Every Thanksgiving season, we take a moment to reflect on the past year. Typically, we're full of gratitude for our relationships, our work, and the world around us.
Let's be frank: the past year hasn't been easy, nor smooth. We are tired of Zoom meetings and doing most of our work remotely. We miss the days when a friendly hug was a safe way to end a conversation. Still, as we look back, we are in awe of the small (and big!) ways that gratitude has filled our days.
Gratitude is a value that we practice every single day at Reach Partners. Work -- and life, frankly -- is more enjoyable when we are thankful for all things, big and small.
November is the perfect time to reflect on all we've been grateful for over the past year. Here are just a few of those moments (and there are oh-so-many-more that you can check out on Twitter at #ReachGratitude):
Every day of the year, we are grateful for our partners and the work we do with them. This time of year, however, gives us even more excuses to reflect on what brings meaning to our work.
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to help amazing organizations host events and complete special projects. We are grateful for the relationships we’ve built and honored to use our skills to bring value to those who connect with us.
This Thanksgiving we’d like to share a few projects that we are particularly grateful for being involved with. (And we certainly had many wonderful ones to choose from.)
Thank you, all, for being a part of Reach Partners!
Training for Better Communication
Mental Health America of North Dakota wanted to change how sensitive stories about suicide are shared. We helped plan and oversee a conference for news media and organizational spokespeople so they could learn the best way to present information on suicide.
More about the North Dakota Suicide Communications Summit.
Guiding Strategy for Event Planning
Organizations often reach out to us when they want to plan an event to market their brand. Here’s how we worked with two organizations – and how they came to different conclusions after we guided them through the planning process. Spoiler alert: Sometimes NOT hosting an event is the best way forward.
More about strategic event planning.
Partnering with The Fargo Project
When the City of Fargo partnered with a renowned artist to turn a stormwater basin into an ecological commons, the public entity needed someone to coordinate communication among its stakeholders and help with events and volunteer coordination. We stepped into this role.
More about our role with The Fargo Project.
Scouting Locations for a Commercial
We are always eager to tap our connections and networks. That’s what we did when a local marketing agency needed to identify locations for a team of out-of-town videographers to film backdrops for a commercial – fast!
More about how we found the locations.
And so many more wonderful projects and partnerships.
We have some news to share: our team will soon be a little smaller.
Sean Kelly resigned his position at Reach Partners. His last day with us is October 5.
Sean joined our team more than a year ago. During that time, he has been a passionate advocate for our work. He connected us to new partners in the community and kept our technical skills sharp. He also constantly filled an office candy jar full of good chocolate.
Never underestimate the pick-me-up power of a good piece of chocolate.
In all seriousness, we are grateful for the gifts Sean has brought to our team. He shares our values and supported our mission endlessly. We are sad to see him go.
Sean is taking his many talents (and chocolate!) to Click Content Studios, a part of Forum Communications Company. There he will oversee a team of videographers and coordinate the creation of video projects.
We wish Sean the best as he steps into this role. We know he will do well.
Thanks, Sean, for the good memories and the good work. We look forward to connecting for coffee soon!
There are times when gratitude overwhelms you, when it covers you like a warm, fuzzy blanket.
Last week was one of those times.
On Friday, we attended the ChamberChoice Awards for the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. The program recognizes businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs that make significant contributions to our community.
We were one of the candidates for Small Business of the Year.
We didn’t win.
And yet, we had been encouraged. Somebody (thank you, anonymous angel!) nominated us to become a candidate. A team of enthusiastic clients/vendors/friends encouraged us to fill out the application. They wrote reference letters and helped us navigate the application questions.
There’s something both humbling and gratifying about summarizing your work into a few short pages. Applying for the ChamberChoice Award gave us an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going.
So, no, we didn’t win. But we are grateful for the process and for those who served as cheerleaders along the way. We felt valued.
Congrats to the organizations and individuals that won in their respective categories: Emergency Food Pantry, Great Plains Food Bank, Prairie Winds Veterinary Center, Eide Bailly, Office Sign Company, Tyrone Leslie, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley.
Well-deserved! It was fun to celebrate your success.
And for everyone else: take a moment to nominate a favorite business or nonprofit next year. It may be the nudge they need to become a candidate. It’s one more way to encourage and support the wonderful business community we have in Fargo-Moorhead.
—Anita, Rachel, and Sean
In case you hadn’t noticed, we LOVE the color purple.
Since we began, our Reach Partners identity has been represented by shades of the color. We think purple perfectly represents our values of gratitude, integrity, beauty, possibility, and empathy. Plus, it makes a powerful, but accessible statement.
It’s no secret that gratitude is part of our DNA at Reach Partners. That said, the holidays bring new emphasis to something I feel strongly about even when it’s not the season of gifts: the thank you note.
The most important thing about a thank you note is that you send one. Did somebody go out of their way to help you? Send a thank you note. Was somebody a pleasure to work with? Send a thank you note. Did somebody bake you special treats? Send a thank you note.
Nobody can argue with the ease of sending a thank you note by email. And we believe there is value in quick shout-outs of gratitude via Twitter and Facebook.
Yet when it comes to saying thanks, email can’t replace the personal touch or lasting impression left by a handwritten note. It takes time to address an envelope, find a stamp, and deliver it to the mailbox. I believe that effort is noticed and appreciated by the recipient.
Here are some additional tips for writing a meaningful thank you note:
For us, Thanksgiving is more than a once-a-year celebration. It’s something we practice every single day.
Gratitude is an integral part of who we are at Reach Partners. Collectively and individually, we are thankful for the work we do, the clients we partner with, and the communities we serve.
The past year has been packed with new opportunities and new relationships. It’s been filled with occasions to deepen the partnerships we’ve already made. In the process, we have been blessed and have had a lot of fun along the way.
Here is a sampling of the things we are grateful for in 2017!
What are you grateful for?
It's always fun to be part of something big, which is why we were so grateful to put our project management skills to work on some grand opening events for the new Sanford Medical Center Fargo earlier this month. (Congrats to Sanford Health on this amazing milestone!)
We assisted the Sanford marketing team with some of the activities that took place during the three-day celebration. Of course, considerable planning and coordination happened beforehand, but here's a glimpse of what the actual week looked like from our perspective.
It’s hard to believe that the time has come when I am approaching the end of my internship with Reach Partners and the end of my college career. I am very thankful for my time at Reach Partners in many ways. I have learned an abundance of new knowledge from Anita and Rachel, and this experience is one I will always have and be able to look back on as I start my career.
There were many lessons taught and learned during my time at Reach Partners that helped me learn not only about project management, but also about myself and what I want to do with my chosen career path. I learned the ins and outs of project management and got to witness first-hand the behind-the-scenes work that goes into planning and executing an event. Interning at Reach Partners has also taught me lessons that have helped me along in my job search. Because of skills learned during my internship, I am able to elaborate on this new set of skills on my resume and in interviews for full-time positions.
During my time at Reach Partners, I sat in on committee planning meetings, drafted communication plans, and helped out during events that Reach Partners executed. It was a great experience for me to be able to see the different stages of the event planning process from committee discussions to the wrap-up.
All of my experiences at Reach Partners have been very rewarding for me. The skills I have learned and developed during my months at Reach Partners will help me in my future career, whether it is planning staff events, creating communication plans, or even sitting in and coordinating meetings. This new set of skills will help me to feel confident in my abilities after graduation and as I start out in my career.
—Olivia, Event Strategy Intern