6-Month Celebration Check-In

by Marcy Heim on July 8, 2020

Congrats to YOU!

It’s July! The first-half of 2020 is behind you – and the second half is ahead.

What comes to mind?  YOUR mind?

“Thank God it’s over — so much for the promise of THIS new decade.”


“What a remarkable time to be alive and experience the human spirit shining on!”

The entire universe

You know where I stand — curious about the beliefs we hold as true, the messages we say to ourselves and others, and the actions we take that lead to our results. I believe that the universe is a loving and powerful spirit. It is on my side….lining up wellness, people and experiences in my life that will maximize my ability to contribute and reap success and joy.  

And, as much as we talk about not having enough time, it is more about our energy? Your work situation is likely different now and how you use your time is open to new strategies. But how’s your energy?

Based on 29 years of scientific research, Dr. David Hawkins found that about 87% of humanity calibrates at a collective energy level that weakens them. I think you’d agree that the collective energy now is especially gnarly.

The excitement, the eagerness to just “begin”– that good, high energy can be hard to find right now.

But here’s where you come in…

High-energy people actually counterbalance the negative effect of the low collective energy of humanity.

raising vibration of the entire planet

Because we are all tapped into that collective consciousness, anything you do to improve your life and raise your positive spirit, also improves the world at large—for everyone. And I know you…You can raise the vibration of the entire planet.

It gets even better: this doesn’t happen at a one-to-one ratio—The higher your consciousness and vibration, the more impact you have in affecting larger groups of people!

Just think of the impact YOU CAN AND ARE having by raising your positive energy and consciousness!

As a fundraising and development professional you may not feel appreciated for the wonderful work you do —  

  • the incredible relationship-building magic you bring,
  • all the big and little things you do to show your genuine caring for your givers’, and,
  • the thought and care you take in presenting direct, clear asks to empower your givers to keep doing good.

When you step into a state of love, acceptance, and gratitude, you not only allow yourself to receive more you raise up the collective focus on the good that is happening. YOU are counterbalancing a whole lot of negativity!

So as you do your 6-month Celebration Check-In, be sure to track:

√ YOUR number of interactions – by phone, zoom, text, email, whatever (and does it really matter if it is genuine?) – where you smiled and shared with your givers leaving them feeling connected and cared for,

√ YOUR bold and clear asks of current, lapsed, and prospective new donors making it clear how they could give now to continue to do something good for your mission, and beyond,

√ YOUR time spent reassuring family and friends that we will get through this, AND

√ YOUR time spent resting, stretching, eating well, smiling, laughing and feeding YOUR positive spirit for good.

Remember, anything you do to improve your life and raise your positive spirit, also improves the world at large—for everyone.

By inspiring generosity
Give this world good energy

You are the change we want to see in the world — not just through your outer actions but through who you are being in the world.

I appreciate you. And, I thank you.  

Shine on with me! You are raising the vibe for the entire planet!


Plan….NOW! Pear-Tree Planning in a Pandemic

by Marcy Heim on June 24, 2020

Pear Tree Planning in a Pandemic

You might be feeling, “How can I plan for anything when everything is so up in the air.”

I understand. And I am here to help!

Pear tree

Let me tell you a story about my pear tree.  It was loaded with buds and now it’s loaded, I mean LOADED, with tiny baby pears. That means that by Labor Day I will have thousands, oh OK, hundreds of pears that ripen within a few days, hit the ground, rot fast and attract swarms of bees. They are also really delicious – a blessing really – and I carry incredible guilt at wasting them. I’ve had groups in to pick, jam-making parties and help just to get them raked up and gone. The neighbors avoid me late August because they know I’ll be bringing another bucket to them.

After a decade with this tree, somehow I’m never ready for the pear avalanche. Why am I surprised that these tiny pears grow into big ones? Even in years when the buds were damaged, I had pears. Pear-Tree Planning has come to symbolize all the personal and professional events in my life I KNOW are coming – yet somehow I’m failing to plan for. They can set me into a last-minute panic – mild or severe – the drama is real.  Can you relate? Do you have a Pear Tree or two in your life?

Here’s the message I want you to get.

No matter what..

Let’s do some Pear-Tree Planning!

Here’s a list of actions to take to enhance your relationships with both your donors AND those closest to you. Remember I want you to take care of BOTH – your donors and YOU!

1. Every-year donor/family specific events – Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc

Regardless of the pandemic, people still have birthdays and anniversaries. You can still celebrate the anniversary of a donor’s major gift and remind them of the impact. If you haven’t collected these dates, now is a good time to start. How? On your next check-in call, have a conversation something like, “We just celebrated Mary’s birthday virtually here. So different this year, isn’t it? When is your birthday? What might be different for you this year?” 

This year it may not be an in-person visit.  Now the mail time for your birthday card may be longer. Now you might have to rethink your message to – “May this find you and yours well and in good spirits.  Happy Birthday! You are appreciated and an important part of our family.”  Let’s face it, sometimes we are last minute with our own kids’ birthdays – not like we weren’t there when they were born.

2. Every-year Holidays

Heim's Fathers Day

This past Sunday was Father’s Day. Just like every year – pandemic or not. I called several donors/friends who are like fathers to me. Just like every year.

