I know. I know. Star Wars. It’s everywhere. I mean, you can buy a storm trooper mask at the grocery store! It’s been the most anticipated movie of the year. My husband even noted that he might cry when the opening credits start rolling…and I realized this put Star Wars on the same level as our wedding day and the birth of our kids…well, yes, insert eye-roll here. However, I did comply and go see the movie with him and then just a few days later a quiz was going around Facebook asking the question above…what kind of Star Wars fundraiser are YOU?

Did I take the quiz? OF COURSE I DID! My result was that I am Luke Skywalker the Major Gifts Officer. “Eager, maybe sometimes too eager, and you really, really want to make a BIG difference in the cause. To be successful you will need to learn to trust your instincts, and the force. Sometimes that means going in without all the facts and that with the blast shield down, you can’t even see!” Other outcomes could have been Princess Leia the CEO, Yoda the Board Chair or Han Solo the Independent. I have to admit, I kind of loved how the quiz made each of those characters relevant to the world of fundraising.

So where could I possibly take a blog and connect it to Star Wars? Well, it’s no secret that I am lover of quotes and movie quotes in particular. There were two that stuck with me from The Force Awakens that could help us launch into 2016 or to a galaxy, far, far away…(sorry, I had to)

The first came from the Yoda-like character, Maz. (I have to admit, I loved her) When talking with Rey she said – “The belonging you seek is not behind you, it is ahead. I am no Jedi, but I know the force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes, feel it.” I started to think about how as an organization we can get stuck in our past. We can look at the numbers, analyze, plan and then before you know it we are into the second quarter of 2016 and we haven’t made much change. I remember when I was talking with an organization about the way they look at social media and their Director said to me, “I am always looking at what will be hot six months from now, while trying to manage the things that work now.” I loved her response. Challenge: In 2016, look ahead, be authentic and try not to get too stuck in the past. (And when possible, use the force!)

The second quote I loved was of course from Mr. Han Solo as he teaches Rey how a true rebels act. Rey asks, “Is that possible?” Han Solo responds, “I never ask that question until after we’ve done it.” It’s the whole mentality of ‘leap and the net will appear!’ Challenge: Where is one place you might be able to try this within your organization? Is there something you all have been itching to implement but management, multilayer approval processes, strict branding guidelines have got you down? What if you DON’T ask ‘is that possible’ just once? Take the risk and see what the outcome is.

And with that young Jedi, go into 2016 and unleash the fundraiser, the advocate, the board leader that you know you are! Or as Yoda says, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

So, are you curious to find out what type of Certified Fundraising Jedi you are? Take the quiz here >>>