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Resilient Life Hacks for Grantmakers

You’re passionate about your mission, but it isn’t your whole life. Your family, home, hobbies, and health are important to your general well-being. . . and, in the end, focusing on these areas will ultimately help you become a better grantmaker and bounce back with resilience when life hits hard. Here’s some straightforward advice from our grantmaker friends on a holistic approach to a better life.

With constant texts, emails, phone calls, and social media notifications, our mobile devices can sometimes feel like a full-time job. And even our full-time jobs have become virtual! While these pieces of technology have been valuable assets over the past year, they’re also a distraction from everyday life. By taking time to unplug once in a while, you will be able to free yourself from ongoing distractions and save valuable time to spend on other projects, on some much-needed “me time,” or with your family.

Put your phone away from your desk while at work!

Grantmaker, Private Foundation


Sleep makes a world of difference.

Grantmaker, Health Foundation


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
Too often, we spend endless amounts of time worrying about things we can’t change. The only thing this ever does is make us more stressed out or disappointed about something we have no control over. Instead, stay focused on things you can change. For instance, examine your outlook. . . Can you change your perception? This is not to say you should sit back and do nothing, but wishing things were different when you have no control over them causes anxiety. If you’ve done what you can, then things will fall into place the way they’re supposed to.

Stay focused on the things you can actually influence. Let the other stuff go.

Grantmaker, Family Foundation


Make Time for Yourself.
When you become overwhelmed by the swell of meetings, emails, and deadlines it is important to stop, take a breath, and take time for yourself. Whether that is blocking out an hour to go for a walk or taking 20 minutes a day to read your favorite book, schedule time for yourself in your busy agenda! By making sure you are at your best, you can be the best for your family and job as well.

Making sure my work/life balance is, well, balanced as best as it can be. Since we work in the nonprofit world, most of us have a heart for this work. That means that we often work late hours or bring our work home with us. We can consistently be consumed by the challenges we face, looking for solutions so that in the end, we make life better for people. That’s why most of us have chosen this line of work to dedicate ourselves to. I would just recommend that people take time for themselves. Go camping. Spend time with family. Visit that dream place. The more full you are, the better you can serve the people who need help the most.

Grantmaker, Community Foundation


Live Like You’re on Vacation.
When you have a busy work life, sometimes the best thing you can do is create a vacation in your hometown. Whether it is trying a new restaurant, exploring a new landscape or just reading a book, it is important to take time and make your every-day life rich with experiences.

Live like you’re on vacation! Dress casually but fun, nap, read books, spend lots of time playing with your kids, eat out now and again, and play “tourist” in your hometown – go somewhere you wouldn’t normally, try something you haven’t yet, but you would think of if some friends popped in for the weekend. You never know how long life will last, and we get too few vacations anyway. Besides, you don’t have to buy a plane ticket to your hometown.

Grantmaker, Family Foundation


Exercise and Meditate.
When you only have so much time in a week, often the first sacrifices people make is their personal well-being and health. Exercising is one of the biggest stress relievers. So find ways to make it happen!

Challenge your co-workers to see who can get the most exercise time in (we use the MapMyFitness app at Foundant). Commit to one fun exercise class a week. Or join a local hiking group on Facebook. And you can do the same thing with meditation. Download an app to make it easy (Headspace is a great option), identify a quiet space where you can focus on your inner well-being, or ask your co-workers to sit down and listen to a guided meditation before a stressful meeting. Finding ways to help others will probably help you even more!

Monday morning meditation sessions as a group. We love it. Also having a flexible/agile work schedule, where we can work remotely as needed.

Grantmaker, Corporate Foundation

While these “tips” might seem obvious, they’re also the easiest things to ignore, make excuses not to do, or simply assume they’re not important. While we know there are a plethora of advice columns, blogs, memes, and more telling you to do exactly this – keep in mind that this came straight from the desks of your fellow grantmaking peers. Take note! It’s important to take care of yourself! After all, our philanthropic community would fall apart without you.

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About the Author

For more than a decade, Foundant Technologies has specialized exclusively in making philanthropy easier and more impactful through intuitive technology solutions. All of our cloud-based solutions focus on grantmaker, grantseeker, scholarship provider and community foundation needs with the goal to make day-to-day tasks streamlined and help maximize the impact of the philanthropic community.

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