What keeps you awake at night?

Do you sometimes toss and turn at night, unable to shake off the stresses of your professional role in the nonprofit sector? You’re not alone.

Several weeks ago, Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Cody Switzer asked sector leaders via Twitter to describe “what keeps them up at night,” what is worrying them most right now in their professional lives. They asked their followers to reply with the hashtag #charityinsomnia.

Fundraising and money worries overwhelmingly dominate the list, of course, but are not the sole cause of sleeplessness. Some leaders cited the angst of tackling such overwhelming missions as reducing child labor or fighting environmental degredation; others’ worries were more universal.

Here’s a sampling of some of the more provocative answers.

Management not understanding the fundraising cycle.

Getting people to donate to non-political causes in the way they do political ones!

Forsaking revenue generation opportunities because it’s “not what we do..”

Thinking about how to capitalize on tons of new opportunities without overloading staff.

Low salaries cause high employee turnover. Less time looking for next job equals better performance at current one.

Keeping programs live with diminishing funds and volunteers.

Rogue board members.

Getting it all done without forgetting something critical due to excessive multitasking.

Evaluation and reporting.

Reporting to one funder with tools designed for another, when what I should be doing is talking with donors.

For us at RMA, our “what keeps us awake at night” would have to include, “Are we continuously learning and growing in order to better meet the needs of a changing nonprofit climate?” And “How can we help our clients better employ social media, like Twitter hashtags, to interact with their donors and stakeholders?”

We don’t have a miracle cure for insomnia, but we strongly encourage you to carve out time for your own professional development and enrichment. If you don’t have one, create a free account at philanthropy.com and enjoy a few moments each week with their excellent reporting on trends and insights.

View the blog posting cited above at http://philanthropy.com/blogs/social-philanthropy/what-is-keeping-nonprofit-leaders-awake-at-night/31608.


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