Type: Resource Collection
Estimated learning time: 2-3 hours, plus time for reading and application
Stronger Nonprofits Framework Alignment: High-Performing Leadership Teams
Who should participate: Individuals with many different roles within an organization, from executive director to front-line program staff.
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Resource 1: Psychological Impacts of Pandemics on Nonprofits
Nonprofits in the COVID-19 environment are faced with innumerable challenges, including understanding and supporting the psychological needs of their staff members. This seminar will help nonprofits deepen their knowledge of the psychological impacts of pandemics and to learn how they can assist work groups and individual staff members to cope most effectively.
Resource 2: Identifying & Coping with Compassion Fatigue
Working in the nonprofit sector can be emotionally draining for both people working on the frontlines and those behind the scenes. In recent surveys of Northeast Florida nonprofit leadership, staff wellness was identified as the No. 1 concern for organizations. These resources will walk you through defining what compassion fatigue is and how to identify it, as well as reviewing self-care resources and steps that can help keep your cup full.
Defining Compassion Fatigue
Compassion fatigue is commonly defined as the decreased ability to respond to the suffering of others with empathy. It consists of the feeling of having nothing left to give. It makes it difficult to find the compassion necessary to serve people. If professionals continually offer support and compassion to others—but are not able to take of themselves—they can feel depleted of inner resources. Compassion fatigue can drain energy, vitality, and optimism. Includes both burnout and trauma exposure.
The definitions outlined in this resource, which includes stress vs. burnout, trauma exposure response, and compassion satisfaction, can help an organization understand the contributing factors that lead to compassion fatigue.
Identifying Compassion Fatigue
Compassion fatigue can manifest in both seen and unseen ways as well as in our professional and personal lives. The process for identifying the warning signs amongst staff and volunteers should be approached with the sensitivity and security these conversations require. As mentioned in the previous resource, contributing factors to compassion fatigue can be intensely personal for individuals. It is important to note that the resources listed on this page may not work for each organization and it is important to thoroughly consult organizational leadership before proceeding.
Resource: Professional Quality of Life Scale
This self-assessment can be a helpful tool for organizations in understanding the current balance of compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress among their staff. This tool can be used as both a starting point and for continuous check-ins.
This resource focuses specifically on some of the potential responses individuals may have to being exposed to trauma and the harmful ways that exposure can manifest.
Self-Care: Beyond the Trend
Trauma stewardship can be defined as the daily practice through which individuals and organizations tend to the hardship, pain, or trauma experienced by humans, other living beings, or our planet itself. The entire conversation about how we come to do this work, how we are affected by it, and how we make sense of and learn from our experiences. Can occur at individual, organizational, and societal levels.
Implementing consistent practices that give space to nonprofit staff and volunteers to check-in with themselves, engage in energizing or calming activities, and share honest feedback about the health of their workplace is crucial to the sustainability of an organization. This resource and others can help organizations gain an understanding of the importance and practical application of self-care practices for their teams.
This resource from Dr. Kristin Neff includes several audio files and guided prompts to help caregivers and others to better identify current emotions and feelings and then to practice self-care through breathing techniques, journaling, and supportive touch.
Resource 3: Resources for Managers and HR Leaders
Research supports that employees with higher well-being are more productive and more creative leading to higher performance indicators for organizations overall. In this section you will find resources for managers and HR leaders around employee recruitment and retention and supporting employees through transitional phases such as hiring, firing and coaching around performance.
This resource from Beth Kanter's book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit, discusses the power of implementing workplace rituals and provides examples that help to build a positive organizational culture and increases team productivity.
In this survey, Nonprofit HR sought input from organizational leaders about their retention practices for 2021. Download the results and find out what mission-driven organizations can do to keep their high-performers and increase employee engagement.
This Nonprofit Center report gives the latest nonprofit board, staff, and management data on compensation and benefits among nonprofits in Northeast Florida.