Philanthropy & CSRMay 23, 2020

How funders can support individual well-being

A look at myriad ways funders can support the well-being and mental health of often understaffed and under-resourced grantees, and help foster healthier individuals and organizations.
2020-06-26 00:00:00 India Development Review How funders can support individual well-being
1 Min read Share

In another day and age, we would have written that supporting the well-being of grantees was the easiest way to become a nonprofit’s favorite funder. Whether funding poverty or climate solutions, or supporting communities in Baltimore or Bahrain, we would have argued that individual well-being could generate broader social outcomes, because healthy people create healthy things. Today, it’s clear that all of us in the funding world need to support grantee well-being—not to become the favorite funder, but to help social change organizations survive the pandemic right in front of us, and then ensure that they have the resilience, as well as the capacity to innovate and collaborate, that they need to effectively navigate challenges to come.

Physically, mentally, and emotionally adapting to COVID-19 has proved especially challenging for people working in social change. Social change organizations are facing extraordinary demand for their services, often with insufficient staffing and resources. Some have had to reduce wages, cut hourly staff, or lay off full-time staff amid great uncertainty. Meanwhile, as previous stories in this article series have pointed out, nonprofit leaders and others often struggle to maintain even a tenuous line between work and home life. For many, the two are now forcibly and inextricably merged. The world has called on the social change workforce to both prevent and respond to the consequences of COVID-19, and there are already signals that people are reaching their physical, mental, and emotional limits.

This is an excerpt from the article How Funders Can Support Individual Well-Being
by  Jessamyn Shams-Lau and Leah Wilberding.

This article is a part of a special series on the connection between inner well-being and social change, in partnership with The Wellbeing ProjectStanford Social Innovation ReviewSchwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum, and Skoll Foundation.

We want IDR to be as much yours as it is ours. Tell us what you want to read.


We hope the conversations that take place on will be energetic, constructive, and thought-provoking. To ensure the quality of the discussion, our moderating team will review all comments and may edit them for clarity, length, and relevance. Comments that are overly promotional, mean-spirited, or off-topic may be deleted per the moderators' judgment. All posts become the property of India Development Review.
Get smart.
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, IDR Edit.
Follow us
Get smart. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, IDR Edit.

IDR is India’s first independent media platform for the development community.

We publish cutting edge ideas, lessons and insights, written by and for the people working on some of India’s toughest problems. Our job is to make things simple and relevant, so you can do more of what you do, better.

IDR is produced in partnership with Ashoka University’s Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact
© 2020 India Development Review    
India Development Review is published by the Forum for Knowledge and Social Impact, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Company Act, 2013.
CIN: U93090MH2017NPL296634