Leaders at nonprofits and schools are trying to build back better as the fog of the pandemic finally lifts.
The team has been giving it their all and then some, from home or behind a mask, and there’s a real concern that they’re burning out. (It’s ok to admit it if you’re there too!) You know that shared, fun experiences help build the team, but after the trauma and exhaustion of the past year-plus, you’re looking for something more constructive than mini-golf and happy hour.
Nonprofit Wellness combines energy, experience, science, art, and a sense of humor through Team-Care activities that are equal parts fun, engaging, and instructive, both virtual and in person. (We're based in DC, FYI.) From an hour at a retreat to a multi-week series culminating in a lasting Wellness Committee, our programs are custom-made to meet your big-hearted and exhausted employees where they are, build camaraderie through vulnerability, and establish a space and priority for discussing and supporting well-being at work.
According to McKinsey, 96 percent of companies globally provided additional mental-health resources to employees, but only one in six employees reported feeling supported. Even if you have an EAP program and decent coverage for therapy in your healthcare, most of your employees probably aren’t taking proper advantage of it. Nonprofit and school employees in particular struggle with making the time to take care of themselves, so employers need to be more proactive in creating the space and expectation. That's where team-care comes in.
Education director Ty Powell and nonprofit director Susan Comfort (Co-founders)
A Skill-Shop or two during your next retreat or as a mid-afternoon work break (online or in-person). Check out the skill-shop menu and trainers, below.
Our core package of three stress and neuroscience sessions for your team are outlined below. We also suggest inclusive (online and in-person) small group fitness activities to build your team culture, health, and camaraderie.
Our core package, plus a custom program to establish a lasting culture of Team-Care, which could include leadership coaching, establishing a Wellness Committee, and/or train-the-trainer sessions.
Only 30 percent of employees say they feel comfortable talking to their manager about their mental health. Yet nearly ⅔ of employees in that same study report mental health to be an issue of serious concern during the pandemic. If your employees aren’t bringing up mental health issues, it’s probably not that they don’t exist, but rather that they fear talking about that. Our programs are purposefully designed to overcome this trust and confidence gap.
According to a McKinsey analysis of a Johns Hopkins study, “Workplace stressors such as long hours, economic insecurity, work–family conflict, and high job demands coupled with low job control are as harmful to health as secondhand smoke.”
Corporate wellness is an $11 billion and growing industry. Consulting firms like Deloitte say that investment in mental health has a 500% return on investment as demonstrated by reduced sick time and employee turnover, as well as increased productivity.
Burnout is a huge factor in people leaving nonprofit and teaching jobs. In fact, 43% of teachers who left before scheduled retirement did so due to stress — nearly double the number who left due to pay.
A pre-pandemic study showed that nearly one in five nonprofit employees leaves every year, yet only 13% of nonprofit leaders recognize it as a top challenge. This matches another pre-pandemic study showing nearly ⅓ of nonprofit employees, and over 50% of employees under 30, planning to leave within two years.
Wellness at work is a growing industry -- after all, we spend 1/3 of our lives at work and since we are not physically or mentally "well" we have to address some of these skills and solutions "at the office." Especially since many of our stressors come from the work/team itself.
Nearly every client asks us to come back and do more. Hopefully Nonprofit Wellness can support your mission minders in some way.
ABOUT OUR SKILL-SHOPS
Our skill-shops are single sessions for teams to practice wellness activities together.
Because it's fun for people to learn a new skill or have a new experience (together).
Want to schedule a 2021 session or series for your team? firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, go to "Register" for one of our public sessions.
Mindfulness is "nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment." Harder than it sounds, and worthy of a lifetime (or at least a few minutes a day) of practice. This session is designed as an introductory experience.
We go over brain science and the current stressful world we inhabit, but most of this session is spent practicing several methods of mindfulness (mantra) o 5-4-3-2-1 (sensory awareness). Here's Maria-Jose's story highlighting Headspace (the above links are in Spanish, led by bilingual trainers).
Think you can’t juggle? We beg to differ. Using simple plastic bags or scarves, we’ll teach you juggling basics in less than an hour. Here's a 5-min taster of Kevin's session with kids. These movements sharpen the reflexes, increase focus, and improve coordination.
