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Burning out is not mandatory

I’m on a road trip to work with some Altrui clients. While planning the trip I decided to plan time for self care. Burnout is common in the world of nonprofit fundraising, and although I am far from that I want to keep it that way and be an example to my clients of taking time for oneself.

Self care looks different for each of us. For me it means doing some camping on my own and spending time with friends in my intimate circle. In between Altrui client time and project work I’ll be doing both.

Burnout is real in our field, specifically the field of nonprofit fundraising. I could also say it’s real in the nonprofit world in general, and since I work specifically in fundraising that’s what I am writing about.

Expectations, deadlines, budgets, mission work, too many hours, lack of supportive leadership. All of these can not only add stress to one’s life, they can add to personal burnout. You may see burnout all around you. You may see co-workers having tough times at work. I remember talking to a fundraiser at a nonprofit a few days before an event and they said “aren’t we supposed to be super stressed right now.”

No. We don’t have to be stressed, and we don’t have to burnout.

Remember when becoming so burned out that your only solution is to quit your job is not the best way to deal with burning out. I suggest we as a collective community deal with issues leading to burn out long before anything like that begins to make sense in our heads. And when we begin to practice this and practice self-care, it makes it easier for other to consider it.

And let’s support each other on a deeper level. It makes a difference.

Thanks for reading. And as always, my email is dan@altrui.org if you have any questions. Or comments!

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