Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.

 Sheryl Sandberg
Employee Wellness, Work-Life Fit, Employee Benefits  •••  Principle of the month
We think our friends at the Colorado Nonprofit Association say it best! 

To the extent of its ability, a nonprofit should provide personnel with benefits, such as health, mental health and dental insurance, paid time off, short- and long-term disability, and life insurance, as well as the opportunity to financially contribute to retirement plans. A nonprofit should actively support total employee wellness, including physical, mental, intellectual, occupational, and financial. Where appropriate, they should address secondary or vicarious trauma, chronic stress, and other mental health effects on service providers. A nonprofit should assure that its leaders and employees discuss and hold each other accountable for avoiding excessive work-life  conflict and overwork. It should support a healthy, balanced lifestyle, taking vacations and work breaks as needed, and flexible work arrangements.

So how is your organization doing?  
Test your knowledge. A toolkit for you.
Download this Self-Care in Leadership - Coming Back Stronger resource from

What does self-care actually means, and why your brain relies on it.
 by Lacy Alana

Whatever your role is within an organization, you’ve likely been a part of conversations about work/life balance, burnout prevention, employee retention,and the importance of taking care of yourself.  And while it has become more common to talk openly about these things in the workplace - and the term self-care is often used – there are still many misconceptions about what self-care is (and isn’t). Admittedly, self-care has an mixed reputation that makes it a bit puzzling - it is revered by some, dismissed by many, and rampantly misunderstood.  Self-care isn’t just a spa day, getting your nails done, or buying yourself something fancy. 
In its true form – the idea of self-care speaks to the reality that our brains and bodies aren’t designed to run non-stop.  In many ways, we recognize this reality -- We sleep because we feel terrible if we don’t …We take vacations that help us feel restored….We have an end to our workday, because we’d be grumpy if we worked 80 hour weeks all the time.
And these things are good, and important! 
But, our brain needs more than sleep, full breaks, and schedules to refuel itself and to operate in peak condition.  While we like to think about ourselves as cognitive driven beings who think our way through everything, our brain and nervous system are CONSTANTLY subconsciously reading and responding to the environment around us, and influencing everything about our day - our decisions, how productive we are, how we engage with others, our adaptability, our idea generation, our creativity, our problem-solving, and so much more. 
And all of these parts of our subconscious system need different types of restoration, input, and feedback to keep doing their jobs most effectively.  And this is where self-care comes in.  As a concept, it has been overly simplified and marketed as actions and activities.  But, in reality, the idea behind self-care is that we need to actively replenish the parts of our brain that are responsible for our creativity, our collaboration, and our ability to bring ourselves to our work, and relationships.  And sleep and not working alone aren’t enough to fully do this. 
If you’re interested in optimizing your performance, identifying what your brain needs, and learning more about preventing burnout for you or your employees – join us for the Self-care or Burnout Prevention Series.  We’ll dive into the brain science behind performance, what self-care *actually* means and looks like, and how to create a burnout proof culture in your work environment.
Karah Powell

Karah Powell - Featured Alumni 

Enthusiasm. Advocacy + Professional role model + Passion for the nonprofit arena + Nonprofit Austin All-Star = Karah Ricketts Powell!

Currently Development Director at ROCK (Ride on Center for Kids) in Georgetown, Texas, Karah is the first person to complete 5 of Nonprofit Austin’s 6 Certificates (to date): in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Volunteer Management, Marketing and Communications for Nonprofits, Grant Writing, and Effective Fundraising.  Only Nonprofit Financial Management has escaped her attention to date.

Karah is the epitome of a lifelong learner.  Her thirst for knowledge and personal warmth makes Kara a phenomenon.

Being in her presence activates a contagious enthusiasm and passion for helping others. One is overtaken by the passion with which Karah speaks.

In her CNLM application essay wrote, “to make sure that all the people I find it well-equipped to make an informed decision about their volunteer opportunities. With this is the first time there volunteering for an organization or they are a volunteer junkie, I take it upon myself to know something about many types of volunteer jobs.”

Karah is all about making life better for others.  She came to Austin in 1983 “via the Air Force where I was a morale, welfare, and recreation specialist.”  It did not take long upon leaving military service for her to become a tour de force in her community.

We first encountered Karah when she was Coordinator of Volunteer Resources at Mothers Against Drunken Drivers (MADD).  Since then, she has lent her considerable talents to the Epilepsy Foundation and JDRF, her church, The First United Methodist Church of Round Rock, and Drops of Grace.

Professionally she has served as Development Director, Drive a Senior – Senior Access, Volunteer Coordinator for Williamson County Disaster Recovery for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, in addition to MADD and ROCK.

When we asked Karah for an endorsement, she responded as only Karah can: “but appraise the value of the certificate in nonprofit leadership and management class, but I can tell you it was worth every dollar! By far my expectations were not only meant but exceeded. The instructors were amazing in their own ways from a number crunchers to the personality guru, the each of us something we didn’t already know, and something we could readily take back to our office and use now. This class will be invaluable for many years to come.”

Strategic Alliances & Funder Connections Series
July 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 | 12 – 1:30 PM
Susannah Erler
Register here.
Creating an Anti-Burnout Culture
July 6, 13, 20 & 27 |  12 – 1 PM
Lacy Alana
Register here.
Weekly Experiential Self-Care for Nonprofit Practitioners
July 7 - August 11 (Wednesdays) |  1 – 2 PM
Lacy Alana
Register here.
View our full schedule here!
Humor and insights straight from the personal files of
Barry Silverberg
Many people spend their lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, when they get to the top, the ladder is leaning against the wrong building
– Unknown
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