Avoiding Burnout and Preserving Movement Leadership

Tiloma Jayasinghe, Nonprofit Quarterly
Description / Summary

Burnout is endemic to the nonprofit sector, especially in human services-centered organizations. Nonprofit executives in particular face a high risk of burning out, and this is even more true for leaders of color.

Burnout and Nonprofit Leadership of Color

In large part, the state of the nonprofit sector, particularly in the human services sector, is undercapitalized and overspecialized. Too often, government contracts and philanthropy do not cover the full costs of operations. A bad “solution” to this gap is to overwork, underpay, and under-resource nonprofit staff and leaders to sacrifice their bodies and health to the cause. Many nonprofits, despite all this, manage to consistently exceed expectations. But these successes come at a high price.