Just like you and your mom are really the only ones who care about your birthday, very few people care when your organization has an anniversary.
The reality is people care about ourselves. It’s human nature. So your birthday really isn’t that big of a deal to most other people. Not that they aren’t happy for you. But it’s not, like, a super huge deal.
Ditto for organizational anniversaries. Should you celebrate milestones? Sure. But make sure you’re clear on what you’re really doing and why. Don’t waste resources celebrating something that other people don’t really care about.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, don’t make the celebration about your organization. Make it about the change you’ve created during that period of time. Make it about the people you’ve been fortunate enough to serve and work with. Make it about your donors and volunteers and supporters who made it all possible.
Birthdays and anniversaries are good times to pause and reflect on who, and what, is important to you. What’s working? Who can you thank for that? What’s not working? How can you change that?
One handy, yet albeit odd, way to come at this whole birthday/anniversary thing is from the perspective of a eulogy. Sounds weird but is really powerful. Listen to this week’s podcast and you’ll get to hear one of the very best “eulogies” ever written. It’ll give you a whole new perspective on things!