Employee Turnover: The One Thing Keeping Your Nonprofit Stuck
In this webinar, Mazarine Treyz will highlight some ways to get unstuck and improve your employee retention rates, even when you’re strapped for time, money and bodies.
Steven: All right, Mazarine. My watch just struck two o’clock. Is it okay if I go ahead and get this party started?
Steven: All right, awesome. Well, good afternoon, everyone, if you’re out on the East Coast, and good morning, I should say, if you’re out on the West Coast. Thanks for being here for today’s Bloomerang webinar, “Employee Turnover: The One Thing Keeping Your Nonprofit Stuck.” We don’t want that. We want to get you unstuck. That’s why we’re here today.
So welcome. My name is Steven Shattuck, and I am the chief engagement officer over here at Bloomerang. And I’ll be moderating today’s discussion as always. Just a couple of housekeeping items before we begin, just want to let you all know that we are recording this session. So we’ll be sending out the slides and the recording later on today. So if you have to leave early, or maybe you get interrupted with something, I know how it is. Don’t fear. I’ll get that in your hands this afternoon, I promise.
And as you’re listening today, please feel free to use that chat box right there on your webinar screen. We’re going to save some time at the end for Q&A. So don’t be shy. We’d love to answer your questions at the end. We love for these sessions to be interactive. So use that. And if you haven’t already done so, check in and tell us who you are, where you’re dialing in from, we always love to see that as well. You can also do that on Twitter, I’ll keep an eye on the Twitter feed over the next hour or so.
And then one last note, if you have any trouble listening to the audio through your computer speakers, we find that the audio by phone is usually better quality. So if you have a phone nearby and you can dial in and that’ll be comfortable for you. Try that before you totally give up on us. Just check your email from ReadyTalk. It’s got a phone number that you can dial in to for some good audio.
And if this is your first Bloomerang webinar, just want to say an extra special welcome to all you folks. We do these webinars just about every Thursday. We took last week off but now we’re back at it again for the second half of the year. Always bringing on great guests, totally free presentation, totally educational kind of known for that.
But what we’re most known for is our donor management software. So if you are interested in that, or if you just want to maybe learn more about us and our offerings, just check out our website. You can even download a quick video demo and see the software in action if you want to. So check that out if you’re interested or just kind of want to learn more about who Bloomerang is.
But don’t do that now. Wait at least an hour because you’re all in for a real treat. We’ve got a friend of the program coming back. She’s been on the webinar series for many years in a row, and it never feels like a complete year until we have Mazarine Treyz joining us from beautiful . . . outside of beautiful Portland. How’s it going, Maz? Doing okay?
Mazarine: Yeah, thanks. Wow. Thank you. Really appreciate coming back here. It’s super fun, always.
Steven: Oh, yeah, we always have fun. We’ve done some great sessions in the past, and I’m looking forward to this one. I got a peek at the slides last month, and some good stuff for you all. But I just want to brag about Mazarine real quick if you all don’t know her. You may know her by her other name, Wild Woman Fundraising. She’s the CEO over there. Awesome blog. Awesome newsletter, I always open up that email when I see her name come through every other day or so. So definitely subscribe to that. We’ll get you all that information as well.
But one thing I like about Mazarine, other than that she’s a buddy of mine, is that she’s been in your shoes. She’s worked in nonprofits. She’s experienced all the things she’s going to talk about today. And now she’s trying to help all those people. She does lots of training. She might see her at a conference right. You might see her on the agenda, definitely go to that session. She’s been doing this a while. Worked with lots of awesome people. AFP, GuideStar, U.S. Olympic Committee, Meals on Wheels, pretty sought out there in helping nonprofits not only be more efficient fundraisers but also more efficient employers, which we’re all passionate about. So that’s what we’re here to talk about. And Mazarine, I’ve already taken up too much time away. So the floor is yours, my friend, take it away.
Mazarine: Thank you. Well, I just wanted to say thank you to Steven, because it’s because of him that we have the research that we’re going to talk about in the webinar today. And Bloomerang has been an incredible person to work within the last several years. I mean, with Steven and Jay and the other people that I have been able to get to know, I’m really, really grateful to you. Being able to write for your blog, as well as being able to actually do the survey that we did last year of 1100 people to talk about what do nonprofit people really want out of their job. And we figured once we figure that out, we could then share this knowledge with you. And so that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re going to show you all this stuff we found and the good infographics that Bloomerang made.
