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The Power of Ketchup Moments

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Sarah is a Fundraising Consultant living in the United Kingdom and she is constantly working to gain deeper understanding of herself, her values and how to drive forward positive change for her clients.

We had a particularly transformative session last week and, being a storyteller, Sarah was generous enough to let me share her experience with you.

In a recent session with Kimberley, I started off talking about a theme of disappointment. We delved deeper and uncovered some really interesting things about the importance of feeling special. Of feeling valued. Of feeling worthy. Isn’t that something we all want? Or worry we don’t “deserve”.

As part of that exploration, Kimberley asked me to tell her about a time I was made to feel special by someone else. And the first one that came to mind was a daytrip last year, organised by two friends for my birthday.

They arranged to take me down to the seaside. On a blustery but sunny spring day, we were going to spend the day on the coast doing all the quintessential British things we love. Miniature golf, donuts and hot chocolate, playing in the arcades and of course – fish and chips on the beach.

My friends had planned everything. And one friend who lives nearby had very specifically chosen which fish and chip shop we would be going to. She’d done her research and it was only THE BEST chip shop that would do.

One catch though – their ketchup was rubbish. But that’s ok… my friend had a plan. She had a rucksack filled with not just blankets to sit on, but also – every sauce we might need. Including a brand new bottle of the very best Heinz ketchup.

As I told this story to Kimberley, I hadn’t even realised what a big deal such a small detail had been. It wasn’t really about the ketchup. It was about the fact my friend was prepared to carry around this huge bag filled with everything I might need to make sure every little detail of that day was nothing but perfect. Without her even realising it, a small thing that made me feel so very loved and special.

So now, looking for the “ketchup moments” is part of my coaching homework (yes you get homework in coaching – trust me it’s beneficial) And I love this, because it also so beautifully ties into one of my values – of appreciating the small things in life.

I didn’t know that was something we were going to land on or uncover at the start of the session, but I’m so glad we did. It helped re-frame a number of other things that we talked about, as well as give me an analogy. And as a storyteller I bliming love a good analogy.

As I type this up, it also makes me smile, thinking about how much I love to tell stories. And how telling this story relates back to so much I talk about as a fundraiser, in looking for the small details that drive emotion. But that’s a story for another day…

So my homework to you; what are your ketchup moments? Moments that make you feel special, valued or loved. Look for them, note them down, recognise them. Because when we all too often get caught up in our own heads, focussing on the negative things in life, it’s so important to look for the ketchup moments.

Sarah Goddard Public Fundraising Specialist and coaching client


Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your experience. You are a dream!

If you are curious about how coaching might help you create a positive shift in your life, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note. I’d be happy to hop on a call and explore what might be possible for you. Let’s keep working together to build successful, abundant, and fulfilling lives for ourselves and each other.

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