In my travels around the country, and in the various nonprofit support groups I lurk in on, I hear of so many heartbreaking situations that colleagues are facing. The ED not sure if they’ll be able to run payroll next cycle. The program director unable to find enough funding to serve all the clients who need help. The staff paid so little they qualify for services. A colleague with dental pain and no dental insurance. A colleague who hasn’t had a vacation in three years. Another colleague whose reputation is being slandered by a toxic former professional partner. An organization attacked on social media by racists.

This work is so difficult sometimes, and I am constantly inspired but also saddened by what so many of us are sacrificing to do it. I talked to one colleague who was ecstatic to have received a grant of $25,000. “Awesome,” I said, “did you build into the budget to use some of that money to pay yourself? I know you are working a whole bunch of hours unpaid.” She looked sheepish, and replied,“Well, I’m going to pay other staff first, but I’m working on eventually getting myself paid too.”

Besides the pervasive injustice happening all over the world to innocent people, the endless cycles of hate and violence, the rampant racism/sexism/ableism/ageism/homophobia/transphobia/xenophobia/Islamomophia/classism we are trying to fight, many of us must contend with office mice problems, lack of heat in winter, secondary trauma, and who the hell knows how any of us are going to be able to afford to retire.

Read the full article about the difficulties that nonprofit staff face by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.