Yeah, you read that right. I don’t mean any mid-summer holiday like Independence Day or Canada Day. I don’t mean your vacation. I mean what people normally mean when they say “The Holidays,” Christmas, Hanukkah, and the rest. (As it turns out, there’s quite a few in that time frame all over the world. Check here: http://www.holidayscalendar.com/months/december/)
Why bring this up in July? Because if you’re like me, the fall gets pretty busy, and all of the sudden – boom! It’s “The Holidays!” I confess, I ignore the warning signs, like Halloween decorations in stores in September and all of those kids at the door on October 31. November is like a blur – you know, fitting four week’s work into three because half your clients are off the week of Thanksgiving, yet you still need to meet deadlines for year’s end? Before you know it, you grab a glimpse of someone in a red suit with a bell and kettle standing outside your local Big Box store! “Wait!” you scream to yourself as you do a double take, “It’s The Holidays?”
Okay, panic over. You still have time. Here’s five steps you can (and should) take now so you don’t trip over that gift-wrap ribbon.
1) Start shopping! Cool, huh? What would your clients appreciate as a thank you for their business, and a recognition for all of their hard work on behalf of their clients? You can go from logo’ed choch-ski’s to high end chocolate and more. Here’s one I really like (and no, I’m not getting anything for the plug): Have you heard of Charity-on-Top? They do a charitable gift card made with your branding, that your client can use to make a gift to just about every nonprofit they know.
2) Make your list! By now you should have an idea of at least a few of your gift recipients. Start your list now. You might be able to anticipate some repeats from last year, too.
3) Build a task list. Why should this project be any different than any other? Build a list of steps to completion. Set dates or your final decision, ordering your gifts, packaging your gifts and a drop date.
4) Decide on your distribution method. You can…
- A) Let your gift vendor send directly to your clients.
- B) Receive the material and package it yourself.
- C) Arrange for an assistant to receive and package he material under your direction.
(This last step is the real gift of The Holidays.)
5) Enjoy the holidays knowing that you have the gift-giving in hand, at least for your business!
For a lot of nonprofit consultants, the irony is that the time of “peace and joy” is a time of conflicting priorities and stressful deadlines. Today, right now, you can change that – at least a little bit. Just think of your joy when the you get that kind note from a client for your thoughtful gift, and have the peace of mind to recall “Finally, I did it right!”
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