What’s better than home baked lasagna? Home baked lasagna and a ton of good news.

I recently enjoyed sharing a dinner with other non profit professionals and general rabble rousers. Over a table of delicious home-baked lasagna, a close friend spurred the party to go around the table and have each of us report on some good news that happened in our professional worlds during the past week.

The table fell embarrassingly silent. Good news? Us? Didn’t this person know how dire things are? The planet is warming. People are being kicked out of their homes by nefarious banks. Congress failed Americans on gun control. And of course, we all witnessed the tragic news in Boston and West, Texas last week. What good news could we possibly report?

“Oh wait, I have something,” a friend said as if forced to speak by the sheer silence of the table. Her positive news wasn’t about momentous policy change — but a simple story about an urban garden she had read about in the paper.

This spurred another positive thought from the table. And then another. Soon, the table was jumping with excited smiles and optimistic conversation. The good news was contagious.

Listen, I’m no Pollyanna. I know the work we do is serious and challenging. But part of preparing ourselves for that work and sustaining ourselves for the long-term is celebrating the positive news that does indeed happen around us.

And part of our role as communicators and fundraisers is to share those successes with our donors and supporters in order to sustain their passion over the long-term as well.

If we don’t identify successes for ourselves, how can we share them with the people who are funding our work?

Want to try it? Turn your next staff meeting into a “Good News” meeting by asking people to take 1-2 minutes to share a positive note with the team.