Grateful Living 2023 Annual Report
This year we went to the heart of it. The science of gratitude proves time and time again that living gratefully changes our lives and our well-being. But can it hold up in the face of profound loss, tragedy, and trauma?
In 2023, we launched our Grateful Grief course, which supported 1,700 participants. 94% said they benefited from the course. We never doubted the power of gratefulness in every aspect of life. Thanks to the courage of all who participated in this year’s course, we continue to witness and demonstrate that gratefulness exists in the paradoxes of life — in both the joy and the sorrow.
The momentous year began with new leadership. We conclude with a new mission statement, a three-year strategic plan to guide us toward an exciting future, a new framework to deepen our articulation of the grateful life, four new board members, and a growing community of grateful practitioners. This year was enriched by many voices and many hands. We give thanks to all past and present who made it possible.
Throughout the year we provided daily support and inspiration across the globe with new resources and new programming. Our programs, including our live and on-demand course and all of our 5-Day Pathways, broke records in 2023. Community engagement was extraordinary and surpassed all historic trends, which is remarkable for a mature organization. This certainly is the direct result of the many ways our community members are showing up for each other and supporting a global network. What joy this is to witness!
2024 – 2027 Strategic Plan and Mission Statement
At the threshold of new opportunities, we gathered as a team, board, and community to share our hopes for Grateful Living. Through rich conversations, we heard ambitious and intentional goals to meet the needs of a yearning world — a world that needs to be enlivened and reawakened with the science and spirituality of gratefulness. With great thanks to all who contributed, we have a new mission statement and a strategic plan that clearly articulates our future and the many opportunities within.
We are eager for the partnerships and opportunities that await and will be discovered in the days ahead.
Our Mission Statement
We empower people to live meaningful lives through the transformative practice of grateful living.
Grateful Living Framework
Living gratefully is articulated in many places and by many voices thanks to the brilliant scholarship of our founder, Br. David Steindl-Rast. This year, and with the help of Br. David’s newest book You Are Here, the team worked with community members, partners, and Br. David’s scholarship to articulate the arc of the grateful life — a life of grateful action. Our organizational framework will launch in 2024 and be supported with resources, a foundational workshop, and a retreat.
As Br. David reminds us: You are here and your life is a gift. The framework supports what each of us can do with this gift.
Grateful Grief course participant
Say Yes to Joy Grateful Pathways participant
What I appreciate the most about the Gatherings is the worldly perspective of all living things it brings to my life. The open-mindedness it brings to my life makes me beyond grateful!Rivertown Grateful Gathering participant
In 2023, our Grateful Living community expanded and deepened as we provided enhanced opportunities for community members to engage with our offerings and each other.
I am deeply moved by the opportunity to have grateful.org as a home for my grateful heart to grow more loving every day. Thank you for these blessings of discovery, community, faith and grace where you make space for my love to be fully expressed in the world.Grateful Living community member
2023 also saw the launch of our new community platform — a safe and supportive space where grateful practitioners of all ages and backgrounds meet, share, learn from, and inspire each other daily. Members of this core community converse with each other in spaces such as the Gratitude Lounge, Daily Question, Courses, and a dedicated area for Grateful Gatherings hosts.
At a time when so many of us are feeling isolated and weighed down with sorrow, members report feeling not only less alone but also nourished and inspired. They tell us that Grateful Living’s community platform offers a place where hope is alive, and by gathering to practice grateful living, they are no longer alone in their struggles, just as they are not alone in their joys and delights.
Whoever you are, and however you engage with Grateful Living, we want you to know that we see you and we are grateful for your presence. You may struggle with the challenges of life, big and small, but thanks to you, our supportive and growing community, no one need do it alone. There will always be a place at the table of gratefulness for you. We invite you to join our community here.
What a gift you give. I feel seen, acknowledged, inspired, empowered… in awe of this community you’ve built. I feel so fortunate to be a part of it. Thank you!Grateful Living community member
Content + Website Enhancements
This year, our website welcomed over 1.6 million people with an average of over 2,800 grateful living practitioners visiting on a daily basis. Our content was viewed over 4.1 million times and we grew our content library with the addition of 50+ new resources. Notable additions include our Bright Lights Young Lives video series — a collection of original videos showcasing the grateful living stories of young people — alongside new poems, curated resource collections, and original essays and daily practices from members of the Grateful Living team.
Here are a few of our favorites to explore:
The Fearless Dive: Grateful Without Conditions
Community Reflections: Grief and Gratefulness
We also refined several key website features, including continued navigation improvements to our content library, a complete refresh of our Daily Question collection, an infusion of new eCard designs, and an upgrade to our popular Light a Candle experience. We invite you to enhance your daily practice by pausing to light a candle for a cause you value, in honor of someone, or to mark a personal transition. See what’s new here.
Gratitude Cards + 7-Day Guided Journey on Reflection.App
Now in their second year, our Gratitude Cards have continued to fly off the shelves, reaching over 5,000 users! Created in collaboration with our partners at Holstee, the Gratitude Cards offer 100+ prompts designed to deepen awareness of life’s abundance and open us to the joy and transformative possibilities of gratefulness. Most questions emerged from our longstanding Daily Question series, repackaged thematically and designed to be used for journaling, with friends and family, or in the classroom and other community spaces. Scan the QR code in the deck for free access to the 7-day guided gratitude journey we created, hosted on Holstee’s Reflection.App.
This year was also a momentous year for our founder, Br. David Steindl-Rast, who released a new book, was awarded the Gold Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria, and celebrated his 97th birthday. Br. David is currently at his monastery in Austria, where he devotes his time to writing and contemplation.
Br. David’s New Book: You Are Here
In May, Br. David celebrated the release of his latest book, You Are Here: Keywords for Life Explorers, which offers clear definitions of his key spiritual terms, each contextualized in an inclusive, accessible roadmap for living a full and meaningful life. It is ideal for those new to Br. David’s teachings as well as longtime devotees of his work.
Br. David Awarded Gold Decoration of Honor
On July 4, 2023, Br. David was awarded the Gold Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria. The award is given to select individuals by the Austrian government and was presented to him by Susanne Raab, the Austrian Minister of Women, Family, and Youth.
We are a privately funded community — a nonprofit that wholly depends on the financial support of generous donors — that comes together to learn, grow, and support each other. This year 15,034 donors gave $724,501 dollars. As a result, we can continue to sustain our programs as we seek new funders to help us grow and reach more people. On behalf of all of us, we give thanks!