How Fundraising Planning is an Act of Self-Care

Lisa Tarshis
October 19, 2021

Simone Biles was expected to win the women’s all-around gymnastics gold medal at this summer’s Olympics. 

But after a rough opening performance, she dropped out of the competition for mental health reasons. She said the stress of the competition led to the “twisties,” a dangerous phenomenon where gymnasts lose their sense of direction in the air and cannot safely land. 

She feared she would let down her teammates, or worse, seriously injure herself. So she removed herself from the competition. is this related to fundraising? 

We all know what happens when we experience burnout after operating at a constant state of high pressure: we can’t perform at our best. We start to resent the work we used to love. We doubt we can reach our goals because the finish line is always out of reach. 

Much like Simone, we can’t tell which way is up or down. We fear letting down our team and the organization that is counting on us to raise this money. And of course, this stress takes a toll on our mental health, affecting our work performance and our lives outside of work. 

When we’re operating without a clear path forward, our work and mental health suffers. This is why fundraising planning is so important: it helps us see clearly what our top priorities are and ensure the path to achieving those goals is manageable. 

There are so many benefits of planning out your year in advance:

  1. You’ll gain confidence from your board and staff. People will see you as a leader who thinks ahead and has a plan in place to achieve their goals. 
  2. You can stave off burnout before you encounter it by ensuring you’re not overloading your staff or yourself. When you see the entire year mapped out, you can prioritize what’s most important and set a realistic goal. 
  3. You give yourself a way to say “no.” “It’s not in the plan this year.” When your time is responsibly allotted to achieve your organization’s goals, it’s easier to decline work that does not align with your plan. (If it’s hard for you to say no, you won’t want to miss today’s freebie, which shares some concrete strategies to set boundaries in the nonprofit space!) 

Fundraising planning is not just a best practice: it’s an act of self-care. 

Yes, even with a plan in place, you may still have weeks when you’re running around and working late and don’t have time to make it to the gym or do a face mask or yoga. 

But when you’re operating under a plan, you’re setting yourself up for success. You’re in a position to be proactive and stand up for yourself and your team when work arises that isn’t a part of your plan. 

If you’ve been thinking about ways to prioritize your mental health and work smarter, you won’t want to miss my upcoming master class: How to Raise More, Save Time & Stay Sane. Grab your seat today! 

We all know the importance of setting boundaries. Setting boundaries can also be difficult. Trust me, as a recovering people-pleaser, I get it. That’s why in today’s freebie I’m sharing 5 ways to set boundaries in your nonprofit. You don’t want to miss it.