It’s hard to know what stage of the pandemic we’re in. It looked like we were close to a post-pandemic world, but with this Delta variant, COVID-19 continues to linger. Maybe we’re in a kinda-post-pandemic time? Who knows when things will really return to a new normal, but what I do know is that as children are gearing up to go back to school, adults are contemplating going back to the office.
And this brings me to this question: Do you want to go back to the office full-time?
Before you answer that, let’s think about what we’ve all learned over the last 18 months of working remotely. A lot of us realized: “Hey, I can do this job pretty well from home.” You may have even thought: “As a front-line fundraiser, why do I even need to go into an office?”
And you might have taken this even further, like many people have: “Is this the work that I actually want to do?” “Do I want to change my daily focus?” “All those things that my non-profit asked me to do that had nothing to do with my portfolio… why was I agreeing to do it when I worked from an office every day?” “Am I getting the proper training to do this work, and am I being compensated fairly?” “Why was it that when I was in the office, I never saw my manager, but when working remotely, my manager became a micro-manager?”
Thousands of front-line fundraisers are asking these questions right now. And, while you may have thought of these questions before the pandemic, I’d bet you didn’t fully act on them.
Now, I’m telling you to seriously consider these questions and start being your own advocate. You have power and right now, you probably have more power than you know. The job market is completely changed in favor of the employee. If you ever feared to ask your manager for a different work situation, whatever that is, now is the time to put away that fear.
Richard and I have written many blog posts about how some non-profits abuse their people. They take them for granted and unfortunately, take advantage of the goodwill of their employees and overwork, undercompensate, under-train, under-manage, under-praise them.
You can say no to that. You can ask for the things you need to make your work environment a positive one. If you’re good at what you do and your non-profit recognizes that their employees are an asset and that retaining them is key, they will work with you to get what you need. Within reason, of course. Taking back some of your power, doesn’t mean abusing your power.
However, if your non-profit still doesn’t “get it”, even after a pandemic, there are plenty of strong, people-oriented non-profits that want to hire you.
As you know, we’re not advocates of jumping ship every other year. We value long-term employment because we want front-line fundraisers to build strong relationships with donors. However, we have heard too many awful stories lately from your colleagues that compel us to urge you to take back some of your power and ask for a better workplace.
- Yes, front-line fundraisers should be able to work from home if they wish.
- You should be able to focus solely on your caseload.
- You should have a manager that gives you the proper structure and accountability and then works with you to help provide ongoing strategy and feedback.
- If you’re performing well, you should be compensated fairly.
- You deserve ongoing training and a vision for your position.
- Leadership should support your work with individual donors.
If you’re not getting this from your organization, it’s time to either speak up for yourself and get what you need to be successful, or give your notice and find an organization that will appreciate you.
The mission of a non-profit is not just about the actions they take to help make the world a better place; it’s also about the donors that fund the mission and the people within the organization that make it happen. Never forget that. You have power.