In our work building relationships within the movement, NCRP has heard from organizers experiencing burnout, working long hours day after day to reach and support their communities with limited staff. Funders that want to see movements grow and succeed can help by funding in ways that prevent and alleviate organizer burnout.

Organizations don’t just benefit from having a full, healthy staff with sustainable salaries and paid time off, the whole movement benefits.

With less organizer burnout, organizations would have more capacity for:

  • Mobilizing people.
  • Building power within communities.
  • Healing from the trauma they experience.
  • Resilience against the threats and attacks they face.

And funders can help make the healing, resistance and power-building happen. It starts with flexible general operating support and multi-year funding, which can go a long way for an organization, as well as what the movement achieves. This support will help organizations:

  • Pay their staff livable salaries.
  • Hire more staff.
  • Ensure that staff have health benefits and paid time off.

And when organizers are mentally and physically healthy, they increase their capacity to build relationships, and connect communities so that, collectively, communities can heal and fight back.“Organizers and community leaders are burning out. Particularly if you are someone who is directly affected and this isn’t work, but your life. People are suffering from anxiety, depression, burning out and quitting,” said Nayely Pérez-Huerta, co-director of the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network of working in the movement.

In order to build relationships and a network, grassroots organizations need to have the staff to reach and connect with communities.

“With limited funds and limited staff, there’s only so much we do. If we had more projects, more funding and more people we’d have more connections, and at the end of the day, maybe more power,” said Deseda about the importance of having enough resources for their work.

Read the full article about organizational burnout by Stephanie Peng at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.