10 Absurdly Difficult Things About Working in Nonprofit

1. Explaining what it is you do to friends & family.

“So wait…you don’t make money at your job?”

2. Getting the office printer/copier to work.

Somehow, a universal challenge. I think the printers are all in cahoots.

3. Saying “no” while still being a team player.

Because when you work on behalf of the social good sector, that somehow means you should want to do it all?

4. Specializing in one thing & doing it really well.

Depending on how severe multiple-hat-syndrome is at your org, this gets tough.

Although, sometimes this is a standards issue. You’re probably doing great; you just want to do it better!

5. Finding time to practice self care.

Hellooo, we’re trying to save the world over here. Who has time for vacations and relaxation?

6. Getting staff to stick with the process you’ve laid out for them.

Okay, okay. This one’s more of a people issue.

7. Getting all board members to donate to your org.

I can’t wrap my head around why nonprofits would even HAVE to ask their board to invest in their mission. And yet, this is a thing.

8. Getting people to RSVP to your events by your stated deadline.

I give up. We’re never going to crack the code on this one.

9. Getting your director to enter information in your CRM or database.

If anyone has managed to figure this out, then you are a literal nonprofit unicorn & I applaud you! Teach us your ways.

10. Breaking out of the sector.

Whether it’s uncertainty about how to make the transition or your passion for making the world better, there is something about this sector that latches on tight and doesn’t want to let go.

Written tenderly by someone who’s tried leaving. Twice.

Share your thoughts!