publication date: Sep 12, 2012
author/source: Phil Gérard
Pay is seldom
among the top five reasons fundraisers give when asked what motivates them in
their job and what makes them stay. In employee surveys I have seen such top motivators
as interesting and challenging work, good advancement opportunities, and a good
managers should not make the mistake of ignoring the salary issue. Money is
still an important foundation. Employees must feel that they are compensated
fairly relative to their responsibilities and performance.
in the fundraising profession and even within sectors varies. For example, the
health and education sectors are competitive in salaries. That often pressures
other sectors and organizations to follow suit. Organizations need to stay on
the pulse of compensation and conduct regular salary reviews. We do not want to
find out the hard way when people start leaving.
those colleagues who consider accepting a new job offer - beware! Sometimes the
offer looks better than it really is!
crucial to look at the entire package when you're considering leaving a job for
a better salary elsewhere. Monetary compensation is only one part of the
package. Your current employer may have lower salaries but offer benefits that outrank
the other offer.
these five points when making your decision.
organizations do not have a pension plan or at best contribute a small
percentage to an RRSP. Other organizations have defined benefit or defined
contribution plans. The latter is becoming more common now, while the former is
more attractive for employees because at retirement a fixed monthly income is
guaranteed for life.
organizations ask their employees to contribute and match or double their
contribution, while other organizations contribute 100%. That can make a big difference
on your paycheck.
organizations have their own unique monetary benefits. Universities and private
schools often offer tuition waivers to faculty, staff, and their dependents. If
you have children of university age, or even better, several children going to
university at the same time, a tuition waiver can mean big savings for your
about what special perks you are currently enjoying at your organization and that
only your organization can offer (gym membership, daycare, health spending
account, paid Internet, computer, iPad, professional development) and how
important those benefits are for your bottom line.
benefits are less clearly advertised or perhaps buried in a policy manual with
an extended health plan provider. Depending on the needs of a particular
employee or her family, these benefits can translate into large savings. I have
heard from colleagues who explained how their plan covers several thousands of
dollars a year in services for their family member with special needs. It is
worthwhile exploring the fine print. You may rely on such benefits and discover
later that your new employer's plan does not cover these services or only a
fraction of it.
job would pay $5,000 more a year but your vacation is down from five weeks to
two. Some organizations may be less competitive in salary but their employees
enjoy extra-long vacations. The monetary value of the vacation time plus the
savings in time and expenses that working requires should not be overlooked.
of course there is a whole other point to consider - your lifestyle and
The "signature experience"
have to look at the entire package. In addition to the benefits there are
things that cannot be quantified in dollars, like flexibility. Maybe your
organization enables you to work a day a week from home (or always), or have a
flexible schedule to accommodate your commute, day care or family situation.
article by Tamara J. Erickson and Lynda Gratton called "What it Means to Work
Here" published in the Harvard Business
discussed what not only makes people stay in a job and in an
organization but also helps them become an engaged employee. The authors
introduce the term "signature experience" - what sets the organization apart
for you as an employee.
discusses the example of JetBlue Airlines. Competitive compensation was
definitely not a strategy the organization could afford. Bigger airlines could
easily trump what JetBlue could offer. Instead, JetBlue implemented a
home-based ticket agent system to offer their employees flexibility, work-life
balance and convenience. Professionals who chose Jet Blue as an employer were
looking for this signature experience. For these employees it is likely that
more than a cash incentive would be needed to recruit them to another airline.
at the time of your next job offer, take a few moments to consider the whole
package, including the signature experience you now enjoy. It is not just about
how much we make and how much we take home but how happy we
are doing it.
Philippe (Phil) Gerard has
been a fundraising professional for 14 years in the community service,
education and university advancement sectors.
His specialty is major gifts fundraising. An MBA with a human resource
management specialization set him on the exciting path of fundraising talent
He is a director of
advancement with Simon Fraser University
and teaches as an adjunct instructor in Georgian
College's Fundraising and Resource Development Program. Phil is also the
President of Gérard Consulting -
Fundraising Talent Management and author of Phil's Careers Blog. His firm
helps fundraisers find a great career and organizations find and retain the
next great colleague. For more information, visit www.philscareers.com or www.gerardconsulting.ca.