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The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit by Vu Le, Aliza Sherman, Beth Kanter

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Introduction

The Vision

Cue up the Pharrell Williams song, “Happy.”

It might seem crazy what we’re about to say, but work-life balance is good when you can take a break. Clap along if you want to know what happy and healthy is to you. Clap along if you feel “happy and healthy nonprofits achieve results” is the truth.

Let’s face it: your health and happiness directly affect how you feel at work and affect your productivity. Attending to your well-being can be the antidote to stress and prevention of burnout, and those are great reasons to start practicing self-care. According to the World Health Organization, self-care is “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness.”1

Working for a nonprofit that has limited resources can be a pressure cooker, but what if your organization’s culture encouraged you, and everyone who worked there, to embrace self-care without guilt? What if you could feel the vibrancy of your organization when you stepped into the physical office or hear it in the voices of staff when they talked about what it is like to work at your organization? What if every time your organization advertised a position, you were flooded with exceptional applicants because of your nonprofit’s reputation for a culture of well-being with policies and benefits to support it? Imagine the increase in results your organization would experience because of high talent retention rates instead of high turnover, eliminating cracks ...

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