We’re going to do this again at the end of this year and hopefully gather even more data for us to kind of explore and maybe even ask a little bit different questions to get clear about how we can move forward to make the sector better for all of us. Because as Steven shared with you I am, I worked full time in fundraising for a long time, as well as co-founding a nonprofit. I founded the Nonprofit Leadership Summit in 2016, and the Fundraising Career Conference in 2015. And for four years, I ran both of those conferences, as well as writing books and all that other stuff.
But I mean, I’m not really here to talk about me. I’m here to talk about what we can do to help you have a more satisfying life and help your employees have a more satisfying life And we’ll talk about what happens when your employees leave, and what happens when they stay. And we’re not here to be a downer. We’re here to be just sharing what we learned and hopefully giving you some steps forward to actually change and make things better in your organization. So thank you, everybody. And thank you, Steven, especially for allowing me to be here again and talk about this.
So what we have found is what’s keeping you stuck, we kind of already revealed this. So I’m kind of going to gloss over it a little bit. Because usually my slides I like, do this, but it’s, you know, not necessarily a communications plan, necessarily your history, your leader, your donor database, your brand, your fundraising processes. It’s really not keeping your staff. And this is something that when we’re reactive in nonprofits instead of responsive, we don’t have a chance to think about, we’re like, okay, got to get that next grant. Got to get this sponsorship. Got to figure out how to get my board to fundraise or how to recruit more board members, right? If we’re executive directors, we have so much on our plate, we’re juggling a million things. There’s a reason for this. It’s called the “Speed Up,” and Mother Jones wrote about this in 2011. So if you want to check out that blog post or their website, you definitely should. They had like interviews with so many people. And basically, everyone is like [for 00:07:18] people jobs. That’s what the “Speed Up” is.
So when we have those jobs, we don’t actually get a chance to stop and breathe, and pause and think, how could our organizations be doing better and where are we losing money? Not just how can we bring in more money?
So here’s some things that we’ve learned. We asked over 1100 nonprofit professionals, “How happy are you at work?” And what we found was that a lot of people were planning on leaving their jobs. A lot of people had multiple jobs and a lot of people really wanted key things that they weren’t getting from their jobs. And today we’re going to tell you what those are.
So our nonprofit workplace cultures are broken, because of super jobs as I just mentioned the speed up. We have way more work, we have to make more decisions than ever, plus or at-will, so we’d have to worry about getting fired. We try to work harder. So we don’t take breaks. A few of us work our proper hours. And then so when that happens, with a few real metrics and systems, we are constantly busy, but the end of the day, we want to say, “What the heck did I get done?”
And so when I was working full time in fundraising, what I never really had was a good manager. We had an executive director, but no one was telling me you need to hit these exact metrics every single week and every single month in your fundraising program to be successful, like meet with this many donors, or write this many newsletters and make sure the open rate is this or make sure the click-through rate goes up, or we’re going to move our major donor down the pipeline or we’re going to have very clear steps that we’re taking them through. Do we like them? Do they like us to be asked for the gift? Did they negotiate the gift? Do we actually get the gift? I mean, those are the five steps that no one ever taught me.
And so that’s why I wrote my first book, Wild Woman Fundraising, “The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising.” And then I wrote another book called, “Get the Job: Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide,” where we talked about these issues. And now, of course, I make videos about it, I’ve blogged about it. I’m going to write another book soon. But when we never come to full rest, we can never come to full clarity about what is really important for us to be doing right now. So if you’re a busy executive director, I know some people here are already in that role. If you’re a busy HR person, if you’re a busy fundraiser, or program staff person, I’m going to give you what’s called Hakomi method right now.
And the Hakomi method, and I don’t have a slide about it, but I’m just going to tell you, it’s something I learned a couple of years ago from a somatic-based psychotherapist. And so you can look it up online, there’s a diagram. And it has four pieces, it’s very, very simple. First, you come to rest, you actually have to go full rest. Then you move to clarity. Then you move to action. And then you move to satisfaction.
