The Fatigue of a Fundraiser

The Fatigue of a Fundraiser


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is appropriate that I am writing this on my last day of work before a much anticipated and much needed weeklong vacation. Why is it much needed? I am tired. I am feeling fatigue in many areas of my life and based on what I am hearing, I am not alone. As humans, we are subject to COVID-19 fatigue and burnout. As development professionals, we are dealing with the reality of fundraising/donor fatigue. To those of you who have experienced fatigue - be it pandemic, fundraising, Zoom, or any other type – I hope that at least one of these resources will help you to understand and overcome it.

Donor Fatigue

Donor fatigue; is it real? – Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (

This article, written by Kristi Howard-Schultz in February of this year, addresses what is commonly known as donor fatigue. This occurs when we pitch the same donors for gifts time and time again. According to the article, one reason may be a result of recent giving trends. That is, fewer donors giving more. Here, Howard-Schultz offers a couple suggestions for overcoming that donor fatigue.

Fundraising Fatigue

Winning the Battle Against Fundraising Fatigue (

Building on the concept of fundraising fatigue presented by Howard-Schultz, The Fundraising Authority recognizes the challenges that those in the development field often feel; and often cyclically. For the benefit of both the fundraising professional and the organization, the Fundraising Authority suggests three steps to “get back into the game”:

  • Take a Break
  • Do Something Huge
  • Start a Mastermind Group


COVID and Workplace Fatigue

How Leaders Are Helping Their Teams Overcome Covid Fatigue And Burnout (

Perhaps your work isn’t focused on fundraising and development but you are still feeling a sense of fatigue. As the Delta Variant starts to spread, many are beginning to feel the burnout yet again. Here in the Southern New England Conference, it is clear to me that our Leadership is taking steps to address these added stresses. Regular updates about the future for our staff and offices, (virtual) social gatherings to build relationships, and pick me ups like a lunch delivery have gone a long way!
This Forbes article shares additional ideas being implemented by various workplace leaders that work to address workplace fatigue. Some of these ideas include:

  • Create Zoom-free days
  • Watch for signs of burnout
  • Spend time prioritizing
  • Set a clear purpose and priorities

Above all, having a support system is essential as we navigate the challenges of living during a pandemic. Many development professionals often work in “small shops” – alone or siloed from the work of their colleagues. It is often one of the biggest challenges of our role. Please know that I am here as your colleague and friend and hope that you will reach out if you’re looking for someone with whom you can share an idea or ask a question!

Yours in Faith,
Lee Gagen
SNEUCC Director of Individual and External Donor Relations


Generous Thoughts

Generous Thoughts is a collaborative effort of UCC stewardship, generosity, fundraising, and development professionals to provide our conferences and congregations with information to aid them in their fundraising efforts. The SNEUCC is represented ...

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