It’s time for it to be all about you and your future.

Let’s face it, we were all exhausted by the time the World Health Organization declared an end to the global health emergency this past May. The stress of coping with the pandemic, along with social and economic upheaval during the past few years exacted a toll.

While the impact of COVID was felt throughout the population, the nonprofit sector shouldered an inordinate burden, requiring heroic efforts to do more with less. Fundraising professionals and nonprofit executives were challenged as never before, confronted by obstacles that made it difficult to do their jobs.

It was suddenly difficult for them to engage with donors. Work from home rules separated them from their colleagues and friends. Unforeseen financial challenges resulted in unprecedented funding goals. For many, the very survival of their organizations was at stake.

Incredibly, and undeniably, the nonprofit sector rose to the challenge. By navigating abundant government resources, and aggressively connecting with newly enlightened foundations and generous individual donors, a dedicated nonprofit community prevailed. Food banks flourished. Education miraculously continued. Arts recovered. It is a beautiful story.

It’s a happy ending, but, it came at a cost.

With all that mostly behind us, we can take a collective sigh of relief. Organizational batteries are being recharged. Leaders are allowing themselves to peer into the future once again. They are refreshing their strategic plans, or in some cases totally reinventing their organizations with the knowledge gained and lessons learned during the crisis.

Now that we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, you might be thinking, “what about me?” That is a fair question. You have been through a lot. It’s time to think about your future. Have your professional or personal goals changed? What is your next move?

If you are one of the thousands of fundraisers and executives who has taken a step back to think about your next step forward, you are not alone. Turnover rates in the nonprofit sector are higher than ever. Nearly half of nonprofit employees have indicated that they will seek to change jobs by 2025. On top of that, the aging of America is opening up key positions in the sector, as individuals who held onto their jobs during the pandemic are now gliding into long deserved, but delayed, retirement.

So, yes, this is your moment. It’s time to map out your post-pandemic journey. Here are some thoughts on how to advance in the nonprofit field at a time when you are needed most.

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