Written By: Delia Perez, CFRE
While many of us may feel beaten down by the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn that plagued the tumultuous Year of the Rat, we can take heart because February 12th 2021 ushered in the Year of the Ox. According to Chinese astrology, our collective fortune is about to change – for the better – with a new year of compassion and healing, and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine. Now more than ever, we look forward to new beginnings, transformational change and innovation.
We have much to do in this time of peril and possibility. Businesses closed and jobs were lost, and many of our colleagues, family and friends were furloughed or laid-off from the causes they serve. We need to thoughtfully listen to each other with empathy and understanding. We need to lend a hand with the same care and concern we would offer to the benefactors of the causes we serve. We are all in this together and our better angels have always prevailed.
It’s time to be inventive, intervene, get involved, reassess and reclaim what’s best for us both personally and professionally. The Ox year will push to improve life and emphasize how our diversity makes us stronger and better when we work together. In Chinese culture, oxen are symbols of wealth and prosperity, acquired through hard work, diligence, perseverance, integrity and fair play.
The new year represents a time to reflect and recalibrate, review your accomplishments and determine if you achieved your goals, fell short or exceeded your own expectations. Only you know for sure if you did your best.
We invite you to take advantage of the PGCGP educational curriculum to improve your results. We hope to return to our usual in-person meetings at the Racquet Club in Philadelphia later in the year. In the meantime, please considering joining us for our virtual educational sessions to learn from our expert presenters.
- Exceeding your expectations? Consider presenting a topic relevant to planned giving at one of our educational programs.
- Attend our annual premier educational event, the Planned Giving Day Conference, on October 27th 2021 at the Union League in Philadelphia.
- Register for the two-day Planned Giving Course in April 2022 as a good introduction to our field and the half-day summary program on October 26th 2021.
- Volunteer your time and expertise. Get involved with PGCGP committees to ensure the success of PGCGP program offerings while also strengthening your professional skills.
- Get acquainted with our sponsors and take advantage of the quality services and products they provide to better serve our planned giving community. Thanks to our ongoing partnerships with our sponsors, we hope you enjoy the timely articles submitted from the Stelter Company, Pentera, and The American College, who are sharing their expertise in this issue.
PGCGP offers a mentoring program for newcomers in the planned giving field and assigns seasoned professionals to help grow a budding career. We offer multiple opportunities for volunteer assignments supporting our council activities and invite you to consider joining your colleagues in service for our profession. We need your help to support PGCGP initiatives. One of the benefits of volunteering with your colleagues is a great networking connection where you can discuss important facets of your work and exchange ideas to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
Make the most of your PGCGP membership and re-energize your work life this year. Wow your donors with excellent stewardship and let them know they are appreciated. Discuss the impact of their generosity, thank them often, ask their advice, and extend an invitation to visit without always soliciting donations. Phone and arrange a zoom visit with your donors and let them know they are important and matter to the mission of your organization. And when it’s safe to gather in person again, go visit your donors.
Be sure to invest in you! Take a course, attend a conference, and strengthen your skill set. Be a better professional by taking better care of you. Get a good night’s sleep, take walks and exercise, and whenever possible, spend time with your loved ones and the important people in your life. Always remember, our donors and the missions we serve deserve us at our very best; don’t skimp on yourself or them.
We hope the Year of the Ox will be one of your best years ever, and as they say for the Chinese New Year: "Gong xi fa cai," which means “wishing you great happiness and prosperity.”
Delia G. Perez, CFRE