An Open Letter to Nonprofit Leaders


Dear Nonprofit Leaders,

We see you.

We see you juggling responsibilities and wearing hats you never thought you’d need to wear. We see you putting in long hours and fighting through emotional fatigue, all to feel like you still may not be doing enough. And we know that in spite of it all, you’re showing up every day, driven by your mission and the people you serve.

The world has changed before our eyes, and in these challenging, unprecedented times, you’re leading the way to strengthen your communities.

We see you, and we have been in your shoes. We continue to meet more people just like you. (We’re so glad there continue to be more people like you).

Recently, we were in a team meeting with one of our clients. Two days later, we learned that one of their team members died suddenly and unexpectedly. They grieved their tremendous loss—and we grieved with them—and yet their work had to continue.

Another incredible organization works with people experiencing homelessness in the Pacific Northwest. They shared with us that a beloved client had recently overdosed. We were amazed to see how their grief strengthened their commitment to their work to uplift and empower their community.

The work you do is more than just hard — it can be devastating. Your work is emotional, it’s draining, and it’s unspeakably important. And yet, here you are, committed to fighting the good fight every single day.

Let us just say this in the clearest terms possible: you are the kind of leader the world needs right now.

The sacrifices you make often go unnoticed by the broader public. Your salary doesn’t reflect the countless hours and untold energy you invest in your cause. Your team may be small, and your resources might be tight. But still, you lead with dedication and resilience by making the most of what you have. Why? Because you believe in a better tomorrow and are willing to work tirelessly today to create it.

The truth is, you inspire us. Your commitment, your tenacity, and your courage remind us of why we do the work we do. Like you, we believe in making the world a better place; it’s your leadership that models for us how we can contribute our own skills and passion. When the path seems uncertain and the obstacles insurmountable, your example keeps us moving forward.

In our fragmented world, nonprofit leaders are a steady and unifying force for good. Your work is a powerful counter-narrative to the apathy and cynicism that pervade modern life. You make us believe in the potential for compassion and progress to win out. For that, we thank you.

So please do yourselves this favor: take a moment today to breathe, to reflect, and to give yourself some well-deserved credit. Know that what you’re doing is invaluable, and remember to care for yourself as well as you care for others.

We’re cheering you along the way.

With respect and admiration,

The Liminal Team

Todd Hiestand

Todd has over 20 years of experience as a leader in the nonprofit sector. He has served in a wide variety of roles, guiding digital marketing, technology, fundraising, eCommerce, and communications strategies. His expertise in developing systems and processes has helped launch organizations and sustain growth over time.