We run wellness projects to see what nonprofit staff and educators need most. Postcards help us spread the word. (Want some?)
Overall, we test short-term, self-chosen resources for managing stress, taking care of human bodies, and building supportive work-teams. From classes to coaching to gear, participants are using and evaluating physical, mental, and team health tools.
The D.C. Nonprofit Wellness Fund is a charitable program (hosted at the Greater Washington Community Foundation) learning how to equitably: 1) boost worker and teacher health, 2) support recruitment, productivity and retention, and 3) build cultures of well-being and teamwork to better support missions and/or students. We say "equitably" because wellness, like everything, is affected by oppression in society.
We are currently raising funds to evaluate our first Pilot (analyzing qualitative interview evaluations and crunching data from participant surveys). We are planning an educator survey in fall 2019, a bilingual educator Summit in 2020, and a School Wellness Pilot in 2020-21.
Please consider contributing! And/or, give us your address(es) using the form below, and we'll send along some postcards for you to share (IRL or on SM).
Many jobs are hard, but nonprofit and teaching jobs in DC add special challenges. Long hours are common. Low pay is expected. Frustration is rampant. These hard-working world-changers tend to neglect their physical and mental health, putting aside personal needs to care for others. More stress translates to higher cortisol levels and inevitable health problems.
Lately, nonprofit and education life has gotten even more difficult: Financial insecurity at work from fundraising gaps. Financial insecurity at home from our paychecks. Greater demand for nonprofit and school services. Daily attacks on our sector and in our communities. Additional oppression from a society that doesn't value our contribution (professionally or personally).
The barrage on our mental health is endless, and mostly invisible.
Yet, world-changers and teachers don't do much to prevent burnout. We haven't caught up to the corporate/tech world (where wellness is a growing $7 billion industry) we don't offer much beyond basic health insurance. Without support, it's difficult to replenish our depleted intellect, creativity, stamina and joy.
We must embrace TEAM-CARE,
not merely self-care.
Our first pilot looked at how physical and mental health tools affect individuals, teams, and organizations.
Our first Pilot cohort was 82% female, 65% people of color, 52% lower-income, and 22% have an invisible disability or chronic illness.
Our second Pilot cohort, focusing on educators, is now under development.
At the organization level, we seek to impact retention, productivity, recruitment and joy. Overall, and over time, we seek to support a culture of well-being at every nonprofit.
We are collecting information, including names, so that we may follow up directly with each individual to assist them in meeting their wellness goals.
Our program upholds strong privacy standards. We will not share any individual information, including email, with any third-party individuals. We will be using some data in the aggregate, such as how many people are interested in a class or product, so that we can show businesses the value of stocking our webstore with wellness benefits. Never will names be associated with these summary numbers.
Our first 60-person cohort involved the following 12 organizations:
The Advancement Project,
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance,
First Focus, Florida House DC,
Free Minds Book Club,
German Marshall Fund of the U.S.,
Justice Policy Institute,
Nat'l Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda,
Nat'l Latina Institute for Reproductive Health,
Reading Partners DC,
Tahirih Justice Center, UndocuBLACK.
If you are interested in being part of our next cohort, please reach out!
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”