5 Great Tips on How Nonprofit Leaders Can Manage Stress



Leading a nonprofit organization is a stressful task. Some leaders push themselves to the extent of neglecting their own health. Stress impairs brain capacity, clarity, and judgment. When the brain of a leader is impaired, important decisions cannot be made. Consequently, charity programs come to a standstill. Stress is a sign that you need to slow down.  

Stress is caused by “stressors” and can present itself as external, internal or both.

  • External stressors: can be weather conditions, social environment, family members, high expectations; holiday seasons etc.
  • Internal stressors: in your personal life experiences like self-image, self-expectation, personality type, emotional and mental energy, a level of physical health, etc.

Five great tips to manage stress:

Tweet this: Nonprofit leaders should have a good grasp of financial management.

  1. Strike a balance between work and social life

In general, nonprofit leaders spend more time improving the lives of others than fixing their own. This on its own, has serious detrimental effects. According to Web MD, stress increases chances of coronary heart disease.

A Harvard Grant Study proves that spending time with your family is the best way to maintain a quality lifestyle. Dr. George Vaillant writes that there are two pillars of happiness: “One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”

  1. Delegate to reduce workload

Delegation is one of the most complicated functions leaders have to make. A challenge experienced by most leaders is deciding which tasks to delegate to staff. As most charities operate on a shoestring budget, their staff often lack the critical skills. Reasons charity leaders find it hard to delegate include:

  • Not having enough time to delegate.
  • Lack of planning.
  • Lack of staff skills leading to: “If you want something done right, do it yourself”

A successful delegation will leave you enough time to plan. Charity employees should be responsible for routine tasks like scheduling meetings and do field work.

  1. Get enough sleep

In the hyper-connected 24/7 charity world, many leaders lose (a lot of) sleep. A McKinsey research project highlighted a strong correlation between leadership performance and organizational health. Enough sleep helps leaders to make informed decisions and to perform well.

Meditating and yoga can help those with problems of getting sleep.

  1. Have a plan for every program

Preparing for auditingWhen charity organizations solicit funds, they use proposals that are often backed up by strategic plans. For some reason, as soon as funds are received, these plans are set aside. Needless to say, strategic plans have to be implemented in every charity program.

It’s essential that charity leaders have plans and processes for the following:

  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Purchasing activities
  • Charity finance
  • Recruitment of volunteers etc.
  1. Control budgets

Nonprofit leaders should have a good grasp of financial management. Those without it should at least have basic financial management skills. There is free help such as Free Management Library that offers financial management training.

Leaders are expected to perform the following:

  • Read and analyze financial statements
  • Know how to generate bookkeeping journals
  • Understand budgets
  • Understand procurement processes

Almost any problem is easily solved with technology. It’s possible that in the near future robots will control charity budgets.

Fortunately, today there are a variety of software applications to give leaders complete control of their budgets. A PO system like helps by assigning dedicated approvers for every budget associated with different charity programs.

With, charity decision makers have their organizational financial state under control. They can approve POs wherever they are, even while rushing to the next fundraising event.

Don’t let stress kill you slowly. Sign up for a free trial today.

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