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Checks are great, but they are not enough to meet the complex needs of nonprofits. Given that, here are three non-traditional ways that foundations can support nonprofits:
Address Executive Isolation
In a study by RHR International, half of the CEOs surveyed “reported experiencing feelings of loneliness in their role, and of this group, 61 percent believe it hinders their performance.” Executive isolation and loneliness is most prevalent in the CEO role, and RHR recommends seeking support from trusted advisors, including other CEOs who can provide unbiased feedback in a safe space as a means to combat this specific type of isolation.
Support Time Away from the Work
Unfortunately, burnout is a commonly expected part of working in a helping profession. Burnout at nonprofit organizations has a negative impact on organizational turnover, work quality, organizational stability, and the mental and physical health of employees. The impact of burnout includes a loss of empathy, emotional and physical exhaustion, and compassion fatigue.
Reward Honesty about Problems
We’ve all heard Peter Drucker’s famous saying that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We know that the culture of an organization impacts everything from organizational effectiveness to length of employment. While it can be difficult for nonprofit staff to admit when there is trouble in an organization, CEP’s data shows that nonprofit staff are more willing to do so when they have a strong relationship with the funder, and when they aren’t afraid of being penalized for the information they share.
Read the full article about non-traditional support by Jennifer Oldham at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.