I love going to Disney World in Florida. Disney has celebrations worked out to a science.

Looking at this t-shirt today, I realized three things Disney’s taught me about celebrations and special events:

  1. Find excuses to celebrate
    Disney seems to celebrate everything. Even a 1 year anniversary merits parades and fanfare. Think about your nonprofit. What can you celebrate today? Is it some uncommon act of service? Or a donor’s gift you’ve neglected to celebrate? Or clients that are graduating from the program?

    You could even celebrate the fact that you are doing what you’re doing. You’re in the fight. You’re team is making a difference. Everyday. Why not take some time to get a cake and celebrate that today? Or even throw an internal parade?

  2. Give yourself time to celebrate
    Disney’s “year of” celebrations are actually 18 months. They’ve learned that more people are able to celebrate with them if the stretch the year over a year and a half. You can do this too. Do you have a centennial coming up? Rather than starting celebrating that year on New Years, why not start this July? Build anticipation and expectancy. And take the time to celebrate your accomplishment well.

  3. Make them magical.
    Yeah, I had to say the “m” word. C’mon, it’s a post about Disney!

    When we visit the parks on our kids’ birthdays, they get special pins and other free things. My daughter remembers getting cupcakes and chocolate. Disney took our family celebration and made it even more special. How can you do that for your cause? Maybe your gala invitation could include a note of thanks from people impacted by a donor’s gifts? Or you could start sending birthday cards to board members and donors? (You do have those recorded in your database, don’t you?)

Those are three things I’ve learned. Are you a Disney geek too? What would you add to the list?

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