Let’s face it, we’ve seen loads of evidence lately of why we should continue to crack on with things as per normal. Keep cultivating donors, continue to recruit (smartly), look after our precious supporters. All really sensible and pragmatic advice, based on real and hard evidence.
But don’t forget – in addition to what the data tells you, people fundamentally are good. And most people who care about your cause will continue to dig deep when they can.
It’s really easy to forget this sometimes. I guess I always draw back to what an old mate of mine David Hegarty once told me when he said ‘don’t judge people by the worst thing they did to you, but all the good things they have done’.
Good advice if you ask me.
I was reminded of this on Tuesday when I was at the airport about to fly to Washington. As I was cursing myself for again booking an early morning flight I trundled through the crowds to grab a coffee. I’m no caffeine junkie but one cup in the morning really gets me going. And yes Canadians out there, I was in the Tim Horton’s queue! It would seem rude to start the day with anything else!
After waiting for what seemed an eternity in the line for my daily fix, I was told that this store took only cash. Murphy’s law, as I reached into my wallet, I had nothing! I was gutted, not even my Tim Horton’s card was accepted here. Outrageous I thought!
And then, a small but sharp reminder that there are some wonderful people out there. This lovely lady who was in front of me offered, in fact insisted to pay the $1.48 for my large ‘double double’ (that’s coffee, milk, two sugar for the uneducated).
Of course my first reaction was ‘thank you but you don’t have to do that’. But this wonderful warm hearted lady insisted. And so keen not to be rude, keen to get my fix and conscious not to hold up the line I gratefully accepted.
Here I was at 7am in busy Pearson Airport in Toronto, thousands of people milling about, and this ‘caffeine angel’ steps in out of the goodness of her heart and makes my day.
There might be a lot of crap going on I the world right now. But when you wrestle with your boss, your colleagues and maybe your board as to why you should continue doing what you know is the right thing to do, show them the data. Show them what will happen if you ‘shut up shop’ and stop doing your job.
But don’t forget also to remind them that people really are good. And if they can, they will help.
PS – I really I hope I come across my ‘caffeine angel’ again sometime to repay the favor!