in-kind support. She is widely considered an expert in crisis fundraising and has guided organizations through capital campaigns – both large and small. Sara serves on the board of directors of the Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and New Tampa Young Life. She is a former board member of the AFP Florida Caucus. She lives in Tampa with her husband and two children.
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Traci Starkweather
Traci Starkweather

I love this video! You have great energy, delivery and good advice! I would add “I love you” and “You Matter.”

Raissa Urdiales

I love this article. It is about being human, compassionate, caring about others. In many ways these are inherently female traits. I find that there is some literature out there about women clawing their way to the top where they are told to shed these things, that it is getting in their way to being in a leadership seat. My answer, teach those at the top these things and we can begin to tip the scales towards equality and reap the rewards of our differences.