February’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival round-up (hosted by Marc Pitman - The Fundraising Coach) that was published this week, shares ideas on Self-care for Nonprofit Staff and Fundraisers. I didn’t include a post in this month's carnival (since I’m no longer working in the fundraising sector). But I think the ideas and tips shared by the contributors offer great advice to folks working in or volunteering at not-for-profits, charities and membership organizations.
As Marc Pitman admits, “nonprofit’s can be incredibly crushing places to work,” and as Joanne Fritz suggests, “each organization had its own version of a pressure cooker…” but “caring for the cause itself is transformative for us.”
Whether you are a volunteer or a staff person at a non-profit, you are drawn in by the mission, but, then you find, as Joanne Fritz notes, that many if not most “cause-driven organization[s are] buffeted by hurricanes of funding lows, board blowups, and human-caused disasters.” So it’s important not to let the pressures mount until you experience burnout due to cumulative stress or even worse, succumb to “vicarious trauma”. You need to maintain the care and feeding of both yourself, your team and your nonprofit community.
During the dull gray days of late winter, the challenges can seem particularly insurmountable. So take a look at the posts on this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and consider the advice of Margaux Smith (101Fundraising.org), “Get away from your desk and remind yourself why.”