Burnout is a chronic condition in nonprofits. Right now, it’s at an acute level after the years of trauma we’ve been experiencing. And burnout has a compounding impact on people who are dealing with marginalization. Yet burnout is often something we suffer in isolation, in silence, and in an individual fashion – as if it's not an organizational or collective concern.
In this episode, you'll gain a first-hand perspective on burnout from Dany Sigwalt, the Black outgoing nonprofit executive director of Power Shift Network, and you’ll get tangible ideas for how to address the burnout crisis in our sector. Dany discusses her experience and ideas, and provides some fundamental suggestions for change.
Dany wrote a refreshing article published in YES Magazine called, “How to Prevent Burnout Among Black Movement Leaders.” It’s a vulnerable, first-person narrative of burnout, as well as an analysis of the current burnout crisis in terms of its organizational, racial, and philanthropic dimensions.
This episode (S3:E7) explores Talent-Investing Principle #4: Advance Talent Justice. Racism, sexism, classism, and other inequities are baked into the deficit of investment in the nonprofit workforce. Thus, the solution must advance intersectional racial equity. To learn about all 8 principles, listen to Season 3 Episode 1.
Resources from this Episode:
- Dany’s article: How to Prevent Burnout Among Black Movement Leaders
- Dany’s book: This Book Will Save the Planet: A Climate-Justice Primer for Activists and Changemakers
Power Shift Network
- Building Movement Project report: Trading Glass Ceilings for Glass Cliffs: A Race to Lead Report on Nonprofit Executives of Color
- FTP episode from Season 1 with Christina Maslach, Professor of Psychology (Emerita) and a core researcher at the Healthy Workplaces Center at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies burnout.
- FTP episode 10 from Season 2 with Michelle Booth Cole, executive director of Safe Shores, who wrote an article in Stanford Social Innovation Review called “A Culture of Care without Compromise.”
Dany is an organizer and network weaver. She is passionate about building organizing models that reflect the world that we're trying to build, centering Black queer feminist approaches, and working to build cross-issue solidarity to build power to make meaningful change. Dany is the outgoing executive director of Power Shift Network, a network of 120+ organizations committed to growing the power and impact of youth climate activists. Dany has organized at Occupy DC; in the antiwar movement; for housing justice; childcare collectives; and now has situated her racial justice organizing within the intersectional climate justice movement. She’s also an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity. Dany is from Washington, DC and currently lives in Knoxville, Tenn. with her toddler and partner. And she really loves zebras.