For me, gardening is my happy place. When my garden starts to wake up, I feel energized, in charge, and filled with purpose after a cold, white winter. Though after my first few hours digging in the dirt and cleaning out beds, it is never more clear that gardening is a delicate dance between flower and planter. Am I in charge? Or, is Mother Nature? As our botanical relationship progresses through spring and into summer, my garden is a constant reminder of the true attributes a gracious leader needs to succeed.
I finally realized, though, that what bothered me most was that utilizing "no” as an avenue for finding work and life balance most often results in the exact opposite. In fact, if there's any one word that creates an imbalance—of power, of creativity, of connection, of equity—"no" might be it.
It's getting warmer in Minnesota, and the abundant sunshine and longer days always make me crave a fizzy, refreshing cocktail to enjoy on my patio!
If you've been around me for any length of time, you know that I'm an over-consumer of all things design—shelter magazines, lifestyle blogs, vintage rug Instagram accounts, antique stores, smart logos and layouts, graphic design, interior design, web design, landscape design—I don't discriminate. I love it all. I love the way it looks, but more importantly I love the way beautiful design makes me feel. So it's probably no surprise that the process of design-thinking appeals to me, and is my preferred approach to fundraising, my non-profit work, and my everyday life.
This week, I had the pleasure of participating, along with a number of my fellow development professionals, on a “Fundraising is Female” twitter chat (#FIFchat) that originated due to a poorly timed, irresponsible article released by the international headquarters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) on International Women’s Day and the well-deserved fall-out that resulted from their largely female membership.
Beautiful things happen when changes occur in the demographics of your donor base. You learn new languages for giving. You learn new ways to give. You learn new ways to receive. You learn how to adapt, how to be creative, and how to move forward. You learn that there is beauty in all change—and the future of philanthropy depends on it.
As Thursday happy hour approaches, I'll be raising my margarita glass to an amazing young woman, Natalie Migliarini, who I had the pleasure to mentor and get to know years ago through Junior League of Minneapolis. I couldn't be happier to see how well she is doing with her company, Beautiful Booze.