We talk about being happy at work, happiness is a byproduct of satisfaction. If we never come to rest, then we could ever have clarity about what we need to do next. And then when we take action, it’s just a reactive, reactive, reactive. And then when we’ll never hit satisfaction. So that’s kind of like, you know, Mick Jagger singing, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” like, because we’re never thinking about, like, what is fulfilling to me to do, but also what’s missing? And what am I not doing that I should be doing? Or, gosh, I haven’t taken like a vacation in so long. I need a break. We’re just doing because we’re afraid of all the things that are listed on the slide.
So when I talk about the Hakomi method, I really want you to think about is there a day this weekend, I could come to full rest. We’re almost at the weekend right now, if not this weekend, next one. Or you’re going to be like, a day next week, you could take a day off, right? And just in or even like an hour, even 10 minutes, just do what you can, right? But the more you can come to full rest, and this is something that I’ve seen with other people and myself as well, then the more zest and vigor you’re going to be able to give your work when you do come back to it.
So there’s a book called, “The Woman’s Retreat” book, which I highly recommend if you’re a woman, but even if you’re a man, I noticed the men on here too. It’s fantastic because it’ll give you like little retreats you can do, like in 10 minutes and 50 minutes and half a day, whatever. It’s pretty good book, and I’m recommending a lot of books to you and articles and stuff, but just bear with me. That’s something I can help you come to full rest. Then, you know, you can go into if you’re an executive director, for example, where you have everything is in your head, everything you have to do to total data dump. And then you can prioritize it. And then you can take action. And then you can move to satisfaction.
And so I want to help you get off a hamster wheel of what are we doing? Why are we doing it? Or we’ll just have to keep going and going and going and do what we did the year before. Because clearly, you know, it’s not working for organizations. And I’m going to show you the research that proves that right now.
So basically, what I just said was, the mantra is work like crazy and crash. So what we’re trying to do today is show, you know, what the alternative to that is. So if you don’t know this yet, don’t answer but if you do know, what’s the turnover rate at your nonprofit right now? If you could put in the chat, it would be fantastic. Anybody here know the turnover rate? Do you know, for example, if you’re the development director, how many times the position has been filled last five years or 10 years? Anyone else want to share like if they see people leaving a lot?
Rich said approximately 20%, Tami said 18 months. Jason said 30%. Jessica said about 40%. Laura said 35%. Thanks, Laura. Yeah, I don’t think we’re doing hand raising but I’m grateful that you’re typing in here. Jean says 70%. Paula said 50%. Pamela said 18 months. Julie said 40%. Richard said 40 days in the last five years, OMG. That is not what we want. 60% said, Alba. Tammy decided months at a percent. Well, I think 18 months is the development person is typical tenure, so it’s all good. 95% Adrian, damn, that is ridiculous.
So if you would like to maybe improve your retention rate of your staff, I would like that for you. And today, we’ll be showing you exact statistics about how much money your organization is losing every time they lose a fundraiser. Richard said the last one lasted three months. Yikes. Shari said 10%. Yay, that’s the best one yet, Shari. I’m so glad you’re here sharing that positive. That one positive [inaudible 00:14:24].
But for everyone else, our attention stats are in the toilet. So when, and this is something that, like Steve and I have talked about and Steven can jump in here, you know that when you talk to a development person at a nonprofit when you’re working with them to put in your donor database like it’s like 50/50 odds, right? That like that person is going to be there in a year when you call them again. Shari said going away parties at least once a month. Oh, well, I like parties, but that’s a sad reason to have a party if everyone is leaving all the time.
So we can do better. And we will do better. And you can use these slides and use a statistics and use the research that, or at least the survey that we’ve done to convince the people on your board, this is a problem or convince someone higher above you that this needs to be looked at. Because when you lose people this fast, you lose donors. And I know you want to keep your donors because you worked really hard to get them. So how do you do that? They’re people.
So as people here are showing us, the average tenure of a fundraiser at a nonprofit is between 12, 18 months in U.S. and in Canada, it can be as low as six months. And I have this directly from the lips of Canadian recruiter on the West Coast here that I work with named Phil Gerard. So, you know, if a nonprofit doesn’t have a problem with that, I’ll show you why it is.
