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Social study results on burnout in Polish, Croatian and Slovenia NGOs 2020

We have decided to address the topic of burnout due to our personal experience of going through the syndrome while working in the third sector. We wanted to learn about burnout specificity in the NGO environment.
We were also curious if the situation is similarly alarming in three countries
– Poland, Croatia and Slovenia.
Since 2019, we have been implementing the international “Burnout Aid”
project devoted to burnout in the third sector, with participants from three

Culture Shock Foundation from Poland (which uses new technologies and new media in non-formal education, breaking down access barriers to the world of digital culture),

Common Zone from Croatia (which works mostly with women and LGBTQ+ community in the field of gender equality, culture, workers’ rights and runs the independent news portal and Mesto
Žensk / City of Women from Slovenia (an independent organization focusing on feminism and gender equality in the arts and culture).

At the turn of 2019 and 2020, we conducted Desk Research (the report, in four language versions, is available at:, which showed that in Poland, Croatia and Slovenia burnout studies have been progressing for around 30 years and focus mainly on the psychological and individual aspects of the syndrome.

There is little research into the effects of burnout on entire organizations, and on NGOs in particular.
We wanted to understand the nature of burnout in the NGO environment,
among activists, educators and enthusiasts – people who often do not set
up boundaries between their work and other areas of life.

Our international
cooperation resulted in the qualitative study, carried out in 2020, on burnout
awareness in non-governmental organizations, the specificity of the problem,
the impact of burnout on the organization and the remedial measures

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein..