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A Practice of Gratitude

Posted Apr 10, 2014 03:40 PM
Prompted by National Volunteer week, we want to thank our Service Corps and Volunteer Manager Corps members and consider the benefits of the practice of gratitude. Ashley Miller, ED of the Service Board suggests that reflecting on what you are grateful for and sharing gratitude among staff, board, and program participants can build a culture that is joyful and resilient.

Many people have discovered the benefits of a simple practice:  Stop each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for.

Family, friends, the stunts of pets that bring joy.  A sunny day, that splash of yellow daffodils someone planted along a barren road.  A good laugh with co-workers. A challenge accepted to do more to serve our mission.

We are reflecting on the contributions of:

  • The professionals in the Executive Service Corps who volunteer through us to provide management consulting at sliding scale rates and to support clients in our cohort programs.
  • Members of the Volunteer Manager Corps who help nonprofits engage more volunteers.

In 2013, these volunteers from throughout the state of Washington gave more than 14,000 hours to 501 Commons projects.

We were was so inspired to learn that one of our clients, http://www.theserviceboard.org. incorporates the practice of gratitude into their board and staff meetings and at the end of all of their with youth gatherings. What a terrific counter to the scarcity focus that dominates so much of nonprofit life!

Ashley Miller, tSB executive director, says the practice has had a big impact on the organization as they take the time “to recognize the gifts we have.” This sharing often means that program participants, board members, and staff are hearing directly about the impact they have had on the people around them and the gratitude people feel for their contributions.

Lao Tzu said:  “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”  How can you incorporate the practice of gratitude into your life and into the culture of your organization?