A couple of posts back we talked about fundraising burnout and I received a great comment from the wild woman of fundraising herself Mazarine Treyz from http://wildwomanfundraising.com She came up with some really great ideas on it. We started talking through twitter and I asked her if she would like to take the floor to write a post for the readers of this blog. Graciously she said yes! I think you’ll agree she’s got some great ideas here! Take it away Mazarine…
Workaholism: How do you know when to stop?
Do you feel like you must justify stepping away from your desk?
Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in
order to do something else?
Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
Do you have a nagging feeling that it will NEVER get done?
Do you feel alone in your struggle in fundraising?
Are you worried about the future of your organization, so you try to
work even harder, and stay later?
Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
You may be a workaholic fundraiser.
We are 350 times more productive than a worker in the 1950s. And yet,
we seem to find more to fill our time with, and more and more is asked
Do you let yourself off the hook sometimes, when the fundraising
doesn’t go as you want it to? Or do you blame yourself for your
failure to raise money, and try to work even harder? Or does your team
leader blame you?
It’s pretty awful to be blamed for a down economy, or the faults of
your superiors. No amount of hard work is going to overcome the
economy, or failures in leadership.
Here’s how you can ease up on these workaholic tendencies.
1. It’s Not Your Fault if people say no to you. It’s not even
personal. It’s just an expression of where they’re at. Everyone can
give something to your cause, even if it’s just time, or a dollar. So
if something in their mentality says, “I can’t give,” don’t worry
about it. Move on to the next person.
2. When you take a break, go do something fun for you. Take a walk.
Take a bath. Go get a little snack. Whatever makes you feel good, do
it. You don’t have to justify doing something to make yourself feel
3. Think about your future. What do you want to do, aside from
fundraising? Are you setting the building blocks in place now, so
you’ll have a stairway to step up on when you’re ready to move on?
What’s next for you? Give yourself time alone to dream.
4. If you’re doing school fundraising, read John Taylor Gatto’s “A
Different Kind of Teacher.” It can help give you insight into our
educational system, and how you can improve it, aside from just
fundraising. Think about the bigger picture. It’s about more than just
selling fruit or candy for the band. It’s about creating a better
future for children.
5. Get a friend to help you take a break, read this book together, and
discuss it. As Malcolm Gladwell writes in “Outliers”, we can all
accomplish more together in community than we can alone. No one
succeeds alone. They always have help. Learn how to ask for it.
For more resources on fundraising and overcoming workaholism, read:
About the writer:
Mazarine Treyz has raised over $1M in the last 3 years. She writes
about fundraising, nonprofit management and nonprofit marketing at
http://wildwomanfundraising.com. If you have questions or want advice,
you can contact her at info@wildwomanfundraisingcom. If you want to
exponentially increase your fundraising results, visit