Author Topic: Supporting a Non Profit Employer  (Read 1549 times)

Stachetastic

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Supporting a Non Profit Employer
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:10:56 AM »
My husband is the director of a small local non profit. They rely on other community entities to partner with them to raise funds, which include a lot of events. We attend as many as we can, but we struggle with where to draw the line, so to speak. We have one coming up that is a paint/wine night at a local winery. We know the owners well and sit on a couple of community committees with them. We have also attended several other events at the winery, not affiliated with our non profit. I feel obligated to go to this one as well, but I'm really reluctant to pay $40 to paint another picture I won't know what to do with, and I don't drink wine. My husband went to the last one, so I feel like I should probably show up for this one. But I just don't waannnnnaaaaa.

Mel70

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Re: Supporting a Non Profit Employer
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 11:03:29 AM »
Unfortunately, it seems like this is a pattern in the non-profit world. Sometimes I just mail a check with a note informing them that my calendar is busy that evening.

swick

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Re: Supporting a Non Profit Employer
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 11:15:34 AM »
This is super tricky, it depends a lot on the culture of your org. What we used to do is secure at least one "Gratis" ticket to each event for the org to use at their discretion. 

This is still essentially a "work" function for whoever is going, so staff shouldn't be expected to pay for it. If it isn't appropriate to ask for a free ticket, then it should be built into the operating expenses and used as a marketing/network expense.

Then this ticket can be used by the director, a staff member, a board member, as a way to recognize a dedicated volunteer. It is really good to be out in the community and having people see and meet the faces behind the org. This will result in easier and less expensive cultivation of donors. Make it a point at each function to introduce the person and what their role in the org is. Make sure that person has some cards, or info on them. Follow-up on any leads this person brings back.

You (or Hubby) shouldn't always have to go, and it shouldn't be up to you to pay for it unless you are going strictly out of interest and are doing NOTHING work related. This is the usual expectation in the nonprofit world and it is worth it to try and change these practices. Also, if you haven't checked it out, the "Non-profit with balls" facebook group is amazing. They have a group for ED's as well that is worth checking out.

Stachetastic

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Re: Supporting a Non Profit Employer
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 11:28:58 AM »
Unfortunately, it seems like this is a pattern in the non-profit world. Sometimes I just mail a check with a note informing them that my calendar is busy that evening.

This is what I'm really tempted to do, although one of my fears is offending the owners of the winery if neither of us show up in person. They are just now getting back into this level of support for our organization, after the owner was turned off by the last person in charge prior to my husband.
This is super tricky, it depends a lot on the culture of your org. What we used to do is secure at least one "Gratis" ticket to each event for the org to use at their discretion. 

This is still essentially a "work" function for whoever is going, so staff shouldn't be expected to pay for it. If it isn't appropriate to ask for a free ticket, then it should be built into the operating expenses and used as a marketing/network expense.

Then this ticket can be used by the director, a staff member, a board member, as a way to recognize a dedicated volunteer. It is really good to be out in the community and having people see and meet the faces behind the org. This will result in easier and less expensive cultivation of donors. Make it a point at each function to introduce the person and what their role in the org is. Make sure that person has some cards, or info on them. Follow-up on any leads this person brings back.

You (or Hubby) shouldn't always have to go, and it shouldn't be up to you to pay for it unless you are going strictly out of interest and are doing NOTHING work related. This is the usual expectation in the nonprofit world and it is worth it to try and change these practices. Also, if you haven't checked it out, the "Non-profit with balls" facebook group is amazing. They have a group for ED's as well that is worth checking out.

Thanks for the group suggestion! I will definitely be checking it out, and sending my husband the link.

To my knowledge, the organization does not provide tickets to any events. Their other staff members do not typically attend any, but some board members do. My husband enjoys them for the most part, and sometimes we are able to make a date night out of it, so they're not all bad. And this one looks like a lot of fun if painting and wine are your thing.

Laura33

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Re: Supporting a Non Profit Employer
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 08:45:38 AM »
Unfortunately, it seems like this is a pattern in the non-profit world. Sometimes I just mail a check with a note informing them that my calendar is busy that evening.

This is what I'm really tempted to do, although one of my fears is offending the owners of the winery if neither of us show up in person. They are just now getting back into this level of support for our organization, after the owner was turned off by the last person in charge prior to my husband.
This is super tricky, it depends a lot on the culture of your org. What we used to do is secure at least one "Gratis" ticket to each event for the org to use at their discretion. 

This is still essentially a "work" function for whoever is going, so staff shouldn't be expected to pay for it. If it isn't appropriate to ask for a free ticket, then it should be built into the operating expenses and used as a marketing/network expense.

Then this ticket can be used by the director, a staff member, a board member, as a way to recognize a dedicated volunteer. It is really good to be out in the community and having people see and meet the faces behind the org. This will result in easier and less expensive cultivation of donors. Make it a point at each function to introduce the person and what their role in the org is. Make sure that person has some cards, or info on them. Follow-up on any leads this person brings back.

You (or Hubby) shouldn't always have to go, and it shouldn't be up to you to pay for it unless you are going strictly out of interest and are doing NOTHING work related. This is the usual expectation in the nonprofit world and it is worth it to try and change these practices. Also, if you haven't checked it out, the "Non-profit with balls" facebook group is amazing. They have a group for ED's as well that is worth checking out.

Thanks for the group suggestion! I will definitely be checking it out, and sending my husband the link.

To my knowledge, the organization does not provide tickets to any events. Their other staff members do not typically attend any, but some board members do. My husband enjoys them for the most part, and sometimes we are able to make a date night out of it, so they're not all bad. And this one looks like a lot of fun if painting and wine are your thing.

Given this backstory, it sounds like this is almost a mandatory marketing event for your husband.  In that event, he should go, but you do not need to.  It would also make sense in the short-term for the two of you to discuss what other upcoming planned events he or both of you will need to/want to go to and then plan that into your budget, so you're not always feeling nickeled and dimed to death with perpetual requests.  Longer-term, you would be doing everyone a favor if you tried to change that dynamic -- nonprofit members don't make huge salaries to start with, so they are already "contributing" the delta between their current pay and what they could make in another job.  So if they need to attend events as part of their job function, then either the entity throwing the event should give them free tickets, or the nonprofit should buy a batch and distribute to the mandatory attendees.  [Yes, I do realize this is not remotely how the world actually works!]

But since we're talking about him attending *as the boss* (i.e., marketing the nonprofit and building community connections for the org), this is him doing his job, and there is zero obligation for you to attend unless you actually want to go.  I would make a distinction between events that the nonprofit throws itself that the entire team is expected to attend (like an annual dinner) vs. the ongoing events that it conducts over the course of the year as part of its bread-and-butter fundraising efforts -- you show up for the former as his spouse to support him, but for the latter you can respond as any member of the general public would (e.g., do I want to go, and is it worth the $?).  Or, if the org has a clear expectation of more participation, plan out how many you will go to in advance, and pick the most important ones.

Just because your husband's employer would like you to dedicate your entire social life (and discretionary income) to their fundraisers doesn't mean you have to let them.