Burning out is not mandatory

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 slowing down, asking for help, going for a walk, and spending time with friends in my intimate circle. In between Altrui client time and project work I try to keep all of these actions ongoing.

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 the arena of fundraising, that’s what I am writing about.

Expectations, deadlines, budgets, mission work, too many hours, lack of supportive leadership. All of these not only add stress to one’s life, they can add to 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.

It’s OK to ask for help. We absolutely do not have to do this on our own. When becoming overwhelmed, I highly recommend reaching out for support. You may or may not get it, but those around you will know that you need a helping hand. Even someone to talk things through can help.

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. (This is separate from quitting because you are being treated like crap.) 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.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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