This year rather than the individual calls from our kids, they all got on at once on zoom. It was actually better. The holidays will stay the same. You can plan your actions ahead of time taking into account what will be different in you implementation. You may not know when you’ll be back in your office for sure – but there will still be Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Halloween, Christmas, New Years Day… You can plan for these.

3. YOUR Specific Traditional Events

When it comes to events, the most important question is the same, “Why are we having this event?” It may be to thank donors, invite donors to invest, provide a chance to hear from leadership, experience a powerful story of giving impact, feel part of a giving community, and/or just be together.

Seems to me you can accomplish much of this differently – a Non-Event, a zoom gathering, a virtual event. Yes, it’s hard to replace the hugs, the personal sharing that only happens in person and the pure JOY of being together. BUT, we can continue to show up genuine and true. And, we can continue to watch for opportunities to bring people together with a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C…

Last week I celebrated with one of my clients – the Lussier Community Education Center.  Their ED, Paul Terranova, has been there 20 years and accomplished so much. No, it wasn’t like being in the same room, but the surprise (Paul really was clueless this was coming!) the tears, the bonding, with each other and the Center, were very real.

Pauls Gathering

4. Your Relationship Action Plans

Those of you who study major giving with me are familiar with a Relationship Action Plan. It’s our roadmap of what’s next with our major donors. While the meeting details may be different now, the steps are remarkably similar. In fact, engaging partners – your board, other staff and volunteers may even be easier! Make sure these have not slipped off of the MUST DO list! You need to plan these!

5. Year-End Planning

Yes, I get it. It’s only June. BUT…this year-end will be different. We have launched special COVID funds early this year and our donors have responded generously! Perhaps we have put our campaign on hold or delayed beginning it. We have tabled some planned giving conversations with donors who are nervous about their investments. NOW is the time to begin finding a year-end theme and start messaging around it to begin the conversations for our year-end giving appeals and major donor asks.  Just today, one of my clients – a faith-based senior facility selected, “Blessed in ALL times.” It’s perfect for them. What’s yours going to be?

I know you are feeling this sort of out-of-sorts feeling. Even with meditation, working out, hop scotch on the sidewalk and baseball in the backyard, these times are just weird and different – and for many of us, scary. Fear is crippling. Focus on what you CAN PLAN now and look forward to. Keep track of each other. Take care of each other.

“Here comes the sun!” the Beatles song, plays constantly in scores of hospitals across the country because it lifts folks up. Did you know it was recorded the very last time the Beatles were together in a studio – a sad night indeed. You will be different from this, but you will be ok.  Shine on!


How to make giving to you “essential”

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You show appreciation and respect to major donors when you talk about the legacy they leave with their gifts.  Honor Clubs, Societies, elite events and personal conversations with the leadership are all benefits you may provide your major donors. These are wonderful and build good relationships!  While I believe we have instinctively adopted this, I […]

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How to Make A Decision and Take A Step

May 27, 2020

These are remarkable times. With an avalanche of information flooding you in the email, live-streaming on Facebook and bombarding you on the news, how do you make a decision about what to do next? How can you make a decision when you have no certainty about how this current COVID-19 environment will unfold…or when? In […]

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Hoping to help you with these success stories and advice!

May 13, 2020

You know it was a ‘Proud Mom Moment’ with son, David…in his cap and gown…graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston – a day I had looked forward to for a long time. Well, he WAS in his cap and gown, but he was actually on our couch in Madison, Wisconsin.  Two laptops were […]

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Stop feeding on the bottom. Major Gifts are at the top of the pyramid!

April 22, 2020

You are capable of great work now. Yes, now.  COVID 19 is unprecedented and uncertain. In “times like this” you can bet folks will: 1- Cut discretionary spending. 2- Reduce costs – hunker down. 3- Reduce risk – even if they are guessing how to do that, and, 4- Follow the Herd. What are others […]

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Tools for you- This too shall pass…now would be good

April 8, 2020

TOOLS for you to USE Right now! I. Say these affirmations out loud every day! “Something Gooooooodds Gonna Happen to Me!” “I Create My Life!” “We become what we think about!” “People love to give me money!” Your biggest tool to get through this comes from within.  Monitor everything you read and hear and see.  […]

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Believe. Decide. Move Forward. Serve. Repeat.

March 25, 2020

Believe. Decide. Move Forward. Serve. Repeat. I care about you.  Yes, be aware now and wash your hands and keep some space. But MORE – be aware of what you are thinking. Please. It is your best defense. Your success is not about the financial climate, it’s about your mental climate. Are you spewing poison or […]

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What do you see?

March 11, 2020

What do you SEE? You probably want this to be more complicated. Position, relationships, wealth, results. And, it’s the same for the things you have but don’t want.  In reverse.  It’s that focus on “what if this or that happens” that becomes true. I pulled off a whopper this year – I’m telling you – […]

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Partner Best Practices for MORE Major Gifts

February 26, 2020

You can’t do it alone. I don’t care how efficient you are, or think you are, you can only have so much fundraising success if you try to do it all yourself. I get it…it takes a great deal of energy and patience to bring on a volunteer, board member or program staff to help […]

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