So, according to our survey, 64% of people at the organization plan on working there two years from now and 34% do not, almost 35%. So that may not seem like that big of a problem. But it’s, I mean, it is. And some people prefer not to answer. By the way, if you do feel like taking our survey later this year, we’re completely anonymous. This is all anonymized data. Betsy said in a staff of average of 150, we lost 70 last year. So I think it runs about 44%. Yeah.
So another piece that we parsed out was according to survey, how many plan to work at the current org, you know, two years from now by salary. So you can see that the lower the salary, the more likely they are to not work there. So they’re making 29,000 a year 30,000 to 59,000 a year, they’re like hovering around 40%, 50% are going to leave. So, and the higher the salary, the more likely they are to stay. Obviously, if I was making 150K at an organization, absolutely, I would stay. That’s an incredible wage, you know. Anyway, even over 60 years is hovering around like 75%. So these are some things to consider when you think about why people leave, but these are not the only things we looked at. We also looked at my age. So are the millennials ruining everything? And the answer to that is, no.
But people are usually younger when they’re making less money. And so that means that they’re going to job hop a bit more, until they find a place that pays them well. So you’ll see people who are 20, 30 most of them are planning on leaving a little bit more. 30 to 40 it’s more like they’re planning on staying, but still hovering around 50% are thinking about leaving too. So 40% rather, and then it goes down the further people get in their career. Sheri, said, “We have a staff that’s been around for 10 to 25 years.” That’s incredible Sheri, we have changed the EDS position mostly. That’s good to know.
So this is what we found. And this is what other research like the [recent 00:18:14] report, which we’ll also show today has found. We’re only looking people currently employed in our organizations, when we look to make an executive level hire. People get passed over and then they leave. So it doesn’t have to be that way. And they should be looking inside their organization for helping people rise. But for the most part, you have to job hop to move on up. So I was talking to a friend of mine who worked at a national chapter nonprofit. And she said her CEO was worried because she’s . . . a lot of her best workers all over the country leaving the sector and going to for profits. Why? Because they offer better working conditions, benefits and higher salaries.
So, unfortunately, this friend is no longer working at this chapter nonprofit. Because when she tried to negotiate her salary, the three people she was talking with said, “We don’t negotiate salaries here.” And so she’s like, “What?” And they’re like, “Yeah, your position is your position. That’s it.” And so she left and now she’s working in other place, and she’s happier.
Top tip, maybe don’t say that to your employees. So do you work multiple jobs? This is a sign that you don’t pay enough. Because if someone’s working multiple jobs, they need to find income from somewhere else. So maybe they just get bored in their job, but I don’t think so. I think for the vast majority of us, is that we need more money. So 32% of the people we asked said, yes. 67% said no. But we still see, you know, people who prefer not to answer. So there’s some things here that we could do better clearly.
Ask people in your organization if they have more than one job. When I was working full time at The Domestic Violence Shelter, I was also trying to do my consulting on the side and the same was true when I worked at the Urban League and it was true for when I worked at the Austin Civic Orchestra. And it just never was enough money. So and that made me really scattered when I had tried to do my actual job because I was always trying to jump between different things.
So looking at pay equity is also really important. And so, unfortunately, sexism rears its ugly head. And we see that no matter how many years of experience women have, whether it’s 20 plus or 10, or five, or 15, they get paid yet less than men do across the board in our survey of 1000 people, so that’s not cool. And also, it’s the same is true if the pay equity is, you know, even more discrepant if there’s a higher budget for the organization. So as you can see here, if the budget of the organization is 100,000, men still get paid more and the same is true for every single level of budget.
In our survey, we saw men getting paid quite a bit more at the hundred million level, at the 10 million level. But basically every level, so what could fix this? The answer to that question is pay transparency. And we’ll talk more about that later. But if everybody knows what everybody makes, then you should also be asking, okay, this person’s making this much, you know, let’s talk about how we can all make more so that we can rise up and have a cost of living wage increase and have more parity.
If we know the statistics are recent, and they are, they just came to us last year. And we’ll do this again, obviously this year, then we know we need to do better. So this is some ammunition for you to consider when you are asking for your next raise. And if you’re a person with . . . who’s born female. So average salary by age, looks like we’ve got most people who are younger, making less, which isn’t surprising. People who are 40, 50, making slightly more than people who are 50 to 60. But, you know, the average is, people are really not making enough in the sector.
