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What Is Keeping Nonprofit Leaders Awake at Night?

The Chronicle asked its followers on Twitter to share what is worrying them most right now in their professional lives. We asked them to reply with the hashtag #charityinsomnia. Here are some of their answers.


What keeps nonprofit workers up at night?

We asked our followers on Twitter to share what is worrying them most right now in their professional lives, those things that keep them up at night. We asked them to reply with the hashtag #charityinsomnia. Here are some of their answers.

Storified by Philanthropy · Wed, Sep 26 2012 09:40:22

Fundraising and money woes are the top concerns.
@bethkh22 @philanthropy One word: budget. #charityinsomniaKMR
@Philanthropy changes/cuts in funding federally and locally. #charityinsomniaAmanda Potter
@Philanthropy keeping programs alive with diminishing funds and volunteers #charityinsomniaPTSA.Teresa
Knowing the needs outweigh available funds. #charityinsomniaTheyThinkAloud
@Philanthropy Finding the donors and volunteers to support our initiatives #charityinsomniaESC
deficit, fundraising targets, management not understanding the fundraising cycle #charityinsomniaJonny Cline
Getting people to donate to non-political causes in the way they do political ones! #charityinsomniaCaitlin Byrnes
@heidisa @Philanthropy Good topic! For me it’s forsaking revenue generation opportunities because it’s "not what we do.." #charityinsomniaNaveen
Beyond financial matters,  nonprofit workers are worried about threats to their missions and the people they serve.
@Philanthropy what keeps us up at night: 160 million children worldwide engaged in child labor #charityinsomniaGlobalFund4Children
@Philanthropy A desire to serve more women! We sleep with one eye open because women-owned biz is crucial. #charityinsomnia #TeamBGVBGV Columbus
@Philanthropy funding and the horrendous things people do to someone they are supposed to love. #endabuse #charityinsomniaSCCADV
Mississippi has doubled education spending since 1987, but we’re still in last place and our ACT scores are unchanged #charityinsomniaMS Ctr Public Policy
@philanthropy That millions of women and girls still need our help! #charityinsomniaWomen Thrive
Staving off turnover and dealing with salary matters is a big headache.
. @Philanthropy Thinking about how to capitalize on tons of new opportunities without overloading staff! #CharityInsomniaHayley Ivins
Why don’t nfps see people (paid & volunteer) as their #1 resource? Before $. #charityinsomnia @philanthropy: what keeps u up at night?Vantage Point
#charityinsomnia low salaries cause high employee turnover. Less time looking for next job equals better performance at current one.grock
Staff turnover keeps me up at night. Online fundraising awesomeness keeps me awake all day! #charityinsomniaShana Masterson
Weak boards trouble many nonprofit leaders.
@Philanthropy Rogue board members. #charityinsomniaAllison Argy-Burgess
@Philanthropy #charityinsomnia: board & ED ignorance about effective & donor cntred devo practices & what it takes to grow contrib revWendy F. Dymoke
Keeping up with the workload is a stress point.
#charityinsomnia Getting it all done without forgetting something critical due to excessive multitasking.Leslie Kesler
@Philanthropy emails! being sure to stay connected with volunteers, sponsors and finalizing event logistics #charityinsomniaJessica Shatzel
@Philanthropy #charityinsomnia when you realize one person can’t do it alone.uBoon
@Philanthropy #charityinsomnia Could I be doing more?Jennifer Bosk
Reporting results to grantmakers causes anxiety.
“@Philanthropy: If you work at a nonprofit, what’s keeping you up at night? Hastag response #charityinsomnia” evaluation & reportingCbngal
#charityinsomnia Reporting to one funder with tools designed for another, when what I should be doing is talking with donorsDennis Fischman
For others, it’s all of the above.
@iclerie @Philanthropy grant accounting, student sponsorship, kids on the street, supporting our staff, staying positive! #charityinsomniaTara Thorn
@Philanthropy everything! money, program, people, talent development and retention. #charityinsomniaGwen Beattie
And, of course, it’s not just saving the world that causes sleepnessness.
@Philanthropy #charityinsomnia Too much coffeeGrant Miller
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