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  • Almost a year ago I volunteered to manage the social media for an amazing event, the Mindful Leadership Summit. While I was following the hashtag to see what kind of comments we were getting, I noticed that Aliza Sherman mentioned @kanter (my digital aunt) in a tweet.

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    @kanter is Beth Kanter, a powerhouse in the nonprofit world. She and I worked together in 2014 on a six-month social media training project. Since then, whenever I needed something she was always readywith an answer.

    What Beth didn’t know is that when we started working together, I had just returned to work after an extended absence. The first day we met I was barely holding it together. It was during that time that I was a rapidly learning about what it really means to take care of myself. She also didn’t know that I was a blogging about my journey so that others could benefit.

    Happy Healthy NonprofitsAfter this Twitter exchange, I popped over to Beth’s website and learned she and Aliza were writing the book, Happy Healthy Nonprofits: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout. I was so happy to see that. For two years I had been blogging and doing paid speaking about self-care. I was sharing what I had learned as a change maker who was recovering from burnout.  At that point, I had worked with two nonprofits, the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Association of Black Psychologist and knew this kind of information was sorely needed.

    I firmly believe that if we are going to see any real social change, nonprofit employees need to take better care of themselves. Also the nonprofit industry has to give up on having burnout as a defining characteristic of the sector.

     

    Although many people see Beth as a digital nonprofit leader, she is so much more than that. Beth is a master facilitator who is working with nonprofits all over the world to improve their leadership capacity. So who knows better about the culture of nonprofits better than Beth.

    Now I didn’t know Aliza Sherman but one look at her website and I could tell that she was my kind of woman! That’s digital aunt #2! Like Beth, she’s written many books and speaks across the country on how to effectively use digital media. Aliza also talks about women’s empowerment. Awesome.

    In December 2015 I got off a plane from a conference and noticed that I had a Twitter DM from Beth saying, “you are on my blog.” I thought maybe she quoted something I said but,  she wrote an entire blog about my self-care journey. I was speechless. If you know me, I’m never at a loss for words, but Beth managed the impossible!

    I know it’s not about the number but Beth has 400K Twitter followers!!!!!

    As the year went on, Beth and Aliza invited me to be featured in the book. I decided to do it because I want to share my wisdom far and wide. It was also important because I am a Black woman and I wanted to make sure that women of color could who work at nonprofits could hear from one of their own.

    A few months later, I was sent an email asking for final permission to be included in the book. As any person would I wanted to see the ONE quote they used from me before I agreed to be included. They sent back several places where I am mentioned in the book and even printed my original Self-care Bill of Rights.

    It’s such an honor to be included in a book that will no doubt cause some disruption in the nonprofit sector. The industry has been on autopilot and we’ve lived far too long with an unhealthy mindset. And our missions are suffering because of it.

    Since becoming a self-care coach and speaker, many people have shared their stories of losing their way in the nonprofit world. What starts off as energy and passion gives way to exhaustion and overwhelm. For others it’s much more severe including being rushed to the ER with anxiety attacks or being diagnosed with an ulcer. But now the sector has a blue print to follow. We can change ourselves and our industry.

    I’m not the only person Beth and Aliza spoke to. They spoke with nonprofit leaders, board members,  and staff to find out more about what makes a Happy Healthy nonprofit. Their stories are also included in the book.

    Beth and Aliza are advocating for a culture change in the nonprofit industry. Just as I have, they argue that if our work matters, we have to figure out a way sustain ourselves. Not just ourselves as individuals, but as organizations and as a sector. And at the end of the day, happy healthy employees lead to happy healthy organizations that have an impact. They meet their missions.

    If you work in the nonprofit or the government sectors and you want a roadmap for self-care, this book is for you. You can pre-order the book on Amazon and the book comes out on October 10th.

    To learn more about the book visit the Happy Healthy Nonprofit website. Also check out Beth and Aliza’s respective websites.

    p.s. If you are looking for someone to speak to your organization about self-care planning, I am available to provide one of my signature talks or workshops. Please send me an email and I can send you my speaking packet.