And so here’s a funny little statistic for you. And there’s something that I blogged about as well in the Bloomerang blog. But we have now had wages rise 5% since the ’60s, and rent has risen 61%. So if you’re renting, or even if you have a house, you know that it’s pretty expensive to live in much more so than the salary currently could really cover. And salaries are another symptom of super jobs like you’re paid the same no matter how long or hard you work so they can work you as long and hard as they want and they don’t have to worry about paying you more.
That’s why I think hourly or union might be the way to go. But that’s just me, or is it? It also with DSA. Anyway. Okay, let’s go on DSA stands for Democratic Socialists of America. Okay. So have you looked at pay equity in your organization? So in a Race to Lead study, it looks like this is another way to parse out this data. And this is over 4000 people were surveyed. So check out the Race to Lead study as well. It’s really interesting. And what we found there, like, oh, there’s no pipeline, you know, for people who are wanting to go into leadership roles, there’s just nobody we can find. And that’s just simply not true.
People definitely are making less if they are women of color. And if they are men of color, they seem to be stuck at the 50,000 to 100,000 level. And then, of course, we see white men making way more than everyone 100,000 and above level. So that’s just what I want you to take from this chart right here.
And then if we look at from the Race to Lead study again . . . yeah, actually this is the same. Sorry about that. But it should have been the looking at advanced degrees people have. People have advanced degrees and they’re just not getting promoted despite the advanced degrees. So they say they want to rise in the organizations and they’re just not rising. So the pipeline issue is kind of a myth. There’s plenty of people that want to do executive level jobs, it’s just that they’re not being looked at for those jobs.
So you can ignore this? Well, here is a fact taken directly from Donor Centered Leadership by Cygnet Research Group. And this is something that’s on my blog, and it’s linked in the Bloomerang blog as well. And these are just a few of the things that, and you can show this to people when they’re like why should turnover be a problem? I don’t have a problem with this. Well, because you have to pay people these things when they leave, accrued vacations. There’s direct hiring costs, advertising the position, salary increase to the new hire, data training system for like, lost productivity for training people on your system for the new staff, productivity gap, money not raised due to staff turnover, wind down period, job vacant for one month. This is if the job is vacant for one month. And we know for a lot of nonprofits, it’s taken a lot more than that.
Productivity gap in the year one for new employee 20%, support from colleagues to help new staff and bring it up to speed in five days. Total cost to replace a non-management employee, basically $50,000 which ends up being 117% of your salary if you’re paying them 45,000 a year. And that’s not even including lost donor relationships, lost foundation relationships, lost community relationships, all the things that you want a fundraiser to have and do and be for you, you’re losing that when they leave.
So this is just one year. And for some of us, we’ve had turnover four years running. What happens when your turnover four years running? Wow. It cost your nonprofit 600,000 to have turnover four years running and 400,000 to have turnover for three years running, because you’re losing people, you have staff replacement costs. And then again, it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s pretty, pretty intense.
So you may not see those numbers actually come up when you do your budgets or your expenses or your 990s at the end of the year. But this is real, like this is a real number that you’re losing every time someone leaves. And so you want to keep your good people. And if you think, well, you know, that fundraiser doesn’t raise enough money, you know, were you really supporting them to raise the money? Did you have a good database? Did you have board members that wanted to help and see them succeed and do their best to open doors for the fundraiser? Were they coming into a bad situation where they had turnover three years running and like nothing had been done and the files were in higgledy piggledy? You know what I mean? Like, there’s so much that you could do to help people succeed.
And that’s why I love helping executive directors work on specifically setting up systems to help fundraising succeed in the organization, helping you hire a fundraiser, and then helping them be successful. I’ve worked with an organization in New York now for the last six months and working with their new fundraiser helping her make a fundraising plan, fundraising processes, and worked with the board when I do a board retreat later this month. I’m really happy to work with her because it’s hard to make a new fundraising department every year. And even if you have people there who knows some of the processes, again, those relationships are, you can’t put dollar value on them. And that’s why we didn’t try in this presentation. But I would just imagine, aside from this cost, it goes into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Not to mention how much you actually save, and raise more if people stay. So if you give people enough time, to get good at their job and get good at talking about the organization, and support, then year one the cost is going to be their salary, but year two and three, you know, it’s going to be less, and then they might raise you 500,000 over three years. So that’s so powerful, like you can do more if you keep your good people.
