The value of an anniversary is in creating a communal opportunity to pause and recall all the experiences and change that have happened since the last moment of reflection.
Way back in February, when 2020 still pretended to be just another normal year, the Thread team started brainstorming on a topic of great consequence: How should we celebrate Thread’s 5th anniversary on August 1, 2020?
A big party with all the members of our Spool was a given, we agreed. The question under debate was really what type of experience the party should be. A bowling tournament? A wine tasting? Would axe throwing be appropriate for a gathering?
Then the pandemic crashed down on all of us. Needless to say, party planning was abandoned.
And yet, while the party never happened, Thread’s 5th anniversary still did. And instead of marking this milestone with the grand party we were dreaming of, the entire Thread team took a week of vacation. And from our own corners of the country, we each quietly celebrated the occasion by disconnecting from it. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I didn’t muster up the energy for a quick birthday social media post.
This whole experience got me thinking about anniversaries, and that their significance doesn’t lie in celebrating specific units of time. Rather, their value is in creating a communal opportunity to pause and recall all the experiences and change that have happened since the last moment of reflection, and celebrate the people who have worked together to get us to where we are.
For Thread, that last moment of reflection was our 2nd anniversary party in 2017 (we were too busy for a 1st anniversary party, but we managed a terrific celebration for the 2nd!). Three years and nearly two months later, there has been a lot of change to appreciate. To name a top five short list:
1. We’ve grown from a team of five to now eight bright, capable, and clear-eyed women.
2.We articulated our four core values and established our motto: “Do the Work.”
3.We’ve had the privilege and honor of exercising that motto with over 60 nonprofit partners.
4. We’ve developed a system for tracking our efficacy and outcomes to monitor how well we deliver on the promise of our partnership.
5. We’ve developed new teaching partnerships with entities such as Candid Learning, The Catalogue for Philanthropy, Network for Good, DonorSearch and the Nonprofit Learning Lab to share our unique take and best practices for fundraising at small nonprofits.
Looking over this short list and thinking of all the other experiences we’ve had since our launch in 2015, what it all means is simple:
Thread Strategies is working, and most importantly, we are working with and for you, our Spool.
It’s always been Thread Strategies’ intent to make your work more strategic, streamlined, and successful. And it’s the greatest compliment we could possibly receive that in reflecting on all we’ve done since 2015, we hear from our partners that we’re meeting that intent.
So, if I may raise a virtual glass, I want to finish by saying thank you. We wouldn’t be Thread Strategies without you. And we promise that no matter what comes our way over the next weeks, months, and years, we’re in this work together with you.
Cheers to doing the work.