So you’re a bleeding heart hippie liberal who wants to heal the world.
That’s why you got into this field, right? To change the world.
There are so many deserving nonprofits and people, all who need YOUR HELP!
Then somewhere along the way, you decided you could do some nonprofit consulting.
You started small, with helping a friend here, and giving some advice there, hoping, eventually, that this would lead to money.
You’ll be listening for two hours to someone tell you the history of their nonprofit, their money problems, and of course, you want to talk about how to solve their problems, maybe they could do this, and maybe they could do that, and they’re taking notes furiously and the next thing you know your whole afternoon is gone and you’ve got nothing to show for it but that you helped someone. For free. Again. Or worse, they say, “Do you want to volunteer on our event committee?”
The next thing you knew, your meetings were running longer and longer, your days were getting more and more consumed by these volunteer projects. People were taking more and more from you, but your pocket was still empty.
How could these good, helpful people take advantage of you? How could they not see how much you deserve to be paid?
Because when you do things for free, people will come to expect that that is how you operate. They will not want to pay you after you start out free. And furthermore, if these people have NEVER paid anyone to help them fundraise, just start running in the opposite direction right now. Yeah, certain Unitarian church, I’m looking at you.
Perhaps as women, in certain societies, we have a harder time saying no. Maybe culturally, we’re encouraged to be helpful, to be self-denying, to just help other people and give and give and give until we’re exhausted.
When people ask you to fundraise for free, picture this owl.
You can say “O RLY” and try to control your MASSIVE EYEROLL.
Because bitch please. How many people do you think have asked me to fundraise for them for free? How many times, also, do you think I’ve generously given of my time, and then looked for money to get groceries, and not found it?
So do yourself a favor. Get clear about who you will and will not help.
You’ve got fundraising skills. You’ve got talent and dedication and passion and imagination and you’re good at what you do AND you can GET THINGS DONE. And for this, people should pay you.
Just because causes are important doesn’t mean that your life, ability to pay rent or your electric bill or god forbid ability to SAVE FOR RETIREMENT should be impinged on.
I believe that everyone is here to learn lessons. Maybe your lesson is to learn to speak up for yourself.
Mine right now is “Learn how to say no.” and “Tell them your hourly rate.”
So get real, get with it, and get paid.
This is how real fundraising work makes real fundraising money. Help all of the causes you want. But get a bottom line.