When the clock ticks midnight on New Year’s Eve many of us make resolutions that will alter, on premise, the year ahead. To my comrades in Development, indulge me while I deviate slightly from that practice.

We all love the notion of a clean slate at the New Year, a chance to wipe the past clean and to start fresh with new vim and vigor; new tricks up our sleeves—or the chance to acquire them; and new focus. And there is hope, fun and adventure in that.

But let’s not wipe the slate so clean that we leave behind important lessons learned: mistakes made that correct our course toward new fundraising goals and relationships; battle wounds that deepen our compassion and resolve to do our nonprofit missions proud; and successes that are neither swept under the rug to be forgotten, nor taken for granted as we seek new opportunities to ask for, to give, and to receive generosity for the causes that need us.

We are all a work in progress and our efforts great and small improve our communities. …Clean slate? Sure. But the things that will make us most successful, I believe, will be lessons learned in the rear view even as we step bravely into the new. Cheers to 2018. Cheers to you!