Wishes for peace and goodwill abound this time of year, so whether your world is a bustling college campus, a big university-affiliated medical center, a small-city hospital, or community service not-for-profit, consider what these four “A”s mean to you in bringing peace to your world of philanthropy.

Allow yourself a moment of reflection to consider the donor lives you’ve influenced during the past year. Through your efforts, these donors are engaging with your organization and accomplishing meaningful things with their money. Whether you inspired donors whose giving came from negative or positive experiences, or those who simply find joy in helping your organization do good work, take some time to consider their motivations and the pleasure they receive from giving.

Assess your success. Do you define your success based upon the philanthropy you have influenced? Perhaps your gauge is the number of patients whose lives have been improved through the work of a medical researcher you inspired donors to support. Maybe you think of success in terms of the number of meals your organization serves to needy citizens in your community, or a student in need of financial aid whom you connected with a scholarship fund. Which experiences have been most meaningful to you?

Appreciate all you are learning from your donors, colleagues, and organizational leadership. Are you better at your work than you were a year ago? Who is coaching or mentoring you to help you further develop your talents as a professional? What did you do better this year than last—and how can you build on that momentum to achieve even greater success in 2016?

Articulate your gratitude. Giving the gift of gratitude can be among the most significant aspects of this season. Take this opportunity to say “thank you” to the physician who took time to explain a complicated new procedure, or the organization president who helped you understand new board procedures, or the dean who explained the complexities of academic program changes. Expressing your gratitude acknowledges that you value the relationship and recognize it as a contributing factor in your success.

As we say goodbye to 2015, embrace all the possibilities that 2016 has to offer. Taking the time to reflect and act on these four A’s may help you find a bit of peace in your world during this traditionally busy time of year.

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