Self-Care and The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit

happy healthy board[image by Chrissie Bonner, Illustrating Progress]

Working for a nonprofit that has limited resources can be a pressure cooker, but let’s imagine some what ifs that could release that pressure valve:

  • What if your organization’s culture encouraged you, and everyone who worked there, to embrace self-care without guilt?
  • What if you could feel the vibrancy of your organization when you stepped into the physical office or hear it in the voices of staff when they talked about what it is like to work at your organization?
  • What if every time your organization advertised a position, you were flooded with exceptional applicants because of your nonprofit’s reputation for a culture of well-being with policies and benefits to support it?

Imagine the increase in results your organization would experience because of high talent retention rates instead of high turnover, eliminating cracks in your institutional memory. What if this was your organization?

We’ve just described the Happy, Healthy Nonprofit. Our book provides you and your organization with a road map to getting there—from creating a self-care plan for yourself to weaving well-being into the DNA of your nonprofit by developing and implementing a happy, healthy strategy.

We define “wellness” as traditional physical and mental health versus “well-being,” a state of being comfortable, happy, and healthy that contributes to wellness.

Workplace well-being goes beyond the typical lip service toward self-care such as distributing brochures about burnout or bringing in an occasional speaker to an all-staff meeting to talk about stress relief or nutrition. Offering the occasional massage on-site or giving staff a few paid hours off as a “reward” isn’t a sustainable happy, healthy strategy.

When self-care initiatives are treated as extras instead of being built right into the fabric of your organization’s processes and policies for worker well-being, they are nothing more than a Band-Aid, barely disguising the underlying chronic stress and dysfunction eroding your organization’s ability to meet its mission. Well-being is about creating harmony between the individual practice of self-care and an organization’s culture.

Authentic self-care is a learned habit for individuals, and it needs to be embedded into organizational culture to prevent staff members from pitting their own needs against the organization’s mission. How does your organization address its culture and the care of the individuals within?

Get our book to learn how to change your organization’s stress culture!