After hours advocacy?
Short blog post based on recent musings… I’ve been thinking a lot about the expectation of nonprofit employees in the area of advocacy. Or, more accurately, if there is an expectation at all. When we work for nonprofits, we spend 40 hours a week (maybe more like 50 or 60) fighting a cause, raising awareness, combatting social issues and advancing our missions. But when does this end? At what point do we take off the nonprofit employee hat and rest? And how do we integrate other passions and causes that we care about personally into those that we DO professionally?
The ability and willingness to advocate is often listed in job descriptions, core values and key competencies because it is critical to have board and staff members that are truly mission aligned and can advocate for, and bring awareness to, the organization and its work. I’ve also been talking to organizations about the importance of self-care and the effects of burnout, so I can’t help but wonder if an expectation of constant advocacy work might be exhausting, and possibly contributing to an overworked (or perception of being overworked) nonprofit workforce. Perhaps it’s a conversation that can be started among nonprofit leaders and their staff!