Beyond Psychic Income: An Exploration of Interventions to Address Work-Life Imbalances, Burnout, and Precarity in Contemporary Nonprofit Work Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Nonprofit scholars and practitioners alike adhere to a long-held assumption that nonprofit work is, and will remain, inherently meaningful work. The long-term marketization of the nonprofit sector coupled with the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic has undercut this narrative. Our research on meaningful nonprofit work indicates that while many nonprofit workers do find their work meaningful, pay, flexibility, and work/life balance are increasingly important to them. This commentary suggests that nonprofit leaders can no longer presume that workers motivated by prosocial values will seek out and stay with nonprofit work, satisfied with the psychic income that comes from doing good work. Nonprofits must be managed and led differently such that they center workers contemporary needs and desires. Organizational and public policy initiatives around pay equity and flexible work can support such a transition for the nonprofit sector.

published proceedings

  • Nonprofit Policy Forum

author list (cited authors)

  • Robichau, R. W., Sandberg, B., & Russo, A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Robichau, Robbie Waters||Sandberg, Billie||Russo, Andrew

publication date

  • September 2022