<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=173746&amp;fmt=gif">

Inflight Briefing: 023

5 min read
Mar 9, 2023 11:18:25 AM
Inflight Briefing-assets (3)

Delivered weekly, the Inflight Briefing is designed as a blueprint for the builder and inspiration for the curious. It's for those doing good marketing

Inflight Briefing-assets (4)

023: The Refuel Edition

What’s the average time a fundraiser stays on a job? 16 months! And many of these ex-fundraisers aren’t returning to the field afterwards.

There are a lot of reasons behind a departure, but burnout is real, and it’s suspect number one in the turnover epidemic nonprofit organizations face.

Essential to the problem is finding rest, but it shouldn’t stop there. We live in structures that shape our mental responses. When teams are asked to perform at the same level with half the resources, burnout should be the expectation. 

If you’re a fundraiser, you deserve every minute of rest you find, because you’re actively making the world a better place. 

But the responsibility shouldn’t all fall on you. You also deserve to work for an organization that prioritizes your well-being and creates systems that allow you to not only sustain your work, but flourish in it!

- william (1)
Inflight Briefing-assets

Snackable snippets 

4 reasons fundraisers quit 📖

Fundraisers, nonprofits, and donors are all losing by sidestepping the issue of fundraiser turnover. Researchers have long identified the turnover rates and low morale as an epidemic in the profession, but little has been done to correct these trends. And as we move into greater market uncertainty, budgets are slashed, and teams are asked to do even more with far less. Burnout is going to loom larger in 2023 unless organizations meaningfully respond to these four reasons why fundraisers quit.

Moving toward metrics-based well-being 🎧

So many organizations love the sports analogy. But Arosha Bouwer, co-founder and CEO at Quan, brought up an analogy that most leaders fail to share, “10% is performance. 90% is recovery.” If we study how top athletes get so much out of themselves, we really have to understand how they rest and create that performance capacity. 

At the core of resilience is vulnerability. If people fossilize in the belief that everything is ok while they’re really hanging on by a thread, then there isn’t going to be the capacity to meet unexpected difficulties. With vulnerability, a lot of these problems can be anticipated or at least placed in a more reasonable perspective. Talking about parenting, Arosha has trained her children to understand that we’re all human. She says, “It’s nice that I don’t always have to be right. It’s nice that I can have an honest conversation.”

How to stop overthinking 📖

John Milton writes, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven” (sorry, I don’t run into many opportunities to use my lit major). We can address all the external conditions that create burnout, but without addressing the mental patterns that reinforce stress and anxiety, we’ll collectively make little progress. Near the top of the list is letting go of perfection. As people, we’ll never really arrive, so making progress is much better than waiting for perfection. Don’t let this stifle your creativity and pride in your work, but look to find a balance between that pride and sharing your work with the world.

Getting off the burnout treadmill 📖

Our friend Becky Endicott, co-founder of We are for Good, recently spoke with The Chronicle of Philanthropy about her own journey through burnout. She bravely shared her whole story so that others could find encouragement, knowing they’re not alone, and reach out to find help. Becky ended up taking 12 weeks of medical leave to get herself back on track, but by paying closer attention at the first signs of burnout, which are often physical and not mental, nonprofit leaders, fundraisers, and marketers can set themselves up for sustained success with just a little more self care.


Inflight Briefing-assets

In the news

Monday was National Oreo Cookie Day. You know you’ve reached the pinnacle of marketing when a day’s named after your cookie. I really hope you didn’t miss the celebrations, but I don’t think Nabisco minds if you catch up today by pouring yourself a glass of milk and letting that magical cookie sandwich dip its toes in. We also think this should be step one for any and every self-care routine.

Ineffective communication is responsible for $2 trillion in lost revenue for American organizations. This is about $15,000 per employee of lost productivity. There’s a disconnect between the way that leaders and employees communicate, and productivity, time, and effort will all be thrown away until these expectations are better aligned.

Inflight Briefing-assets

Something for your inspiration folder

Dave Grohl, the founder of Foo Fighters and former drummer of Nirvana, barbecued all night to serve an L.A. homeless shelter. The ribs, pork butt, brisket, cabbage, coleslaw and beans fed about 500, including guests and staff. I’ve never listened to much Foo Fighters, but I’m feeling inspired to now.  


Subscribe to the Inflight Briefing