Changes can be exhilarating, exhausting, frightening—and life-boosting. Some are long in coming; others can happen in the blink of an eye without warning. How you handle a transition may depend on your circumstances, your demeanor, or both. 

I recently experienced a major transition that I had been working toward for more than two years. One month ago this week I left the nonprofit position I’d held for 13½ years. I was the Development Outreach Coordinator for the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches and my responsibilities were Annual Giving and donor outreach via special events, monthly tours, mailings, phonathons, and our monthly e-newsletter. I remember many a late night and weekend at my nonprofit office working through event timelines, sponsor recognition, scripts, catering, A/V details, table maps, staff assignments, and other assorted logistics. 

The stress was huge at times. When our events hit their desired marks from an attendee—and E.D.—standpoint, we’d hold our breath until we opened the gifts to see how we’d done financially. I have personally experienced the joy of surpassing my team’s wildest expectations, and the disappointment when things fell short of what we aspired to. …I mention all of this because I want you to know that you won’t find many benefit auction companies or benefit auctioneers where the person doing the consulting actually led development efforts from the nonprofit side of the fence. I feel safe in surmising that I have known at least some of your pain.

And that led me from my nonprofit work to the big leap leading the Benefit Auction Institute. I and my partners, Christie King (C King Benefit Auctions) and my husband, Kurt Johnson (Kurt Johnson Auctioneering) felt it was time to get single-minded in our dedication to your own benefit auction fundraising success—and that requires more of me to reach more of you. As our team designs curriculum to bring to our marketplaces, we would be so happy to hear from you about what you need as fundraisers for your charities. Is there a topic within your fundraising efforts that you’d like to see presented in the future? Need the Benefit Auction Institute to design a special training for your nonprofit team? Have a smaller question that just needs an answer? Please call on me. I am at your service. Because now your nonprofit is my top priority. Cheers to changes!