Zoom fatigue anyone? If you’re like me the answer is YES! BBC’s “The Reason Zoom Calls Drain Your Energy” explains this new phenomenon and how we can alleviate it.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Resources of Relevance
(COVID-19-related Resources to Help You Sustain Your Nonprofit through the Pandemic.)
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month since I started compiling Resources of Relevance. I don’t know about you, but time has been moving at a different pace for me. Occasionally I find myself forgetting what day it is and then at other times I am uber productive with laser focus. I often have to remind myself that these behaviors are a natural reaction to the unnatural situation we find ourselves in. This week’s edition explores this further including leadership’s responsibility to keep an eye out for compassion fatigue and burnout.
Thank you for taking a look and please share with your colleagues.
May you remain healthy and know you are greatly appreciated.
We will get through this together!
FUND DEVELOPMENT, MARKETING & FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
Nonprofit fund development expert, colleague and friend, Christie Purdue from CP Consulting is offering a FREE webinar on May 5th designed to bring together anyone who is engaged in fundraising activities to share what is working and learn ways to find our way in development during these unprecedented times. She is co-hosting “Charting Your Course During a Crisis” with Anthony Rupard from Effect Size Consulting. To register, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was happy to see one of my “go-to” online magazines (Blue Avocado) devoting it’s April 2020 issue to helping nonprofits navigate the trials of operating during COVID-19. One of the highlights of this issue, “Communicating with Donors During a Maelstrom: Practical Wisdom on When, What, Who, How, and How Often” offers practical communication strategies for a nonprofit’s donors and supporters. They even included a handy checklist to make sure your communications are “ticking all the boxes.” https://blueavocado.org/fundraising/communicating-with-donors-during-a-maelstrom-practical-wisdom-on-when-what-who-how-and-how-often/
LEADERSHIP & POLICY
Nonprofit leaders MUST be considering the longterm impacts of the pandemic, specifically the risk of staff developing burnout. The Chronicle of Philanthropy explores this topic in the article “Foundation Leaders Can Prevent an Exodus of Nonprofit Staff.” They state, “If we don’t do something drastically bigger and supportive than simply promising to preserve existing funding, burnout and exhaustion will hit the nonprofit work force soon and potentially en masse.” I agree wholeheartedly. Read on to learn more about this impending issue here: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/foundation-leaders-can-prevent/248640?utm_source=pt&utm_medium=en&utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_1175623&cid=pt&source=ams&sourceId=5221913
EQUITY, INCLUSION, & SOCIAL JUSTICE
This quote from the New York Time’s short film “Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School,” took my breath away, Not only do we have to be afraid for our health, we have to be afraid about being ourselves. Those are the words of Katherine Oung, an 11th grader in Florida who filmed the video before schools were closed. The video shows what teenagers like her and her friends face as the coronavirus pandemic brings to the surface the racism underlying her community. Watch it here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/learning/film-club-coronavirus-racism-infected-my-high-school.html?searchResultPosition=2
Judy Blair is a facilitator that describes herself as “a white woman doing transformational racial equity work in Seattle, specializing in antiracism coaching, caucusing, and equity change team guidance.” She wrote an informative piece about the ways in which white supremacy culture may be manifesting during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to acquire the piece, you have to sign up for it, but I found it well worth it. Access it here: https://mailchi.mp/d64d2a0028aa/white_supremacy_culture_in_a_pandemic?fbclid=IwAR1olRjfHjMIRV8rBsrX1mQeksayJxbTin4ETtdvnpLqSfwIJmfZXk9HT7Y
When not mitigated, compassion fatigue leads to burnout. I had the privilege of being trained as a Compassion Fatigue Educator by Dr. Charles Figley, internationally-known trauma expert and one of the first to research helper burnout. I learned a great deal from him, but one lesson I remember most often is that compassion fatigue is a natural consequence of a doing your job well as a helping professional. Empathy, the characteristic that makes people so good at their jobs, is the very thing that puts us at risk. In this first-person opinion piece “Helping doesn’t have to hurt: Managing compassion fatigue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sharise Nance explores the impact of compassion fatigue during the pandemic. She also offers a message to fellow social workers, “Remember the reason you chose this work. Recognize when your brain needs a break from the trauma. Although the current state of the world may appear grim, your presence, empathy and compassion give hope to so many.” So true and a beautiful reminder. https://www.publicsource.org/helping-doesnt-have-to-hurt-managing-compassion-fatigue-in-the-midst-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/
According to the New York Times feeling stressed right now is a sign that your brain is working properly! Well, that’s a relief. The article, “Feeling Scatterbrained? Here’s Why” goes on to explain that “Stress, like a pandemic, puts our brains into ‘fight or flight’ mode, disrupting attention, memory, breathing and sleep. But experts say it’s all very normal.” Click here to learn about why our brains do this and some strategies to help. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/us/quarantine-mental-health-gender.html
WORKING FROM HOME
I’m sure you’ve heard of “Zoom Fatigue” by now and if you haven’t you’ve likely at least felt it. BBC‘s “The reason Zoom calls drain your energy” explains this phenomenon and how we alleviate it. Here’s an excerpt to spark your interest: “Being on a video call requires more focus than a face-to-face chat. Video chats mean we need to work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language; paying more attention to these consumes a lot of energy…Our minds are together when our bodies feel we’re not. That dissonance, which causes people to have conflicting feelings, is exhausting. You cannot relax into the conversation naturally.” https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200421-why-zoom-video-chats-are-so-exhausting
Here’s another article I recommend from Blue Avocado’s latest edition, “Make the Move! Tips for Migrating Your In-Person Event Online.” Many of us have been contemplating whether or not our scheduled in-person events should be postponed or moved to a virtual platform. Interestingly, according to the article, online learning is as effective as face-to-face, especially for adult learners, because it addresses more learning styles! This piece offers great ideas and tips about tech options, how to make your virtual learning experience inclusive, and others. https://blueavocado.org/community-and-culture/make-the-move-tips-for-migrating-your-in-person-event-online/