Monday Mixtape 010: Nonprofit Burnout, Focus Strategies, & Mythical Creatures

Monday Mixtape 010: Nonprofit Burnout, Focus Strategies, & Mythical Creatures

Here’s your Monday Mixtape, a weekly newsletter from CauseVox designed to jumpstart your week, challenge your thinking, and inspire you to keep at it.

Each week, we’ll hand-pick must-read articles, thinking, resources, and stories for nonprofit fundraisers and leaders and drop it in your inbox. Have suggestions or questions? Let us know at Enjoy this week’s Mixtape!

Nonprofit professionals improve the world against the odds, fighting injustice, battling disease, and bringing art, education, and hope to the populace. Whether you’re on the ground running programs, securing the funding to make it all possible, or steering the ship, you’re a superhero.

But do you feel like a superhero? Do you boldly approach your day, knocking out tasks and fighting for your cause, punching evil and burnout in the face? I didn’t always when I worked in nonprofits. To be honest, I often felt more like the person sinking in quicksand than a hero.

Hey, even Superman had to deal with kryptonite, right? So this week, I’ve got posts to sharpen your powers, kick out distraction, and cultivate laser-like focus, even if you don’t have laser eyes.

Here’s the Week’s Mix:

“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” —Peter Drucker

Track #1: Five Ways to Stay Focused and Beat Distraction by Pierre Khawand at TechSoup

If distraction is your personal kryptonite, then come sit by me. Pierre’s strategies are here to make your work life super again. These strategies are simple to implement, promote accountability with yourself, and offer concrete actions to take when distraction starts sapping your powers.

Best of all, you don’t need anything fancier than a piece of paper, and maybe a timer to take your time back.

Track #2: How To Prevent Burnout When You Work For A Nonprofit Or Charity by Haley Bodine at CauseVox

Burnout is the ultimate nemesis for nonprofits. It robs us of our joy, pulls good people out of the field, and stops us from being productive and effective.

As Haley says, “As you endeavor to achieve good, meet needs, and lead your staff and volunteer teams there is very little margin for anything else. In order to cultivate a staff culture in which burnout is the exception rather than the ‘rule’ you must lead healthy practices by example.”

Her post guides you through setting boundaries, replenishing yourself, and protecting your staff from the burnout monster.

Weekly Wow

On an early episode of CauseVox’s podcast, Rally & Engage, Noah had the opportunity to talk with Mark Whitehead. He is the Executive Director and Co-founder of neverthirst, a nonprofit providing clean and living water solutions in North Africa and Southern Asia.

During their conversation, Mark shares how they’ve turned to story-driven fundraising to grow their impact. This conversation is incredible and you can listen to the full conversation here.

Track #3: A Project Manager’s Guide To Consolidating Feedback Like A Pro by Maya Ovrutsky at Big Duck

Does your team get caught in endless cycles of feedback? Do you edit by committee? Does this end up being less “useful” and more like a really boring meeting of the Super Friends? Then you’re going to need to lasso (OF TRUTH) your feedback. Maya has great tips for making your feedback process more efficient, finding the gist of what’s being said, and managing the process in all directions.

Track #4: Work Styles: Are You a Dragon, a Pegacorn, Phoenix, or Griffin? by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF

If magical creatures are more your speed than superheroes, check out Vu Le’s post on work styles. He identifies four major styles, what their biggest strengths and challenges are, how to work with them, and which Golden Girl is which. This post is a little goofy, of course, but I immediately could frame conflicts in nonprofits I have known using this model.

Bonus Tracks

For getting effectively altruistic …

For flipping your perspective …

For a little break …

By The Way…

Next month, we’re partnering with Brady Josephson from NextAfter, a nonprofit fundraising optimization firm, to host a 45-minute training all about email fundraising optimization.

Dozens of nonprofit fundraisers and leader have already registered. If you’re a nonprofit leader or fundraiser responsible for growing fundraising this year — and don’t want to simply run more events, send more mailings, or knock on more doors, you’ll want to attend this free training.

You can learn more and save your spot here.

Thanks for reading!

– Megan

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P.S. Questions about this week’s mix? Suggestions for next week? Don’t leave me in the dark. Let me know by emailing me at