Being a philanthropist means wanting to give back to others in need. It is about taking the good fortune you have and sharing it with others. Yet, there are times where we all feel burned out by charity. Whether it is due to the constant asking at every store, or the news that another charity has taken advantage of its donors and the people it purports to help, it affects us all at some point. However, there are ways to combat philanthropy burnout and go back to helping others. Here are the steps you should take when you feel this way.
Step 1: Take a step back.
Do you volunteer at the local soup kitchen or animal shelter every week? There are times where life gets so hectic that we have to take a step back and reorganize our lives before going back to normal. While I don’t encourage you to bail on commitments, consider letting your charity’s organizer know that you need a week off to catch up on other responsibilities. Everyone has these moments in life, so it should not be a problem, as long as you give notice ahead of time. This can also go for monthly donations if you need to get your finances in order, or any other aspect of helping a charity.
Step 2: Determine how much to take on.
One way many people get burned out on philanthropy is by taking on too many tasks with their charity. You may have volunteered to fundraise, contact businesses to ask for donations, or hold a gala to entice large donors. Follow through on what you said you’d do, but evaluate if you should continue at the rate you’re at long-term. Even working with a charity once a week may be too much for you to handle right now. Especially if you have major life changes happening, don’t be afraid to ask for others to take back some responsibility.
Step 3: Remind yourself of the purpose.
If your philanthropic purpose is to be noticed and lauded by others for your charitable efforts, you will probably be burned out quickly. Remind yourself of what you are really trying to do: help a cause. If you are no longer passionate about your current cause, try to find one you do care about. It is completely fine to want to be involved in a different organization, and it may be what you need to center yourself and remember why you decided to become a philanthropist.
Step 4: Avoid old habits.
The best way to avoid philanthropic burnout is to avoid the habits that put you there in the first place. Do not overextend yourself, keep your finances in check, and stay up-to-date on the progress the organization is making. If you find yourself slipping back into old patterns, go through the previous three steps to proactively avoid disaster.
Giving to a cause is great, but not when it stresses us out. Try to go through these four steps each time you feel like helping others is wearing you out, and you will soon find a way to balance philanthropy with the rest of your life.