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Non Profit Leadership

Why do most directors seem mentally unstable? I’ve seen behaviour that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other sector.

by Anonymousreply 31Last Friday at 7:18 AM

You get what you pay for.

by Anonymousreply 102/16/2021

I worked for a non-profit once. The director asked me to contact a local celebrity about attending an event. He declined, so she told me to force him to do it. What the hell???? I quit.

by Anonymousreply 202/16/2021

It is not just Directors/leadership, OP. It flows right down to the front lines. I cannot believe what I see and hear everyday - most of these people would not make it at Walmart or McDonalds.

by Anonymousreply 302/16/2021

If you are on a board in a pay-to-play capacity, you can insert a few loser friends to help look after your vision.

If you are on a board because of skill and reputation, you can settle a few old scores by throwing losers into the mix.

If you’re religious, that meth head sucking your dick at Speedway may just be a misguided angel who needs something to keep him away from Satin.

by Anonymousreply 402/16/2021

Because most non-profits spend far too much of their time being PC rather than their actual stated mission.

by Anonymousreply 502/16/2021

I interned at a nonprofit band it actually restored my faith in nonprofits. They were obsessed with their Charity Navigator rating, so a lot of effort was made to be responsible with finances and not do anything controversial. Also, it was pretty cool working around so many brilliant and accomplished young people trying to make a difference. I left as soon as I had enough hours to satisfy graduation credits, but I would’ve liked to work there if I didn’t already have a job lined up. I’ll admit, I could’ve been seeing things through rose-colored glasses. I left in 2014 and 99.9% of the people who were there when I was, have already left as well.

The only thing that ever rubbed me the wrong way was the fact they had an annual fundraiser that always made the news because of the legit A-Listers that would attend. The event alone was responsible for a huge proportion of the operating budget, so everyone was expected to help make sure it went off without a hitch. However, because it was in a swanky venue and the purpose was to raise money, staff weren’t allowed to attend.

by Anonymousreply 602/16/2021

"Non Profit Leadership: Why do most directors seem mentally unstable? I’ve seen behaviour that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other sector."

I've only worked at for profit companies. The directors and other leadership are generally good. But I think it's the exception in for profit companies.

by Anonymousreply 702/16/2021

These people with their endless drama and mental illness wouldn't be tolerated in professional, paid employment and they know it or they have learned it from bitter experience so they have no choice but to gravitate to non-profit employment where they are paid paltry amounts but are able to bring their drama and mental illness where it is the norm and as R1 said - you get what you pay for.

by Anonymousreply 802/16/2021

My last boss acted like his CFRE designation actually meant something in the real world.

by Anonymousreply 902/19/2021

R2 Delusion is common place. I had one who thought Uber would be interested in partnering with our 2nd/3rd tier AIDS service organization.

by Anonymousreply 1002/19/2021

*Everything* no matter how minute is decided by committee which means endless cycles of people talking to hear themselves talk before simple obvious decisions are made. So frustrating!

by Anonymousreply 1102/19/2021

At my last place, the previous ED had called a manager the c word in front of a bunch of employees. These employees used this information to blackmail their way to promotions and pay raises.

by Anonymousreply 1202/19/2021

CFRE is such a scam.

by Anonymousreply 1302/19/2021

We do good work.

by Anonymousreply 1402/19/2021

I never want to fucking touch Raiser’s Edge again. Any software that requires you to take 100 + classes is a piece of shit

by Anonymousreply 1502/19/2021

R9 Yeah. They act like it’s on par with an MBA

by Anonymousreply 1602/19/2021


by Anonymousreply 1702/22/2021

Sometimes if they bring in a lot of money, they get a pass.

by Anonymousreply 1802/24/2021

I've seen both sides here. Worked in advertising and some other for-profits. I'm not (as I said in another thread) an alpha male by any means and didn't have ambition as normally understood: career advances, raises, house in the suburbs, wife and kids, and the whole load of bullshit. It doesn't mean I couldn't cut it in the real world (whatever the hell that means) just that I had different priorities.

So I went into another field, a nonprofit, because I did have that public service impulse and I do want to make the world a better place. And I'm now the CEO. And guess what? You're all mostly right -- my field is littered with people whose intentions might have been good but they become jaded quickly. And I am occasionally in that group. Why? Because of the frequent abuse heaped on every level of my nonprofit by your alcoholic mother, and your unemployable brother, and my drug addict neighbor, and his implacably stupid sister, and her obscenely bigoted father, and our perverted cousin who slips notes to children. Nonprofits are not meant to succeed by any metric that governs "the real world." Hospitals, community centers, libraries, and all the rest are eternal entities with no need to find a market. The market comes to us, and if you knew what demons many people struggle with or the hellscape provided by abandoned, inconvenient, or embarrassing family members you might not be so harsh. But we come in everyday and still try to make a difference.

by Anonymousreply 1902/24/2021

A lot of non profits are resistant to change. I’ve found that especially true of most ASOs. The donor base is older, white gay men with conservative sensibilities who seem to live in a bygone era. One org in particular went to great lengths to not identify as an LGBTQ agency despite the marquee fundraising event being drag queens.

by Anonymousreply 2002/26/2021

R20 the kind of logic non profits are known for. ASOS are a dated concept anyway. It makes sense that donors skew older.

by Anonymousreply 2102/26/2021

We all have our issues. Give someone money or power and his issues become bigger and more destructive. It's mostly caused by a very fragile ego (aka low self-esteem).

by Anonymousreply 2202/26/2021

R22 Most people don’t get away with bringing their issues to work.

by Anonymousreply 2302/26/2021

I've worked at a number of nonprofits. Luckily I worked lobbying or legal so I rarely had to deal with the internal political machinations. But I remember an Exec Director who became a long time close friend. He told me if you lose a certain number of board members then you best move on. So much is personality. My friend spent his life in the nonprofit world mostly as the ED. He was smart and fair and unafraid to move on when the situation called for it - and do it graciously without making enemies.

DC nonprofits have always paid incredibly well. 20 years ago Exec Dirs we making $200-300k a year at decent size NPOs. Lobbyists were making close to $200k. And to be fair these are not the hardest jobs. For people who are social animals these are dream jobs.

by Anonymousreply 2402/26/2021

My former boss freaked out because a prospective hire put $75,000/year as a salary expectation for a Development Manager position. Yeah.

by Anonymousreply 2502/26/2021

[quote] [R22] Most people don’t get away with bringing their issues to work.

True, but this thread is about Non Profit Leadership.

by Anonymousreply 2602/26/2021


by Anonymousreply 2702/26/2021

R25 That’s a common mindset. They’re perfectly fine working for peanuts so everyone should be too.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Friday at 5:20 AM

Yeah, I occasionally write for an NGO (pretty much pro bono) and only because it is the only gay one in this Romanian city. I like the people in it, but the boss is this rabbit-faced lady who is so disorganized it is insane. She will call me at 10 PM saying she needs me to write something NOW that she just thought of. I usually do it the next morning but like all NGO's, it is very hard to cope with the lack of professionalism.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Friday at 5:24 AM

R25 $75000 isn’t even that much.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Friday at 6:33 AM

I'm guessing they have a need to really change things, so they join a group that's about changing things. Part of their need that seeks such a radical improvement may stem from issues of their own unhappiness. Whereas maybe a person with an intact family and happy childhood wouldn't have a strong need to change the world.

by Anonymousreply 31Last Friday at 7:18 AM
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