I’ve had a long week to say the least. I’ve been sick with a sinus infection for the last five days, my step-father is in the hospital and though now stable was in critical condition all day Friday. The most time intensive and important of all my non-profits (@BigLoveLtlHrts) had a record week for volume of requests. Sleep has alluded me out of necessity and stress has definitely creeped in at certain moments and made me overwhelmed…if you are the founder or leader of a non-profit this probably sounds familiar.
We’ve all felt this way…and it’s what creates burn-out in this sector. I recognized it in myself last night and used my favorite tool for combating it – turning away from myself for a moment and turning into my community. Learning about what your peers are doing right now to help the cause you’re working so hard for produces a well of inspiration and ideas. Their enthusiasm can ignite yours and their ideas can inspire new solutions for your organization. It also makes you aware that even though you might not feel like it in the moment, you are far from alone in your quest to make a difference.
Yesterday I got to do this by killing two birds with one stone…my newest non-profit, The 4F Club (@4FclubNFP), is a non-profit that builds community and resources among other female founded non-profits. We are pre-launch but already have almost 300 members and last night I took some time to add our newest ones to our database. Just typing their names and organizations reminded me of the incredible and unique ways they’re changing their own part of the world – these women not only inspire me but I’m filled with energy at the moment to keep on keeping on.
Use twitter, facebook, google, etc and search your cause. See what other kindred spirits are doing in your field – communicate with them, collaborate with them if it makes sense to, get inspired by them and bring their energy back to your own mission. Your cause cannot afford for you to burn out!
A special shout-out to a small sampling of the dozens of 4F Club Member Organizations who let me borrow their energy yesterday…I’m still riding the wave this morning:
ChildCause, YouSpoke, Bear Necessities, Bright Pink, GiveForward, Open Books, Children’s Heart Information Network, Flashes of Hope, 1in100, Women’s Health Foundation, Generation Mirror, Young Survivors Coalition, Foundation ThinkAgain!, Mending Kids International, SpaAngels, Connect To The Future, Red Pump Project, 3 Degrees Networking, Mulligan Project, Oral Cancer Foundation, SuperSibs!, Exalt Kids, Across The Table, One Love Generation, Sing to Live, A Silver Lining Foundation, Helping From Heaven, Models of Inspiration, Walking in Their Shoes, Cancer Legal Resource Center