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Celebrating Success

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

After a three-year fundraising effort, I’m pleased to say the incredible team I’ve worked with, and I, have recently celebrated a major success—the grand opening of a new library.  The board members, community volunteers, town leaders, and residents all came together to make the dream possible.  This phenomenal type of success doesn’t happen everyday.  It’s not something to take for granted, and it is certainly something to celebrate when it is achieved.  And so I’m taking a moment to write down a few thoughts.

The first thing I did was to take a deep breath.  I savored it for as long as possible.  “We did it.  We REALLY did it!”  Then I thanked those around me, again.  It couldn’t have happened without everyone’s hard work and dedication.  But I realize that the multi-year endeavor needed a clear VISION and sustainable LEADERSHIP to achieve the goal.  So while we held a festive donor appreciation event, we know we need an internal party, too.  Leadership is something that is vital to a capital campaign.  And our campaign had that secret ingredient.  The celebrating isn’t over with thanking our valued donors; we must also give praise to those who led the effort.

I’ve learned this about campaign leadership:

  1. Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes,
  2. People step up when you need them most—if you ask,
  3. People connected to your mission will amaze you,
  4. Support your leaders at every step,
  5. Give your leaders the resources they need,
  6. Your leaders need sub-leaders—they can’t do it alone,
  7. Success and leadership go hand in hand,
  8. Your campaign cannot succeed without leaders!

Now that you have an idea of the importance of campaign leadership, can you see the significance in celebrating them?  Okay, I’ve taken another deep breath.