January 09, 2019

pov: Time to Reset

Happy New Year! As the clock struck midnight on January 1st I hope each of you were reflecting on 2018 and making promises about the many ways you were going to make sure that 2019 promised greater impact and success — both professionally and personally. Or perhaps you were in a deep REM cycle and dreaming of butterflies and unicorns. I on the other hand was running a 5K that I talked my nephew into and couldn’t back out of later, even after he had given me a black eye. I apparently am not as good at catching a baseball as I thought.

The important takeaway is that for many of us, January signals a time when we hit the reset button. We carefully look around and wonder if what we see is what we want — if what we hear makes us skip faster and jump for joy. We even may decide to change our behavior in such a way that alters how we engage with others.

Because January signals a reset button and because January 28th is the beginning of Utah’s Legislative Session I would argue that now is the time for each of us as nonprofit professionals to set some goals and resolutions on how we treat each other, how we advocate for our missions, and how we navigate the various commitments we have so that we can honor ourselves, our families, and our communities. Truthfully I hope that each of us resolves to be the number one advocate for each of our respective nonprofits. When we talk about advocacy and being involved in the political process it tends to have a slightly less than perfect reception. People often get confused about what advocacy means for their 501c3 charity or they could simply say a version of, “I’m not here to be political I am here to serve my community”. But advocacy and participating in the political process is not about fighting or getting your way. It’s about educating others about what you value. It’s about standing up for the mission of your organization and the people (or multi-legged animals) that you serve. It’s about being present, learning, asking questions, and growing as a person.

It is unfortunate that in our current political climate everything is polarized. It didn’t used to be that way. I remember a time when there was compromise for the American people and not one group over the other. Personally I am disturbed by our lack of progress at the Federal level in these first days of the New Year. At the time of writing this blog post we are 18 days into the government shutdown. It’s not the longest in our history, under President Clinton we experienced 21 consecutive days of a government shutdown. Optimist Kate remains hopeful that a resolution and compromise will be made soon. Practical Kate believes that we have to hold our elected and government officials accountable through advocacy and education every single day. We the people cannot be forgotten. 

As for me, in 2019 I resolve to practice catching a baseball (obviously). I also intend to spend more time on Capitol Hill to advocate for our sector. I intend to be honest and authentic in all of my interactions because while I may not agree with everyone I speak with I do very much respect their existence and perspective.

If nothing else let us as a collective resolve to never be the person that refuses to listen to others, refuses to compromise, and refuses to move forward. Our communities deserve the very best selves we can present and in this, the Year of Amazing (coined here) let us celebrate the wonderful work our sector does. What is your resolve for 2019? Share it with me and share it with those around you. Many cheers and blessings to you and your family!

Kate Rubalcava, M.Ed.
Chief Executive Officer
Utah Nonprofits Association