Planning for the New Year

Like many of you, I took time last month to reflect on the past year and think about the possibilities that a new year brings. While COVID continues to keep us on our toes and leaves us with a lingering sense of uncertainty, planning is still critical to ensuring success. Hopefully, everyone reading this has already set their goals and developed a 2022 work plan for achieving those goals, but if you haven’t there is still time! Whatever your role on the philanthropy spectrum – CEO, fundraiser, board member, foundation leader, corporate giving rep or donor – we all have a part to play in continuing to support our communities.


To get you in the planning spirit, here are some things I’m taking into the new year:


  • Passion – This isn’t just my work, it’s my passion! If you’ve been following Detroit Philanthropy for a while now, hopefully that’s apparent to you. But if not, this is my moment to re-affirm how deeply passionate I am about being able to support the work of those who are impacting our community. Helping you help others is the motto that led to Detroit Philanthropy’s founding and I will carry that mission into all of our work this year.


  • Inclusivity – As we all know, not everyone has equal access to…. well pretty much everything. In my work, I’m particularly concerned about access to the information and people that can help nonprofits raise more money and deepen their impact. In 2022, I’m reinforcing that commitment by keeping our educational and networking program, Community Connections, free of charge. I’ll also be offering a free, one-time consulting session for nonprofits with a budget under $500,000. You can learn more about the free session here.


  • Partnership – Over the years, Detroit Philanthropy’s success has depended on a number of allies, friends and colleagues who have largely remained behind the scenes. They’ve offered professional expertise, provided client referrals, shared advice, and most importantly, they’ve been cheerleading from the sidelines. As we move into this year, I’m excited to formalize those relationships into partnerships. More details to come!


  • Agility – If I (and hopefully we) have learned anything over the past 2 years, it’s the importance of staying nimble. For better and for worse, even the best laid plans don’t always see the light of day during the age of COVID. But as I’ve seen time and time again, the need to innovate, course-correct, and pivot can take an organization from good to great. Like it or not, agility continues to be necessary, and Detroit Philanthropy will continue to be mindful of that in our own work and in our assistance to clients.


  • Joy – Last but not least, I’m committing to joy in 2022. April of this year will mark Detroit Philanthropy’s 5-year anniversary. A milestone that once seemed so far into the distance that I questioned my sanity. Despite the hard work and long hours, the disruption by COVID, and the doubt that still creeps in, the joy this work has brought me has been tremendous. You never know what life will throw at you, but this year I will choose to focus on the joy. And I hope you will join me in celebrating our anniversary later this year!