Learn from expert circus yogi Kevin O'Keefe of Circus Minimus. It's family-friendly, so invite the kids.
Qi Gong is a gentle, ancient, Chinese healing practice that cultivates our vital life energy (qi or “chi”) and fosters balance in both our bodies and minds.
In this beginner practice, Joann and Pat of QiCircles teach a mindful flow of simple and profoundly effective movements.
This session is accessible to all ages (Joann is 80 years young!) and physical ability levels.
When a team does something (anything) new together, the experience builds camaraderie as well as skill.
Sometimes dance is the best solution to unstick your body or mind. These skill-shops are family-friendly, and zero dance experience is expected.
1)"Moving Dialogues" is a powerful way to experience each other’s perspective and create deeper meaning for yourself. Be prepared to: write, move your body, think, and play. Led by Kelly King of Themovement-movement.com.
2) Learn Latin dance while exercising and having fun. This class will go over the basics of popular styles like salsa, merengue, and bachata, led by Latin dance instructors.
Facing challenges in a workout is similar to challenges at work -- better done as a team.
Professional trainers (like those at Spark by Gabby) will lead your group in an inspiring online workout, featuring motivating music, technique tips, and mindful breathing.
You can choose between:
The "Take Five" uses Dave Brubeck's best-selling jazz single to encourage five-minute boosts throughout the day. Recommendations: challenge your neural networks, choose a mindfulness practice (including listening to Take Five), and recall playful memories from childhood. (This session was developed for the Pentagon in 2015 and has been in demand ever since.)
In this session, we take a fun approach to looking into why "Zoom fatigue" exists, best practices for engagement -- on any online platform -- and tips/tricks to make Zoom work better for you. This skill-shop models interactive practices that you can then replicate with your team.
Some of the content from this training was covered by TechSoup in their June 2021 blog post "https://blog.techsoup.org/posts/building-better-connections-over-video-conferences-at-your-nonprofit"
Our Mindful Art sessions focus on paper "upcycling" (making new stuff from otherwise discarded magazines, calendars, maps, etc) for cards, envelopes, and other human connection tools.
These activities engage the right hemisphere of our brain, and help us stay present. They also help us view the "waste" economy with a new viewpoint.
Come learn some new online games to bring to your next meeting. You'll also experience the links between improv and empathy and mental health.
We team up with Lynne Childress of Building Better People Productions to present this session, which is appropriate for a variety of ages and seniority levels. Participants will get a list of check-in questions to try.
In a pandemic and entering flu season, everyone can do a few more things to bolster their immune systems. This skill-shop goes over 12 science-backed solutions for naturally boosting your resistance to sickness.
The summary sheet is available on the "resources" tab, in English and Spanish.
Leslie Gray Streeter, author of Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like "Journey" in the Title, presents practical steps, based on experience and science and the recent pandemic, to navigate the grieving process with positivity and YES!, a sense of humor. Participants will come away with a plan of action that encourages a dialogue about and an acknowledgement of grief, a subject most avoid but everyone experiences.
We sometimes offer free, open-to-the-public classes as well as per-person "ticketed" trainings. But our curriculum was designed for groups that have a common interest -- like a team, workplace, retreat, or conference.
We generally support leaders, HR folks, and committees. Talking confidentially to Ty or Susan about your work team and culture will yield dozens of new ideas for practices, perspectives and team-building tools. We can also connect your staff with certified wellness coaches.
We are constantly adding to our list of options, like: Juggling, Mindful Art, Qi Gong, Mindfulness and more. See above for descriptions.
These sessions are usually led by senior trainers Ty & Susan. See above for descriptions.
This interactive series of one-hour, recordable training sessions sparks discussion among your team and gives digestible stress information to create a team-care culture. Descriptions are at the top of this page.
The first hour of the training is the main curriculum (recordable). The second hour is the Tools Academy portion, where your leaders, committee, or HR team learn about best practices in wellness and how to use our Tools effectively (second hour is usually not recorded).
Please contact us for scholarship options and in-person training pricing.
This webinar was presented by DC's Public Charter School Board last May. In it, Susan, Tyecia and Maria-Jose Carrasco (from LAMB-PCS) go over stress strategies and real examples of boosting school health.