The purpose of this final project is to study the extent to which staff at Bakke Graduate University (BGU) experienced personal transformation through their work. As an under-resourced nonprofit engaging in a dynamic global mission, BGU has the potential for creating a work environment that could lead to staff burnout. In the article entitled “Volunteer and Non-Profit Burnout – The Burnt Stick,” Bart Gragg explains, “When a person starts down the path to burnout their performance begins to slip, and they know it. But they are tired. They get frustrated because they are not performing to their standards. And therefore they are not being fulfilled. Then they begin to have an attitude, either of anger or despair.”1 This attitude then affects donors, clients, and other employees negatively, which can then create even greater stress.
The personal transformation experience will look different for each individual, but as a general guideline it will include a sense of self-fulfillment when the individuals are able to use their God-given gifts and talents in a significant role as part of a larger community.
This project will consider different factors and criteria that need to be present for this transformation to happen. Based on the study and presentation of information gathered, this project then will develop guidelines for BGU to implement and follow to create an environment where staff is more likely to experience personal transformation. The scope of this project will include definitions for transformation, transformational leadership, and personal transformation as it relates to this study. Staff of BGU, both present and past, will be surveyed to gather information on BGU’s work environment and the type of factors necessary for staff to experience personal transformation. This project will identify transferable principles that leaders of other nonprofit organizations can implement to create environments within their own organizations for their staff to experience personal transformation. This project will be limited to gathering and analyzing data from existing and past BGU employees and will not be a broad-based survey of employees from other nonprofit organizations. In addition, this project will not include the actual implementation of guidelines that are developed by this study, but will simply be recommendations for BGU leadership to follow.
1 Bart Gragg, “Volunteer and Non-Profit Burnout – the Burnt Stick,” Maverick’s Mental Meals (2008). http://www.maverickbusinessadvisors.com/wordpress/2008/10/a-burnt-stick/ (accessed October 30, 2011).