Love it or hate it, ZOOM presents a new opportunity in philanthropy

With the state of philanthropy as uncertain as ever and the future prognosis for giving unstable; COVID-19 was surely an unwelcomed kick in the stomach to those tasked with raising support in the non-profit sector. COVID was a true test of the relationships built between non-profits and funders.

It won’t surprise you that non-profits with strong and deep relationships with their donors are faring much better than non-profits with donor relationships which could be described as “transactional”.

To me, there were some definite silver-linings to be found throughout the COVID struggle, one of which was the normalization of a video call, that’s right ZOOM. It almost seems as though ZOOM has become the generic term for a video call, at least to me. Just like Kleenex is to tissue. Now, I know, to many of you, ZOOM could be considered a bad “four-letter word.” However, to someone who relies on cultivating and stewarding relationships, video calls have become another valuable tool in my toolbelt.

See, before COVID, I had only two options when wanting to connect with folks; phone call or in-person meeting. When at all possible, I prefer in-person. It will always be the most effective way to connect and grow a relationship. We’re still human and humans need connection. When in-person wasn’t possible, my only other option was a phone call. The “effective-gap” between a phone call & in-person is enormous for many reasons but primarily because you can’t see or “read” the other person and vice versa, challenging to say the least.

ZOOM now provides an additional option. Still not as good as in-person, but, way better than a straight phone call. For me, it was key to maintaining meaningful connectivity during COVID and will ultimately be an asset moving forward.

Anyone remember the song, “all I wanna do is zoom-a zoom-zoom-zoom and a poom-poom…”?
I’m not that into ZOOM, but I am grateful for the new tool.


Word of the week

You know those words which are so stellar, but seem to be under-rated and under-used?

Words which are just fun to say? Words which are a little “odd” but seem to capture meaning perfectly?

This week’s word is one of those words, flabbergasted.

I was interested to know a little more about this word, so I googled it, of course.

According to “the Google”, flabbergast dates back to 1772, but its origin is unknown. Google speculates perhaps the creator had in mind both being aghast, and the sputtering sound made by people who are so amazed, they can barely speak.

Word challenge – let’s see how many times we can say the word “flabbergasted” this week!


Speaking of flabbergasted…

Last week, I heard an amazing sermon about acorns and big oak trees.

I won’t try and unpack the message here, but it did make me think a lot about acorns and oak trees this entire week. And, the more I thought about it, the more in awe I became.

A tiny little acorn, with the help of water, sunlight and some nutrients from the ground, has everything it needs to become a tall, towering, beautiful oak tree. In just 50-80 years, the acorn becomes a mature tree with maximum acorn production.

As I’ve contemplated this amazing “miracle” this week, all I’ve been able to think about is YOU & ME.

We are all born “little acorns”, with everything it takes to become a tall, strong powerful oak tree. All we need is a little nurturing, love and time.

The first key though, for you and me, is believing the incredible potential we have within us, is ENOUGH, it is! Next step, surrounding ourselves with those who nurture us for who we are, those who provide us “light” in a world which seems full of darkness and those who provide us the space to grow.


“Wonder” facts | BOOKS

Today is Independent Bookstore Day, so let’s celebrate with some facts about books which pique our sense of WONDER.

  • According to Google, there are around 130 million books published.
  • Most sold book? The Bible.
  • According to Guinness, the longest book in the world, “Remembrance of Things Past”. It has 9,609,000 characters, including spaces. Written by Marcel Proust from France in 1912. (yes, before computers, OMGoodness)
  • Most expensive book in the world, “Codex Leicester”. Leonardo da Vinci’s science diary. Sold for $30.8 million in 1994.
  • First ever story written, believed to be “The Epic of Gilgamesh”. Written in cuneiform script, 2100 BCE.
  • Largest privately-owned collection of books, according to Guinness, 1.5 million books!

Speaking of books, today is the last day of our current book promo at Freadom.

Buy any 5 books and receive our “Quote” notecards FREE. Interested? Click Here!


Customer non-service

Ever found yourself pressing the “0” button on your phone over and over again and muttering to yourself, “I just want to talk to someone.” If you have a heartbeat and old enough to be a customer, I’m sure you can relate. I wonder how many times this fun experience happens daily in America.

Message to all service providers… don’t think just because it sounds like a human on the other end of the phone that we somehow feel like you care, and we’re being taken care of. Don’t think your customer service is more streamlined and effective, it’s NOT!

I’m sure I could be considered “old-school” or sound like my parents did when I was young, but you agree, right? To be clear, I’m all about progress, innovation, advancement and the like. However, the “old school” practice of actually speaking to someone on the other line will never get old. What gets old is speaking to a robot and lack of service. C’mon man.

If you’re with me, let me know I’m not alone with a little comment below.

And if you’re not with me, press 3, you’re 93rd in line to speak with a live customer service rep. If you’d like, you can hang up, and we’ll call you back within the next 2-5 days, but you need to be at home from 8am-3:30pm to do so… NOT.


Spring is the new Fall, apparently

I reside in Chicago. Enough said?

Sorry, I’ve got more to say.

Based on the weather outside, it feels as though I should be watching college football today, making chili and getting my Halloween costume ready, eye roll. Is it April 30th or October 30th?

Seriously, I’ve never thought about the weather so much, does that mean I’m officially “old”?

Either way, if you live in Chicago, you feel my pain.

If you don’t, good for you, but hoping you’d feel sorry for me and all my Chicagoland friends, even it’s just a little.

At least I know it won’t be 100 degrees or more in July/August. For all of you chuckling right now because it’s 80 where you are right now, I’ll check in with you this summer!

Come on sunshine and warmth!

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