Recently, I noticed a new Tumblr feed making the rounds on Facebook, accompanied with lots of “LOL”s and demands to “Read. This. Now.”
Curious, I clicked on the link to discover this “When You Work at a Nonprofit" Tumblr feed highlighting some of the woes of working in the not-for-profit sector.
I have to admit, I found myself laughing. Some of the posts hit a little close to home. Feeling paralyzing fear about being the lead person on a fundraising campaign? Been there. Wolfing down food like a hyena as the last to eat at an event my organization is hosting? Absolutely.
There’s something about deep truth telling that can bring about a sense of relief and “Thank-God-I’m-Not-Alone.” We laugh to let off steam. We laugh to build resilience.
I believe there’s a place for that. This Tumblr has built a sense of camaraderie – a feeling of shared pain. It’s building a starting place for conversation.
And yet, as I look closer at many of the posts, the underlying messages point to a deeply rooted sense of scarcity, frustration, and hopelessness in the sector. And the laughter and glee with which this Tumblr has been making the rounds feels like a mandate for our future: “This is how it’s always been, and will always be in the not-for-profit sector.”
I don’t find that as funny. And I wonder if there’s a way we can change the story we’re telling.
Although some of the posts on the feed resonated, I also feel as though many didn’t. I’ve had lots of positive experiences working for not-for-profits – working with dynamic, efficient teams ignited by shared purpose and mission. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
There has to be a new way forward. A new picture we can paint for the future of our sector. And I want to talk about it! With YOU.
Starting with these questions: How do we bring more hope into the conversations in our sector? Who’s talking about what’s going right? Who’s had wild success? How do we empower ourselves to build on each other’s successes?
After living in six different countries, Piya Banerjee fell for the mountain views and picturesque coastlines that make up Vancouver. With a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and International Business from the University of Washington, a career in management consulting and experience in...