Message from Executive Director, Kristi Nelson

The year 2019 will forever be known (at least to me) as the year I finally wrote “the book.” In January we signed a contract with Storey Publishing for a guidebook that is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2020. This book will provide a framework for a curriculum focused on grateful living practices that we look forward to developing into a variety of online and in-person programs to share with you and our growing community. Br. David will graciously write the foreword, and the support of many beloved colleagues, supporters, and friends will be embedded in every word. We look forward to celebrating its publication with you soon!

We also expanded other publishing efforts last year, building on our already popular products such as “A Year of Gratitude” Page-a-Day calendar and “Everyday Gratitude Frame-Ups.” We began work on a toolkit to support people in making grateful living a daily practice, and Everyday Gratitude continues to be a bestseller. Having a wide range of books and products allows us to help make gratefulness a household word and practice.

One of the highlights of our year was hosting Br. David in Massachusetts for a surprise trip back to the U.S. in September. He was a featured speaker at our Symposium, attended our Board Retreat, recorded two beautiful videos, and met with many dear friends and family while he was here. It was a true dream come true.

Please stay connected - we love sharing our dreams with you. Kristi

Message from Board President, Michael Barton

Last year was a tremendously successful year of expanding our programs and planting seeds for future growth. It has always been Brother David’s dream -- a dream shared by our Board and Staff -- to create more in-person offerings to deepen the impact of gratefulness. In 2019 we did this through Gratefulness Gatherings around the globe, our second workshop at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and a powerful Spirituality & Social Change Symposium exploring the role of gratefulness in social change.

In 2019 we also received a beautiful gift -- a bequest from our long-time friend and supporter Edda Hackl. Edda’s planned gift has already made a profound difference in our ability to deliver meaningful programs and offerings to you, our beloved community, and it will continue to support us in the years to come. We are deeply grateful to Edda for her foresight, generosity and love for this work. Planned gifts move us deeply, and are a powerful investment in brightening the future of grateful living.

It is such an honor to be a part of this organization, to hear stories of how grateful living shapes your lives, and to contribute to manifesting our mission of making grateful living relevant and accessible for all.

Stay tuned for great things to come. Michael

2019 Accomplishments

  • Spirituality & Social Change Symposium: In September 2019 and in partnership with UMass Amherst, we hosted a powerful summit for 500 attendees exploring the intersection of gratefulness and social change. Special guests included Br. David Steindl-Rast, the Reverend Dr. Gregory Ellison, Lucas Johnson, Rachel Bagby, Mirabai Bush, and poet James Crews
  • Wake Up Grateful: We signed a publishing contract and at long last the book will be completed in 2019 and published in 2020
  • A Year of Gratitude Page-a-Day Calendar: We completed the manuscript for the 2021 edition and released the 2020 edition in time to sell out for the holidays
  • Gratefulness Gatherings: Celebrated our first year of Gratefulness Gatherings around the globe, with groups exploring monthly themes, guided by resource offerings from our team
  • Second “Everyday Gratitude” Workshop at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health: Welcomed 40 participants to a powerful two-day retreat exploring and deepening grateful living practices
  • Gratitude Beyond Bars – A Partnership with Prisoner Express: Over 350 incarcerated individuals participated in our first program designed to serve those in prison
  • Seasonal Practices: Welcomed a total of almost 10,000 participants in our four Grateful Living practices, offered at no charge
  • Nearly 1 million unique visitors drew sustenance and found sanctuary at gratefulness.org
  • Delivered over 2 million Word for the Day messages to subscribers.
  • Our Facebook community grew to over 200,000 members
  • International Partner organization started and supported in Croatia

Financial Report: Fiscal Year 10/1/2018 - 9/30/2019

  • TOTAL ASSETS: $488,333

Looking Forward to the Year Ahead

  • Wake Up Grateful Book: Executive Director Kristi Nelson will complete the book manuscript and submit it for publishing
  • Wake Up Grateful Curriculum: With the framework for grateful living provided by the book, we look forward to crafting new educational offerings and programs
  • Gratefulness Gatherings: Continue year two of these vibrant community-based gatherings around the globe
  • Grateful Changemakers: Will continue to showcase the transformative work of organizations whose work manifests gratefulness in their communities
  • Grateful Living Workshops: Will host 3rd annual Grateful Living workshop at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts
  • Grateful Living Video Stories: We look forward to featuring more stories of people living gratefully no matter their life circumstances
  • Seasonal Practices: We will continue our free, quarterly program of practices to inspire living gratefully

Words from Our Community

Living gratefully opens windows, or sheds light on dark thoughts and times, and helps me move forward positively, reminding me that for every negative thing that happens in my life, there is always something positive that is sitting there waiting to be noticed. - Julie
This is a very polarizing time politically in the US and grateful living has helped me be more at peace as I work with and interact with people with different views. - Anonymous
Having gratitude and experiencing daily reminders of the ever-present presence of gratitude allows and inspires me to embrace the whole of life; gratitude for everything, not just what I want or value as "positive." I'll accept and nourish anything that helps me balance my perspective, offers beauty, and reminds me to have a sense of humor. - Jennifer
I underwent a breaking apart, a nervous breakdown and gratefulness was a big part in my healing. Also my son died many years earlier and learning how to be grateful for the gifts in that helped tremendously. Every day gratitude can help me shift to a more accepting and workable spiritual space. - Anonymous
Grateful living leads me to recognize and appreciate more deeply all the blessings in my life. It leads me to see my cup as generously half-full rather than half-empty. It increases my awareness of connectedness and commitment to the welfare of all sentient beings, and binds me closer to my significant others. Grateful living continually nudges me in the direction of becoming the person I sense that I am meant to be, and is the lens that focuses and enwisens both the particularities and panoramic view of this journey. It richly complements my faith life. - Tom


• Doug Menuez • Linda Hannum • Sapan Patel