Guest bloggers Beth Kanter & Aliza Sherman wrote The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, a must read for communicators & fundraisers.
If there is one thing we can agree on, it is that that last quarter of 2016 was especially stressful. Not just the usual hectic workload of year-end campaigns, but a difficult election season—a combination that has left many nonprofit communications professional feeling overwhelmed and
For many of us, the holiday vacation time probably did not come fast enough. We all probably enjoyed a nice reprieve from deadlines, tasks, and deliverables. And, after taking a break, it is hard to get back into the swing of things.
One thing we do know for sure, 2017 will be the year that we will absolutely have to exercise our resilience muscles in order to do our best work and not get slowed down. In our book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout, we discuss ways that nonprofit professionals can use at work and avoid the stress of competing priorities. Here are three techniques to put to work right now:
Our daughter Charlotte is finishing up a blissful summer at a few different day and overnight camps. At the end of each and every day, her mind and creativity are stimulated, she’s made new friends, and she sleeps solidly with a smile on her face. She finishes the summer inspired, energized and smarter than ever.
I envy her greatly. But you and I are too old for summer camp (find me an adult camp, please!). Instead, I set out an a discovery mission—asking fellow nonprofit staffers and consultants how they reboot to tee up for a great fall and forward.
There’s still time for you to reboot. Dig into these inventive approaches a.s.a.p.:
1) Seek a different point of view: Gillian Ream Gainsley, who works in Communications and Development at the Ypsilanti District Library (MI), takes a unique approach:
What’s that one bad work habit you want to change but just can’t do it?
C’mon—we all have at least one. But be it one or many, these habits can drive us crazy. OMG!
Here’s my biggie bad:
- Whenever I speak or train, I learn a ton from folks like you who are in the room or on the webinar.
- These learnings hugely enrich my understanding of the topic (let’s say, writing for social media vs. websites). I know that weaving them into my presentation will make next time even better.
- Plus many are the start of 5-star blog posts.
Guest blogger Stephanie Bowen leads communications and marketing for Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA).
Howdy y’all! Just back from Austin and this year’s NTEN Conference (#15NTC), and I’m buzzing with energy from all I learned and those I met.
But about halfway through the conference, I felt totally depleted…
She got me…
The rain was pouring down this morning as our daughter, Charlotte, was getting ready to walk to school, so I caved and drove her. And I’m glad I did. Because as I dropped her off to join the gaggle of noisy, drenched kids waiting outside the middle school, I started thinking.
Here were all these kids crowded round the dripping doorway to march in for another day of challenge, learning and growth. I was jealous—they were walking into this incredible opportunity to be exposed to new content, to digest it in the context of what they know now, and to arrive on the far side with a fresh perspective and new skills.
Few of us have this kind of formal growth opportunity anymore, but ongoing intellectual and creative growth is our oxygen. It’s the ONLY way to ensure our marketing and fundraising content is relevant, while fueling our personal satisfaction.
My call to action for all of us fundraisers and nonprofit communicators? Let’s schedule some learning—via conversations, reading, participating—into every day, even if for just five minutes.
I know your fall is booting up big time—on right-now to-dos, end-of-year campaigns and thinking/talking on what to do differently and better next year. Same here, and for our client orgs.
But—thanks to pulling myself away from work for a much-needed sabbatical—I’m seeing what’s ahead for me and Getting Attention.org far more clearly than ever before.
Now, two months later, I’m back to work and focused on bringing my new professional vision to life. That’s:
- Finding a way to keep doing what I love (that stays put—guiding nonprofits like yours to build & strengthen relationships with donors, volunteers and more, via marketing & communications);
- While making enough money to co-support our family (no change there); BUT…drum roll here
- Shifting my decision-making framework to center on family, friends and the issues that mean the most to me.
The adventure in question is my first-time sabbatical which runs through early September.
I’m taking this time to reboot, and to see what bubbles up. And I hope to return with a practice for personal nourishment firmly in place, and the confidence and ability to mesh that more effectively with my job. That’s the work behind the work I want to do better.
I’m seeking your ideas this time round!
Please tell me (in the comments below) what your summer camp looks like—i.e. how are you planning to use summer to get inspired, energized and even smarter? And how will you integrate that experience and the results into your work approach and/or activities in the fall.
Pls share your ideas and hopes here. I’ll report out via a guest post for Network for Good.
BTW, here’s my plan.
P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your in-box! Register here for the Getting Attention blog & e-news.
Guest blogger, Caroline Avakian is the founder & CEO of SourceRise, a social enterprise connecting journalists to nonprofit subject matter experts and sources, and managing partner of Socialbrite, a social media for nonprofits consultancy and digital learning hub.
Conference season is ongoing these days. So I was particularly pleased when, at the recent, Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, keynote speaker and Echoing Green president, Cheryl Dorsey, shared some valuable hints to us attendees on conference participation best practices.
Here are the helpful tips I learned—all easy to manage but packing a big punch. Bet that you’’ll be glad you set these in motion when you return from your next conference.
Welcome to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival round-up on The Work Behind the Work—the methods and tools you use to stay focused, productive and happy on the job (or the barriers that keep you from getting there). Alas, most of us can’t count on a sunny afternoon at the pool to recoup.
I’m thrilled to share with you this sampling from the powerful posts submitted by you and your nonprofit peers. The thought, focus and care with which contributors shaped their shared guidance is awe inspiring, and I so appreciate it (and them/you). Here are the most relevant submissions:
1) When things are hectic and your To-Do list is long, its easy to get overwhelmed and unproductive. Avoid these three common pitfalls that lead to burnout, cautions Megan Keane, membership director at NTEN.
2) Working in a small (ok, tiny) development shop, means that Carrie Packard, development director at The Delores Project, deals with an endless To-Do list married with constantly-changing priorities. She relies on these tools to make it through the day, week, and year (with her sanity intact).