Fatigue seems to be the word of the week (every week) since the pandemic hit the United States. Our nonprofits are fatigued from the added stress of financial stability while the demand for services has only exponentially increased. Staff are experiencing Zoom fatigue (which I didn't know was a thing before this, but it very much is). People are fatigued from fighting for their lives.
Everyone and every organization is fatigued.
Every time I log into my computer I see more articles with resources to assist your nonprofit during COVID-19. Everything from how to transition to remote working to digital marketing to planning online galas has an article (or 12).
While I am overjoyed that there are so many resources out there to help nonprofits navigate this unprecedented time, I (and I suspect many of of you) are experiencing resource fatigue.
What is resource fatigue? When I did a quick Google search I didn't find a single article about it. I won't take credit for coining this term just yet, but we all know and feel exactly what resource fatigue is.
Resource fatigue is the feeling of exhaustion, extreme tiredness, stress, and anxiety that comes from the overwhelming number of articles, blogs, posts and emails with lists of resources to survive, adapt and overcome COVID-19.
At least that's how I define it.
If I am seeing hundreds of links every day with tips, grant opportunities, loan opportunities, stimulus packages and even more that I must read right now in order to overcome the challenges I'm facing. Every single link is bolded, important and calls for my immediate attention. However, when you run a nonprofit, especially when you run a nonprofit that impacts lives during a pandemic, you don't have the time or energy to attend to every single link you come across.
Navigating the resource lists at this time takes a lot of work. Like a lot a lot of work. And time. And energy. And man power. And brain space. I have clients who are calling me panicked that they didn't see this new opportunity or didn't see the latest webinar that would solve all their problems.
But here's the deal. No one, and I mean no one, has the time, energy and stamina to research, evaluate and apply/implement every resource link. It is impossible.
You are playing whack-a-mole all day ensuring that staff are paid, programs are funded, clients are receiving the help they need and that the world can be a better place. You don't have time. And that is okay.
At the end of the day the only people that know what's best for your organization are your dedicated staff and leadership. While I am not advocating to delete every single resource email that comes your way, I am encouraging you to take a breath, step back and remember that you do not have to do everything on a list, in a blog post or in an article.
We at Sharpshooter can help. We have a full-time staff member who researches resource links and emergency grant opportunities, evaluates them and emails them out to clients as appropriate. While she cannot get through every single article either, she gives our clients peace of mind that when an emergency grant opportunity comes up, she'll check the eligibility and get the preliminary work started should it apply. Nowadays, every single person on the Sharpshooter team are evaluating these opportunities and resources because our jobs are to help your nonprofit change the world.
Just like when we are experiencing physical fatigue, we need rest and to lean on someone for support. Our bodies are telling us that we need to take it easy on ourselves and prioritize what is most important. Resource fatigue is the same. Our minds and hearts are telling us that we need to prioritize our services and turn to other avenues for support. Sharpshooter is one avenue.