Chris Talbot-Heindl Archive

Underpaid staff don’t need motivation, they need dollar bills and benefits

“Financially, [working at a nonprofit] can’t work for a lot of people. And in fact, with a nonprofit our size — boy, you almost have to be in a committed relationship with somebody else with an income, because you’re not — it’s hard to support yourself on what we can pay people, in Denver.”

This was the moment my Executive Director (ED) finally admitted that what I was being paid wasn’t enough to support me. I was just one month shy of six years into my position at the organization, and she didn’t say this quote directly to me. She said it on a podcast that she was featured in as a nonprofit leader.

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Always give a cost of living increase — yes, especially after 2020

Usually at the end of any given year, all throughout Facebook Nonprofit Group Land, white, cisgender, heterosexual, abled women in HR and director positions start numerous posts asking different variations of, “What end of the year gift should we be giving our employees to show our appreciation for their work?”

And the answer is always the same, from me, anyway — a raise or a bonus. Please don’t give people desk organizers (supplies should be provided by workplaces, not given as gifts) or gift cards to “nice” (read: expensive) restaurants.

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