How Many Times can you Wish Your Leadership “Happy New Year!” in a Year?

“Happy new year!” I love saying this. The new year brings the opportunity for growth, renewal, and in some cases a reset. As we just turned the calendar to a new year, I got to thinking about the significance of this and the opportunities that we have to wish our staff and volunteer leaders a happy new year. 

As a governance geek, I’ve wished my leadership a “Happy new governance year!” when the leadership transition at the membership meeting. Or the Finance Committee “Happy new fiscal year!” after the new budget implemented. Both of these are significant annual milestones for non-profits.

For many organizations, the new year and the fiscal year line up. But some observe the a July 1 fiscal year start. I have a client like that, and while I’ve admittedly gotten out of the habit of saying it lately, I used to be pretty cheesy and wish them a happy new year on three occasions: January (calendar), July (fiscal), and October/November (governance). Maybe this will be the year I renew my commitment to well wishes and gratitude on these milestones. Why?

Calendar year – for all the obvious reasons.

Fiscal year – Your finance committee and  staff spend significant amount of time each year preparing the annual budget, overseeing the finances, etc. It’s nice to take this moment to give thanks for their hard work. To reflect on the past year and offer encouragement for the next.

Governance year – Your organization is transitioning leadership. This is a wonderful opportunity to thank those who have shared their time and talents over the year(s) and to welcome those who are stepping in to fill their shoes.

Okay! Okay! You don’t have to be a nerd like me and overtly wish people a happy new whatever year, but the point of mentally observing these dates and giving thanks is always warranted – the heart and soul of non-profit operations are the volunteer leaders and the staff that support them. So for now, happy new year! And many thanks to all of you who are helping to move the needle in the non-profit world – whether you are staff or a volunteer – we are making this world a better place one day at a time – one year at time.

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