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(one coworker to another as they look at a small, incessantly yapping dog) Clearly, there's some nuance to this "relieve stress by bringing a dog to the office" thing.

The sound and the furry

The sound and the furry published on No Comments on The sound and the furry

Of all the cartoons I drew for The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, this was the most fun. It may be my favourite of all the dog drawings I’ve done (heaven knows I’ve drawn my share of dogs). I hope you like it.

You know what else drawing that dog was? Therapeutic. Maybe not as therapeutic as having an actual adorable animal in the office, but awfully calming. And finding some measure of balance through meditative drawing is just one of the practices that Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman suggest in their book.

A reminder if you haven’t followed this series the past few weeks: in The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, Aliza and Beth argue that wellness belongs at the heart of every nonprofit. And they give you solid advice for putting it there: through personal practice and organizational change. This is the fifth of the cartoons they invited me to draw for the book, and I’ll post several more in the coming days.

But you don’t have to wait on my posting schedule. You can see the cartoons right away with this amazing lifehack: ordering the book. Go! Go now! Fetch!

(sleepless woman in bed, to her partner) Well, on the upside, I'm a shoo-in to win the office sleep-deprivation pool.

40 winks

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Sleep-avoidance is a holy sacrament in the Church of Very Busy People. And truth be told, I’m a more observant member of the congregation than I’d like to think I am. But I’m working on it. In fact, the moment I wrote that last night I recognized what I was doing and went to bed.

There’s a particularly militant faction of my church (and I’ll cop to attending more than a few services). Adherents to that strain of the faith work for non-profits and advocacy groups in service of a shared mission. And if you’re one of those folks, it’s way too easy to convince yourself to sacrifice a few hours of sleep, or yet another workout, or a healthy meal, or investing in a relationship, in the name of The Cause.

This cartoon is from a book offering several helpful heresies that just might save the lives of some members of the flock. It’ll definitely make them more effective in changing the world. The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman argues wellness belongs at the heart of every nonprofit. And Aliza and Beth give you solid advice for putting it there.

This is the fourth of the cartoons they invited me to draw for the book, and I’ll post several more in the coming days. But you don’t have to wait for me to hit publish — and you probably shouldn’t, given my newfound interest in sleeping. You can see the cartoons right away with this simple hack: ordering the book.

Enjoy! Just don’t stay up too late reading it.

(Doctor leaning over hospital patient, speaking to colleague) He's saying 'Grant... deadline... on Thursday.'

Impatient (and by the way, The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit launches today!)

Impatient (and by the way, The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit launches today!) published on No Comments on Impatient (and by the way, The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit launches today!)Purchase print

A high school teacher once told me that a heart attack is life’s way of telling you to slow down. He was joking… but a lot of us seem to take those as words to live by. You work flat out until your body gives way, and then (and only then) do you start taking your health seriously.

That’s something I see all the time in the nonprofit space, including the political sphere. Weekends at the office are badges of honour; not responding to emails in the evening earns you a reputation as a clock-puncher uncommitted to the cause.

Today sees the launch of a book that I hope helps to change that. The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit makes a powerful case for placing wellness at the heart of organizational culture and personal practice. And it offers a roadmap (or maybe a bike path) for nonprofits who want to put it there.

Authors Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman kindly asked me to draw cartoons for the book, and I’m thrilled it comes out today. This is the third of those cartoons I’ve posted, and you’ll see a bunch more this week.

But why wait? You can see them right away by ordering the book. More to the point, you’ll read a book that I honestly think can lead to a much stronger nonprofit sector. (And hey, you startup folks who like to read the tech cartoons? This stuff applies to you, too, you sleep-at-your-cubicle crazies.)

Congrats, Aliza and Beth. And if you’re a workaholic who wants to get off the pot and bring about some healthy changes, congrats to you, too. Because the first step is right here.

Cartoon: a supervisor asks an employee in the middle of a meditation session how that donor retention report is coming

Pro tip: make your task list your meditation mantra!

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No rest for the wicked… or, apparently, for the mindful. Meditate on that.


On October 10, Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman are releasing The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout. It makes a compelling case that nonprofits can benefit tremendously from embracing a commitment to health and wellness.

I’m so psyched that Beth and Aliza invited me to draw a series of cartoons for it. I’ll be publishing a selection over the coming days, so keep coming back!

And please consider pre-ordering The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit. Pre-orders can make a big difference to a book’s success, and I’m convinced the more people who get this book’s message, the better.

(Three people walking; one is trying - and failing - to draw on a whiteboard) So far, everything's working with our walking meetings except the whiteboard.

Coming this October: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit

Coming this October: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit published on No Comments on Coming this October: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit

Working with mission-driven nonprofit clients has taught me some important lessons about self-care. When you care deeply about your work, it can be easy to let self-care slide. Maybe skipping your workout means you get to make a call to a top donor. Or staying late for another few hours means a grant proposal heads off tomorrow instead of next week. Or putting off your vacation means you’re there for a crucial planning stage for the AGM.

Not only that, but some organizational cultures give a heroic sheen to unhealthy choices. It’s not poor self-care; it’s taking one for the cause! And if everyone else is doing it, you’re going to find it awfully hard to be the only one who insists on not working over the weekend.

Until you burn out, get sick or even die.

This October, Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman are releasing The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout. It makes a compelling case that nonprofits can benefit tremendously from embracing a commitment to health and wellness.

I’m so psyched that Beth and Aliza invited me to draw a series of cartoons for it. You’ll see the first of them here today, and a few more over the next weeks leading up to the book launch.

I’m proud to be associated with their book. And I’m hoping you’ll consider pre-ordering The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit. Pre-orders can make a big difference to a book’s success, and I’m convinced the more people who get this book’s message, the better.

The Happy Healthy Nonprofit cover

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