January 23, 2017

Happy New Year to one and all

New Year is the time at which a new calendar year begins. Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner and the 1st day of January is often marked as a national holiday. A short search on Google highlights a plethora of rituals such as:

The Winter Solstice for many is the turning point of the year, beginning the lengthening of days, it has long been viewed as the birth of the year–by pagans celebrating the return of the Sun, and by Christians welcoming the birth of the Son of God. The days between Solstice and the New Year are a magical, luminous time, when anything is possible.

The Japanese New Year is an annual festival with its own customs. Since 1873, the official Japanese New Year has been celebrated per the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year, New Year’s Day. New Year is the most important holiday in Japan. Most businesses shut down from January 1 to January 3, and families typically gather to spend the days together. New Year’s Festival offers entertainment and games, many surrounding the theme of each year’s Japanese zodiac.

The Korean New Year is typically a family holiday. This three-day holiday is used by many to return to their hometowns to visit their parents and other relatives, where they perform an ancestral ritual called charye. The three days are known as the day of, the day before, and the after. Often the family members will first visit the elders, and this includes the grandparents as well as the parents. It is also considered respectful for one to visit their mothers and fathers-in-law during the Korean New Year.

No matter what your language or culture, the themes and symbols of Solstice and the New Year are of light, reflection and looking forward. In addition,whether you are celebrating New Year’s at the Hogmanay in Edinburgh, eating grapes in Spain, smashing plates in Denmark, jumping seven waves in Brazil, feasting seven, nine, or 12 times in Estonia, catching junkanoo in the Bahamas, or ringing bells 108 times in Japan, ringing in the new year and bidding adieu to the old one is a tradition that spans the globe.

It is the New Year as well that puts nonprofits in a position to look over the past year to assess what has gone well and what has been difficult and look forward to new challenges and initiatives. Strategic planning for nonprofits is often done towards the end or the beginning of the New Year. A strategic planning process identifies strategies so that a nonprofit will achieve its mission. Many nonprofits start the process by identifying the nonprofit’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, in what is commonly called a “SWOT” analysis. The strategic plan should be a short and concise document, easily digestible by staff and board, but maintaining the all-important process of strategic thinking through periodic discussions with board and staff.

If you would like to learn more about how my experience and skills may be able to help benefit your nonprofit, or a nonprofit you may be associated with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me as I would be pleased to meet and discuss the opportunity of working together.

I hope you enjoy my postings and find this information useful. Please follow the link at: https://raveresults.ca/blog/ as I welcome your comments on my Blog.

Thanks, and Happy New Year,

Mitchell Ravvin, BComm, PFPC, CFRE
Professional Fundraiser
Rave Results Inc.
7436 21A Street SE
Calgary, AB T2C 0V9

Rave Results Inc. is a professional fundraising service specializing in assisting mid-size nonprofit organizations. Areas of expertise include: Donor Development, Major Gift Fundraising, Sponsorship, Planned Giving, and both Annual and Capital Campaigns.

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