EP 009 Sarai Johnson is Creating Belonging instead of Burnout in Nonprofits

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This week,  Reva Patwardhan speaks with Sarai Johnson, a speaker, coach, author, and founder of Lean Nonprofit. When I first encountered Sarai, it was through a blog post she’d written about how nonprofits and foundations often unwittingly use management and funding practices that perpetuate the very culture of poverty and oppression they are fighting against.

Sounds like serious stuff, but what I so appreciate about Sarai is her ability to tell it like it is with humor and empathy. Empathy that comes from the fact that she’s been there too.

We talked a lot about how nonprofit work can feel like a grind. And we also talked some things we can all do to do better.

We talked about:

  • How to spot the ways workaholism, patriarchy, racism, and burnout show up in nonprofits

  • How applying LEAN principles -- a planning process popular in Silicon Valley -- can help create a culture of belonging

  • How to leave your nonprofit job without burning out or burning it down

Paul Zelizer