Blog: Beware the burnout - sustaining yourself as well as your organisation

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Photo by craftspace CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Monday, 5 March, 2018

Written by Jenny Wildblood, Voscur’s Funding lead. Read more about Jenny here.

We talk a lot about how organisations can be, or become, sustainable and when we do we’re generally thinking about money. How will we keep grant money coming in? Will we be able to develop new donors and new ways of generating income?
These are important questions and yes, unless the cash-flow is sorted, an organisation can’t sustain itself. But there’s another side to this; how will we sustain ourselves?  How will we keep going and thriving in parallel with the organisations we run?
An ex-colleague of mine set up a small group to support parents who, like her, were caring for children with a rare inherited condition. When her child became seriously ill she found herself pulled between her child’s needs and the demands of the people she’d set out to support, and had to make some extremely difficult choices. 
One of the great things about our sector is the way that people use their own challenging life-experiences as the motive energy to make amazing, positive changes to the world. But before you start, have a think about how you’ll look after yourself so that you can keep going, and keep enjoying your organisation. Find others who can help and take over at times when you need to step back, find partner organisations to support you, set realistic goals that won’t wear you down...
Our Kick-Start course for start-ups can help you to think about how your new group, and you, can stay sustainable together. We offer governance support, for example help to organise your Trustee and Director recruitment. Lastly, we can support you to collaborate with others who share your vision - many hands make lighter work as they say! Do get in touch with us if you have a question or need further advice.
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