A Year of Life During a Pandemic: 12 Lessons Learned

Just one year ago, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Dining rooms across the world quickly turned into both a home office and a day care and we learned how to juggle … a lot.

The hardships we have experienced during this time cannot be overstated. So many of us have lost loved ones, gone a tremendous amount of time without seeing our friends and family and honestly, are just exhausted.

But, despite the hardships, or perhaps even in spite of them, we have been able to grow and learn. And we think it is important to honor that side of this, as well.

As we reflect on the past year, we want to share with you some of our silver linings from the past year, with the hope that it will inspire you to do the same.


1. People are good and donors are committed.
Especially when there is a crisis. Many in the industry thought the pandemic would diminish giving, but donors did not lose sight of the causes they care about. The outpouring of donor support despite COVID-19 and the recession should reassure nonprofits that they can and should continue to ask their committed donor base (as well as mission-interested prospects) for support, even in the darkest of times.

2. Flexibility is key.
Having the ability to nimbly manage budgets, strategies and investments in the age of constant disruptors allows organizations to quickly address whatever challenges they may face.

3. A Netflix subscription is no longer optional.
I don’t think any of us would have made it through the last year without some binge-watching. Who can forget Tiger King?

4. A job you love with people you love is crucial.
We love our work and the people we get the opportunity to work with. Our coworkers’ ability to pivot, adapt and overcome any situation thrown their way has been an inspiration during these times. And it has been especially important to keep a sense of humor along the way!

5. Our clients are AWESOME.
Of course, we knew this one before the pandemic, but the resilience of our client partners has impressed us beyond words.

6. We are grateful for all that we have.
We are so thankful for our health, our family, and our friends. Take a moment to brighten someone’s day and remind them how grateful you are for them!

7. This industry has a wealth of knowledge and a lot of smart people.
Fundraisers are constantly gaining new learnings and insights on trends and data, and the best part is people are willing to share this knowledge. Take advantage of the resources available and always keep learning – and don’t forget to share what you’ve learned, too!

8. We have become master chefs.
With the help from the air fryer that is. Trying new recipes has been a highlight during our time at home.

9. The virtual environment is here to stay.
Online donations are increasing, virtual events are gaining more traction, and productivity of those working from home is up. The positive response to the growth of the digital landscape has shown that people are wiling and able to adapt to a more virtual world. And we should be leveraging this!

10. Leggings are pants.
Now this is just a fact! Athleisure makes up most of our wardrobes these days.

11. It’s important to take care of yourself.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, especially during this time of isolation. Don’t forget to check in on your friends and family members, too.

12. Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.
Sometimes life can get a bit overwhelming – don’t forget to relax. Take a break from the desk, get outside, and go for a walk. It will keep you energized and more productive throughout the day!


We have learned so much throughout the past year – personally and professionally.

And now, we’ve got our rose-colored glasses on and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are not out of the woods yet, but we are hopeful to connect with clients, coworkers, and industry friends in person again soon.

Until then – stay safe and healthy!

Candice Briddell

Candice Briddell, Managing Partner and Co-Owner, has worked within the fundraising and marketing industry for nearly twenty years and has been a part of the MINDset team for over a decade. Prior to that, she was integral in the retention marketing program at AOL.