LEADERSHIP | What is My Time Worth?

publication date: May 29, 2024
author/source: Joanne Linka

I love speaking in the community. Telling stories and sharing the needs of my organization to interested community members is always an opportunity I jump at. Not only does it get me out of the office, but it gives me the chance to share my passion about the essential work that we do.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about what my time is worth.

Too often, I spend two hours at the event, in addition to (sometimes) several more hours preparing for the event—and I leave with a $15 gift card for Starbucks.

Wait a minute. It cost my organization close to $200 for me to speak at this function and they think $15 worth of coffee is appropriate compensation?

Yes, I know. We might get a donation out of it – or a new volunteer or ambassador. Maybe.

But in the meantime, we are paying for that group to have a bit of “entertainment” during their monthly meeting. Not to mention that the time I spent with them, meant I wasn’t spending time on tasks that have a tangible ROI.

I admit that part of my struggle with this situation is that I feel undervalued.

I am a professional sharing engaging and important information that is relevant to everyone who lives in my community. Shouldn’t that be recognized and appropriately compensated? It feels like this is another situation where the nonprofit world is expected to do our work out of the goodness of our hearts rather than be treated as a professional who is an expert in the field.

So – I’m looking for feedback.

  • How does your organization handle these requests?
  • Do you have a minimum suggested donation? A flat fee?
  • Do you accept the $15 gift card and chalk it up to the price of doing business?

Please click on the link to share your insights.

I will report back on the results in a follow-up article next month.

Joanne Linka is the Manager of Communication and Fund Development at The Cridge Centre for the Family in Victoria BC. She loves to dig into systemic issues and look for solutions that benefit the wider community. She can rant on any number of issues at the drop of a hat. When not working, Joanne is reading, in the garden or pestering her children. jlinka@cridge.org

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