Happy 2016. Welcome to my blog. I have spent the last two-thirds (over 19 years) of my career in non-profit management and fundraising. I have served as the fundraising lead for several organizations, and as CEO for a small non-profit (where my role also involved doing a little of everything, especially fundraising). I have worked with some really great staff, a few outstanding executive directors, and many dedicated and passionate volunteers that helped further the mission of some incredibly worthwhile organizations. Like anyone, I’ve had good days and bad days on the job. I’ve celebrated successes, lamented over failures, managed a lot of stress, and did my best to find that ever important work-life balance as a full-time working mother. But regardless of what knocked me down – and I’ve received some major blows in my life in recent years – I got back up, brushed myself off and got back to the task at hand. I remember as a kid my mother telling me that I had a keen ability to “roll with the punches” that would serve me well in life. Thank goodness for that!
As life got more stressful, I continued learning new ways to survive…some haphazardly. About six months before I made the transition from corporate sales to non-profit work, I started running. Running has been the constant in my life ever since. I quickly realized running was a stress reliever and self-esteem booster. Crossing the finish line in over 225 races (including 6 marathons and 33 half-marathons) showed me I could do anything I put my mind to. My morning runs cleared my head and were a great start to managing whatever challenges the day would hold. It also helped me cope with the worse days…and the grief. I ran through my father’s death, managing a non-profit on the verge of bankruptcy, my mother’s Alzheimer’s and death four years later, another job loss, a cancer diagnosis, and my husband’s suicide.
So as much as my blog is going to be about fundraising and non-profit management, it’s going to be about how I bring who I am as a runner into every day, and every project; how I approach work and life pretty much the same way I approach a run. I’m also going to introduce you to special non-profits with whom I have the opportunity to work and highlight those that raise significant money for their cause through running, from organizing local races to training supporters to run marathons and raise funds.
We are going to make this a good year. I hope you will continue with me on this journey. My goal is to post a new blog entry to start each week. And I plan to share a lot of pictures of what I see on my runs.
Palisades Interstate Park, Englewood, NJ. January 2015
7 thoughts on “Up and running”
Can’t wait to join you on this journey. Whether we’re fighting, grieving, struggling or cruising through life and it’s challenges, I know this will provide great insight.
Thanks for your vote of confidence, Janel!
A wonderful intersection between your passion & compassion . . . to a new year of amazing.
Thanks so much, Sheelagh! Wishing you the same.
I am so excited to go through this journey with you. As a avid runner I understand the joy, exhilaration, stress relief, sense of accomplishment and peace that comes with running.
Thanks Felice! Would love to include your story one of these weeks!
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