We all have times when someone — a donor, a volunteer, a friend, or someone in your family — does something to support you and it’s very helpful. You’re grateful. You thank them for their kind gesture. And then you move on.
We’ll this time, for me, is different.
A couple of days ago I was up on a stage, connecting this laptop I’m typing on to a projector at the conference where I was about to speak. It was the first time I was going to deliver a session at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) international conference. So, needless to say, I had some nerves. Some sweaty palms. You get it.
For some reason, my laptop and the projector were having trouble communicating. The image on the huge screen would flicker on and off and on and off. After a few minutes the image disappeared completely.
This went on for about 15 minutes and people were starting to arrive for my session.
Watching from her seat was a young woman who had arrived nearly 45 minutes before the session was to start. She’d seen the conversation unfolding and quietly and calmly said, “Lori, would you like to use my laptop?”
I looked up at this woman and tears came to my eyes. She didn’t know me. She didn’t have to even pay attention to what was unfolding. And she generously offered to give up her note-taking tool to allow me to deliver my session. WOW.
After switching out computers and making sure things worked I was able to deliver my Advanced Storytelling session to a room of more than 300 people.
None of this would have happened if not for one person’s kindness. Because development officer Heather Hannon, from Harrisburg Area Community College, was so generous and kind I was able to share my work.
Heather’s action impacted more than 300 people in that room who serve thousands in their communities. The people at the session got to learn how to share their people and money stories so they can raise more money for their amazing nonprofits. Yes, the content was mine, but the ability to deliver it was made possible by a small act of kindness from someone I’d never met before.
Because of Heather I was reminded that we ALL have people in our lives and our work taking small and big actions that have a ripple effect.
Let your donors and volunteers know their gestures DO have a huge impact.
I am grateful beyond words to Heather Hannon. She’s changing the world.
She certainly changed mine.