Fundraiser Burnout – Are We Looking After Ourselves?

In fundraising, we focus on the bottom line, but at what price? Who is investing in the lifetime value of committed fundraisers and how would we do this? We are tracking footprints of self-reflected fundraising leadership to lead people, inspire lives and carry the torch of great leadership by leading through humanity.

Fundraisers are under pressure to meet income targets. We fail to recognize that success, fundraising growth and fun at work are the result of great and inspirational leadership. We are often up against tight budgets, challenges to recruit new and loyal donors, keep donors happy, put in long hours to meet tough deadlines, deal with workplace politics and having to witness inappropriate behaviour and questionable leadership. The impact of COVID-19 on fundraisers in most organisations only added to the pressure as they have had to work from home, feel more professionally isolated, miss the sharing community, sense of solidarity and learning from conferences such as this. Channel focus has changed rapidly to digital, telephone and DRTV and away from meeting with major donors, face to face, community and retail stores, thus leaving some fundraisers ill-equipped for the new reality of fundraising.

Our sector has the great potential to be a fertile ground for great leadership anchored in believing in our great causes. The reality looks different.

This session tries to explore some contradictions. We are inherently wanting to “achieve more” driven by our mission. Many of us have witnessed fundraisers suffer from burn-out, depression or we have been there ourselves. Are we more in danger to burn out? Are we taking as much care of ourselves as we do our organisation’s income and donors? We will explore what appear to be the causes of fundraiser’s stress and burn-out, how to recognise it in ourselves and others and offer some ways of supporting ourselves and our colleagues.

Learning outcomes:

We will in the session learn how to:

  • Recognise a major problem in our sector and share our experiences and learnings,
  • Spot the signs of stress, depression and behaviour patterns causing burnout,
  • Look after their own mental and physical health if they are to have a long and successful career (likewise for those working in the consulting or supplier side of the non-profit sector),
  • Develop tools and techniques that will enhance the mental and physical health of fundraisers in general,
  • Hear the best examples of how to survive and thrive in a COVID and post COVID fundraising world.

Who should attend:

  • Fundraisers and support staff that are themselves experiencing work-related stress, exhaustion, depression, fear,
  • Managers of staff who may recognise the above symptoms and/or want to deal with or prevent them within their team.

Leading and managing
Location: Date: 14 October 2022 Time: - Daryl Upsall
Daryl Upsall International (ES)