10 Things I Learned While Chairing the United Way Campaign
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- Don’t be afraid to say YES! It was a big job and I’ll admit it was intimidating at first; actually I said no many times before I agreed. But saying yes was empowering. Saying yes says “I can do this”. Saying yes was the best decision I ever made! Take the first step and just say yes to the big things.
- Volunteering is good business It’s important to be good corporate citizens as well as good citizens. When you volunteer in your community it shows that you care. It gets you out there talking to the people in your community and making new contacts. You’ll be amazed at who you meet! Plus, I found many companies who share our philosophy of supporting the community that has supported your business. It makes me want to do business with those companies.
- Surround yourself with good people It is said that no man (or woman) is an island. We aren’t super human either, although I would like to be! Create a team of like-minded people who are passionate about your goal and are willing to work hard to achieve it. I would not have hit my goal without all the amazing people around me.
- Always aim high My goal for the campaign was lofty for sure but anything worth doing is worth doing well. Go big or go home! I knew what that goal meant. It meant helping others in need which was bigger than me. Don’t shy away from aiming high. It is motivating and oh, so fulfilling when you reach it!
- Ignore the nay-sayers There will always be people that say you aimed too high or that you’ll never reach your goal. It may be tough to hear but you have to tune them out or… turn it into motivation. Proving nay-sayers wrong helped drive me forward when times were tough. Don’t let anyone dampen your spirit. Have confidence in your ability and keep pluggin’ away…you’ll get there!
- All you have to do is ask Funny how a lot people are afraid to ask for a contribution, for a donation, for business. I was one of these people. It really took me out of my comfort zone. In reality most people don’t mind you asking. What’s the worst thing that could happen…they could say no. But they can also say YES! Think positive, think YES, just ask!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help Asking for help when you need it is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength! It is smart business to ask for help. Many hands make light work. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the people that will help you! They are just sitting on the sidelines waiting to be asked! I have had a lot of people ask me how I got involved in volunteering because they had never been asked. I made blanket asks for help every time I was in front of a group. And if you want to volunteer somewhere, go ask what you can do to help.
- Gratitude goes a long way Everyone likes to be appreciated and a heartfelt thank you goes a long way. Whether it’s a thank you in person, on the phone or in a letter. It feels good when someone acknowledges your donation, your hard work, your time. The best news is that when people feel appreciated they are much more likely to donate, lend a hand or give their best effort the next time around!
- Doing good feels good I can’t begin to put into words what I felt after achieving my goal. I was helping my community and especially those that need it the most. I met many people in the trenches helping others and knew how much this money meant to them and the people they served. It’s a feeling that doesn’t go away overnight. It stays with you and brings a smile to your face every time you think about it. It feels oh, so good!!! Whether you raise $720,000 or you have a jeans day and raise $15.00 feel good about it, because you’re making a difference!
- Treat yourself after a job well done When you are in a project for the long haul and you have a large goal looming over your head it is all encompassing. You can’t stop thinking about it. You are constantly working on it. When it is over and you are successful, it is time to celebrate! Take time to step back and be proud of yourself. Treat yourself and then take a long nap! Soon it will be time to jump back in and work on something new.