The employee turnover rate at nonprofit organizations is shamefully high. A number of factors contribute to this, including burnout. While you cannot control all of the contributing factors, you can certainly manage some of them.
With that in mind, here are three powerful, yet simple, tips to help you avoid burnout in 2016:
Tip 1: Step back. Look at your organization in action.
As fundraising professionals, we spend a great deal of time focusing on tactics and numbers. There are good reasons for that. Effective tactics are essential for achieving fundraising success. Keeping careful track of the numbers helps us to know which tactics work best and indicates whether we’re on track to achieve our goals.
Unfortunately, if we overly focus on tactics and numbers, we can lose sight of what really matters. Remember, it’s not just about the money you are able to raise; it’s about what that money can accomplish.
To help avoid burnout, make sure to take the time to plug back into your organization’s mission. Remind yourself of the good you are helping your organization to achieve by helping it secure essential resources.
If you work for a university, take a walk through campus and stop to have some conversations with students. If you work for a hospital, visit the maternity ward. If you work for a homeless shelter, spend some time in the kitchen preparing meals and then have a meal with some of the recipients. If you work for a theater, attend a performance, meet some of the performers, and talk to some members of the audience.
It’s important to keep in mind that you’re not just raising money. You’re helping your organization achieve its worthy mission.
Tip 2: Talk to your donors.
A great way to re-energize yourself is to talk with your organization’s donors. I don’t mean just talk to donors about their next gift. Instead, contact donors to thank them personally and learn why they support your organization. Their passion will likely inspire you.
Not only will you benefit from talking with donors, your organization will benefit as well. First, your organization will be less likely to have a staff member (you) burnout. Second, donors will be happy to hear from you and, as a result of the call, will be more likely to continue giving to your organization and more likely to give more.
For more about this, read my post: “The Greatest Idea for Retaining and Upgrading Donors.”