March 2023 - In Service: The Column of the ADRP President

Cheryl Smith Lintner

Executive Director, Donor Relations

Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation

Have you heard of the Swedish tradition, fika? According to Google’s Oxford Languages dictionary, fika is defined as “a break from activity during which people drink coffee, eat cakes or other light snacks, and relax with others.” I first heard about this custom in 2020 in the midst of a flurry of idea-sharing about how to manage remote teams and keep in touch with friends during the pandemic. And I thought, wow, you had me at coffee. But also the “break” and “relax with others” parts were appealing. I started holding virtual fikas first with friends, then with colleagues, and now with my team. Every other Friday, we log on to Zoom for a Friday afternoon fika. No work talk. Just coffee (or tea), a little BYOS (bring your own snacks), and a chat. It’s been a great way to unwind, vent, and celebrate - to be among people who share common interests and genuinely want to get to know each other better. 

And that, my friends, is the essence of ADRP. We are a group of like-minded people who share a common interest and want to get to know each other better. So I encourage all of you to start your own little fika. Have you been exchanging messages with someone on MyADRP and want to talk face-to-face? Did you meet an awesome fellow newcomer at an event last year? Are you looking to pull together colleagues who live in your area (psst…the ADRP Office can help with that)? Host a fika! 

That’s how engagement starts - from ADRP’s beginnings in a small room with 12 people around a table, to the hundreds of members who now attend our events each year - it all starts with people like you and me, who are looking for connection, collaboration, and maybe sometimes commiseration. Start with a fika, a lunch, a Zoom call, whatever you can dream up, and see where it takes you and your newfound donor relations friends. And if you want to go big, then go big! Check out some of our upcoming regional events for inspiration. 

ADRP’s Regional Conferences are led by some amazing volunteers, and they all started with members just wanting to connect and share. Interested? Then bring on the fika (and the snacks)!



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