Mental Health Resources for Fundraisers

AFP offers resources for fundraisers to help take care of their mental health.

Working in a mission-driven profession, with limited resources and high expections, it can be easy to lose sight of your own mental health as you prioritize the goals of your organization. These resources from the Association of Fundraising Professionals are designed to help fundraisers evaluate their own mental health and find solutions to common challenges such as burnout, quiet quitting, and competing professional and personal priorities.     

Self-Care Tips for Fundraisers: In this article, Linda McGhee , JD, Psy.D shares tips from her AFP LEAD 2023 session, Self-Care for Those Who Lead: Healing for Leaders And Setting The Corporate Culture for Intentional Self-Care. Tips include self-inventory, doing the inner work, starting small, and being consistent. 

Ian AdairAddressing the STIGMA Associated with Mental Illness: In this article, Ian Adair , MS, CNP, ACNP, AFP's Director of Leadership Development and Credentialing, shares what fundraisers can do to look past the myths on mental illness and create a workplace culture that encourages open dialgoue about mental health.          

The Mental Load of Motherhood

Motherhood and the Mental Health Load: By: Ashley MacKeigan: Returning from maternity leave and finding the balance of my role as a mom, my role as a partner, and my role as a fundraiser was a new challenge. This added another level to scheduling, organizing, staying safe in the pandemic, time management, and self-care.  

Chris EvansMotherhood and the Mental Health Load: By: Chris Evans: The house is still and quiet. I just clocked out from my second job to write about my experience as a working mom in fundraising. The dim light reminds me that I’m not alone. My three-year-old lays asleep with a fever in my guest room-turned-office. She’s been vomiting all day and I’m beyond stressed about tomorrow.     

In this interview from the Mental Load of Motherhood series, Danisha Bhaloo, CFRE, talks with Lacey Kempinski, CFRE, founder and owner of Balanced Good, about her experiences being a working mother in the fundraising profession. She shares her advice on being transparent and unapologetic, and how showing your humanity can make you a better fundraiser. 


In this interview from the Mental Load of Motherhood series, Danisha Bhaloo, CFRE, talks with Vanessa Seltzer, director of philanthropy at Arc Broward, about her experiences being a working mother in the fundraising profession. She shares the difficulties of a pandemic pregnancy, the things she wish she had prepared more for coming back to work post-pregnancy, and her advice for mothers who may not have the support they're looking for from their organization. 

BIPOC Mental Health Resources

Mental Health — Donor Events as the Only Fundraiser of Color: By: Kathi Barber: Self-care and other specific strategies are vital to overcoming stress and anxiety as a BIPOC fundraiser. The anticipation of being the only person of color at a donor event can cause severe stress and anxiety—and possibly negatively impact mental health. Among other tools, self-care is an important way to maintain positive mental and physical well-being. (Available Exclusively to AFP Members)     

Not for the Faint of Heart: By: Kathi Barber: When it comes to development and fundraising staff, employment tends toward two- to three-year terms due to excessive workload, burnout, low pay, and health problems—headaches, insomnia, and depression, to name a few. Fundraising is not for the faint of heart; I have experienced this dynamic firsthand. For fundraisers of color, this industry’s stressors include the added elements of navigating the white power dynamic; microaggressions from leadership, donors, and staff; and systemic racism. (Available Exclusively to AFP Members)  

Mental Health in the Workplace

The last few years have been tough for everyone - a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, etc. The circumstances we're dealing with impact our job performance, and the stress we face at work bleeds back into our personal lives. These resources address various aspects of workplace mental health.   

Woman with her head in her handsPay Attention to Quiet Quitting: In this article, Tanya Hannah Rumble, CFRE, and Nicole McVan, MA discuss how organizations can create more inclusive workplace cultures centered around flexibility and understanding, to counter the trend of quiet quitting. (Available Exclusively to AFP Members)  

Sad statueComplimentary Webinar: How to Process Job Loss, to Heal, and then to Grow: In today’s volatile job market, you may have been laid off, fired, been the casualty of a leadership change or seen signs that it’s time to move on.  Learn strategies to help you navigate job loss and change, so that you can ultimately make this a time of opportunity. 

More from this series:

Mike's Monday Message

AFP president & CEO, Mike Geiger, shares a message with the membership every Monday covering a topic relevant to the fundraising profession. Many of his messages have covered mental health related topics. 

Mike GeigerYou Got This: When you're feeling overwhelmed, take a step back. In this year-end message, Mike shares some tips for putting year-end giving into perspective, making sure that you don't get burnt out during the most stressful time of the year. Read More

More from this series:

Additional Resources

Want The Latest AFP & Fundraising News Delivered To Your Inbox?Sign Up Now!

Recommended for You

Members: Sign in to view your personalized recommendations!

Sign in