Announcing My Next Book: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit | Beth's Blog

Announcing My Next Book: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit


This graphic illustration was created by Chrissie Bonner, Illustrating Progress during a keynote talk I did at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference on Oct. 7

I am excited to announce that I am working on my next book, tentatively titled “The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout.”   I’m honored to be co-authoring this book with Aliza Sherman to be published in 2017 by Wiley.

In case you don’t already know Aliza, she is an award-winning Internet business and nonprofit marketing consultant with over 25 years experience starting and running Internet companies.   Aliza is also a prolific writer and author, having published ten books.

In 1995, she founded the first full-service Internet company, Cybergrrl, Inc., and the first global Internet networking organization for women, Webgrrls International.  And, that is where we first crossed paths.

We both had a front row seat at start of the Web Industry (back then we called it “New Media”), helping to shape how people use new digital technologies. Aliza was focused mostly in business sector, while I was focused on nonprofits. We worked on nearly parallel paths over the next 20 years.

Aliza and I ran into each other again in 2009 at the first Wisdom 2.0 Conference, the same year we were both recognized by Fast Company magazine as two of the most influential women in Technology. We reconnected over lunch and quickly realized we had a lot in common, namely questioning what being “always on” and connected to technology was doing to our relationships, our bodies, our spirits, and our ability to concentrate on our work.

Not long after, I was leading a workshop in Alaska at a nonprofit conference, and we had another chance to connect. We talked about the need for being more mindful of our technology. We both continued to write about and talk about cultivating a greater awareness of how we work and where technology fits in to our work and lives as well as the critical need that we should take better care of ourselves so we can do great work with less stress.

So, what better way to live and breath this topic than to collaborate on a book with Aliza. We’re combining forces to learn about how nonprofits are mastering self-care. We’re coming together to tell our own stories and the stories of nonprofit organizations around wellness in the workplace in the Digital Age.

The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout will take on the outdated work ethic that plagues many nonprofits: “The Scarcity Mindset” of working long hours with few resources without investing in an organizational strategy for self-care.

This book is a manifesto for mindset change in our sector, raising the conversations about the importance of self-care. The book is also a practical toolkit filled with concrete examples, ideas and practices for both individuals and organizations working on social change issues to achieve impact without burnout.

As social media has become more widely adopted in the nonprofit workplace, our personal lives, and our society at large, hyper-connectivity is contributing to the feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed that is so common too many who work in the nonprofit sector. This book takes off where The Networked Nonprofit and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit left off — helping individuals and the nonprofit organizations they work for  how to live and work with online networks in more sustainable ways.

The topics include:

  • Understanding the pillars of self-care for individuals: sleep, nutrition, exercise
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Managing technology and information overload
  • Understanding and practicing different ways to work that replenish individual energy
  • Effective team work habits and communication
  • Productive and effective meetings
  • Developing staff wellness plans as part of organizational strategy
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Ways to encourage individual and group reflection and learning

What else should be on that list?

We are on a mission to identify and interview people who work for nonprofits about their stories of scaling self-care in their organizations.

Let us know if you have some ideas, examples, or tips to share




16 Responses

  1. Amy Gahran says:

    Here’s a topic — engagement with communities and stakeholders that is mutually energizing. Avoiding burnout is admirable but finding energy is even better!

  2. Beth says:

    Amy, love that!! Tell me more …..

  3. Amy Gahran says:

    Thinking out loud…

    Too often, goal-oriented engagement strategies deteriorate into choredom. I think it’s a pretty crucial skill to listen first to find out where your community’s interest and energy is, then see which of that resonates with your own interest and energy, and lead with that — even if it doesn’t always directly support your organizational agenda. Just engaging the community for its own sake is valuable, it builds goodwill that you can call on when needed.

    I think too often, people who are working earnestly, especially to serve a community or achieve a greater good, forget how much fun matters. Without joy, what’s the point?

  4. Nancy White says:

    First, YAY!

    Second, I think these ideas might fall under your list …

    * Making choices about our work so we are not perpetuating old, broken systems (and keeping our jobs) and instead working towards real change. That is energizing in so many ways, but a difficult chasm. (I have to ask myself each time, is saying yes to an engagement making real change, or helping band-aid a broken system. The latter is unhealthy in every way). So choices.

    * Loving what is (to quote Byron Katie) – this is not the Pollyanna everything is peachy mindset, but it is finding strength everywhere.

  5. Sheena says:

    When I saw this, I thought – you must really be listening to your nonprofit audience. Such a timely topic for everyone.

    Two books that have been informing/guiding me on this topic are Life Entrepreneurs by Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek and Drive by Dan Pink.

    They focus on what motivates us and what replenishes us.

  6. Jay Geneske says:

    This will be a gamechanger! I’m so thrilled and thankful you will be taking this on. Let me know if you need help with anything, finding people to interview, etc. This is essential for the nonprofit sector.

  7. Beth says:

    Jay, thanks so much for your kind note – will circle back to you…

  8. Beth says:

    Sheena, thanks for those tips … going to check them out

  9. Beth says:

    Thank you Nancy!! So much in your observation about making choices – and saying yes and saying no. I think that connected life really demands that we flex our careful choices muscles.

  10. Beth says:

    Amy, nice of turn of phrase “choredom.”

    Do you remember the conversation we had several years ago about prioritizing fun? That really stuck with me … why is that so hard for us to do?

  11. Sheena says:


    Since you were mentioned in it, I’m guessing you’ve read this one by Mary Calahane.

  12. Batuhan Aras says:

    Understanding the pillars of self-care for individuals: sleep, nutrition, exercise topic sounds good since I’m really bad taking care of myself in a healthy way, looking forward to read it!

  13. Hello Beth! It’s great to hear from you on such a knowledgeable platform like this. I have been following you since 2 months and have found your blog really helpful. Thanks for the great writing! keep going!!

  14. Love this idea and think it will be a great service to the field! I wanted to offer up that I am so proud to work for a happy, healthy and very impactful organization, in case you need a case study. I will go to the Survey Monkey link and leave some of our practices. We are Kids Included Together, HQ in San Diego, but with national and international reach.

  15. Beth says:

    Torrie, thank you so much for filling out the survey. We will be following up.

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