Do You Ever Get “Charity Burn-Out?”
Are you ever affected by “charity burn-out?” If so, what makes you snap out of it eventually? Or are you still in a funk and trying to recover?
Oops. We’re not supposed to talk about this, right? Did I just spill a dirty little secret?
It seems like those of us who volunteer, make donations, raise funds, and generally try to do right by others on a regular basis get downright fatigued every now and then. How do I know? Well, it definitely has happened to me on occasion as well as to virtually all my partners who run Aura’s House at one time or another. I also suspect it happens to just about everybody who does this kind of work. Luckily, most people take a break and then come back with even more energy and resolve than ever.
One Aura’s House volunteer recently wrote,
I have to admit, I’m getting really close to philanthropy burnout. I do still want to contribute though; I am hoping this is just a wave I can ride out. But I’ve been feeling it for a while. It’s not just confined to AH, but to every cause I was/am a part of. It just seems to be about money, money, money and even when I give all I can, it’s not enough. I still sponsor two kids through CI, but I’m not as involved as I was, which isn’t fair to them (and I’m trying to do better). But again, it’s just really hard to shake this feeling.
Part of it is for those of us who have full time jobs and do this in our “spare time” it can get to feel overwhelming. It can also feel like the world is against you.
I remember back in 2007, we had a dispute with our Web Hosting Company (who went from a B to an F at the Better Business Bureau and have a mountain of complaints/lawsuits against them). To make a long story short, GISOL (Don’t EVER use them for ANYTHING!) tried to penalize me for an account change made by their own tech support person. They asked for $700 and shut the site down and held our domain names hostage. I’m sorry, but $700 would fund an entire project for some needy family. I was LIVID! I paid the ransom, (I mean “penalty”) and then set about reconstructing the site. I was fed up and burnt out and I resolved to give up Aura’s House for a period. Read the announcement here.
Luckily we came back in June 2008 and have been here without interruption ever since. That said, there are days when we are sooooo tired. At the moment though our energies are at their highest level in years, at least mine are. It seems like a wave of energy that fluctuates daily.
So how about you? Do you have any “Charity Burn-Out” stories?