Friday, October 27, 2006


Nonprofit Burn-Out?
by pam ashlund


Ken Goldstein, in "The Nonprofit Consultant Blog" in his posting "Fraud, Burnout and Getting What we Deserve" wrote:

The very nature of the sector is to spend long hours solving other people's problems for less money than our skills would earn elsewhere.

Having worked for non-profits for going-on decades, when I saw California Association of Nonprofit’s 15th Annual Conference: Building Strong Nonprofits had a session on "Burnout", I signed up as fast as I could. Appropriately, coming in from a red-eye flight the night before, I arrived at the conference (racing from a 7:30 am meeting), exhausted and worn down. At registration, they told me the workshops were starting in ½ hour. I looked around and made a bee line for an empty row of tables and chairs.

But there he was, a conference staffer (with a badge)…”I’m sorry, you’re not allowed to sit there”. "Where may I sit?", I asked. "Downstairs" was the response. Why I am compelled to respond rhetorically I don’t know, but out it came: “I just came up stairs to register, now I have to go downstairs to sit down and then back up here for the workshop?” He looked at me over his glasses and said “there IS an elevator you know”.

So I walked the other way and went into a workshop room and sat down. Later I came by and saw that a row of chairs had been moved out and another group of tired (burnt out) conference attendees now perched there. I guess peer-pressure got to him.

Then, on to the workshop, I checked the registration schedule to see what room I was in. And there it was: the burn-out workshop has been cancelled.


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1 comment:

janet said...

possibly your best posting yet; it speaks to me in ways I cannot begin to enumerate.