So these last few summers, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Oregon, Washington and California were covered in smoke from forest fires. Because of global warming and budget cuts, no one was doing forest maintenance and tree thinning. So there’s a lot of factors here. We also had someone threw a firecracker in the gorge, and it burned 100,000 acres, but the Southern Oregon is already on fire. It’s just now constantly on fire. It’s awful. So what is more important than fighting a fire? I would try to, I would argue, preventing the fire in the first place. So luckily, where I am right now, we’re not covered in smoke like we were the last two years. It’s becoming the norm. And I’d like to take this metaphor and put it into your nonprofit.
I know we’re all worried about the climate right now. And there’s some things we can’t prevent, but there’s some things we can and so if you feel despondent, I want to remind you to keep your eyes on your locus of control. What can you do right now with where you are, with what you’re at, where you’re are, right?
So there are things we can do inside of our organizations to prevent that fire. And that includes putting down good policies and processes and systems that allow us to fight against the notion rest cycle and fight against, you know, maybe a workplace culture that was there before we came that wasn’t a positive one, and fight against the idea that you have to be working constantly.
So think about what are your current benefits? Let me ask you this. What’s your favorite benefit that your nonprofit gives you right now? I don’t want to just like put that in the chat. I would really be grateful. What do you love that your nonprofit gives you? Is it health care? Is it time off? Is it like education, continuing education? What do you love?
Julia said work from home days. Jessica said lots of paid time off. Megan and Julie said flexible schedule. Elizabeth says 22 days of vacation and 26 days a year. That’s so nice. Amazing healthcare said Jess. Healthcare said, Julie. Jessica says four weeks of vacation. Wow. Alba says Fridays off, I love it. Tammy said healthcare. Missy said retirement. Jason said retirement match, generous PTO and monthly employee appreciation events. I love that. Brittany said discount of childcare fees. That’s incredible. Michelle said 403(b) matching. Laura said healthcare. Rich said flexible work schedule. Lilian said no perks worth mentioning. Oh, no. Brenda said retirement. Lynette said certain Fridays year round. I love that. Because yeah, are you really in the office on Friday or are you just kind of half there, to be honest? Sarah said PTO, healthcare and wellness program. Thanks everyone for sharing that. I really appreciate that.
That really helps us understand more about what . . . all of us understand more about what people want in the organization. And here’s what we found with our survey. So, number one thing people want at the 1100 people that we surveyed, they wanted paid time off. So if people are not currently getting that at the organizations that cost nothing, cost nothing. Intel in the state that I am in, they actually give people unlimited time off. I think it’s paid time off and people generally do not take it. That’s what I heard from somebody who worked there a couple of years ago. But imagine if you had unlimited, if you just be like, hey, if you need to take time, take time. What a difference that would make. I mean, wow.
Paid family leave. So that’s also really important for us. Salary was number three. That’s not a bad thing. If you can pay people more, I assure you, you can. And here’s how. You can pay people who work part-time for the salary they’re making full time. You can give them more per hour and allow them to have more of this time off if they want. Paid overtime, paid sick days off. A lot of people here are getting that. 401k retirement saving, a pension plan, health insurance, quality and accessibility insurance and health insurance costs.
So basically, if you look at the top five things here, and I’ve blogged about this on the Bloomerang blog, so check it out. People want time, more time with their family and their friends tend to just be themselves and pursue their hobbies. And they want time to get well. Salary is there. But you can always afford to give people more time. So I want to let that sink in a little bit. Time is our most precious resource.
And you can give people more time. You absolutely can afford that. And we can get off this crazy hamster wheel that we’re on of always doing and not resting. So we talked about, and coming back to the beginning I want to remind you that now that is something you can really give to people at the same wage they’re making right now. You can say, I would like to give you an extra week of vacation.
What if you gave everybody two months? I mean, dream big here. In other countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, they get two months of vacation a year. It’s mind-blowing to us here in the U.S., but they are happier for it. And I mean, they’re more satisfied with their lives. I mean, they’re doing more things they want to do, spending more time with the people that they love, because we love our work, and we love our coworkers to a degree, right? But we also have other parts of our lives that we need to acknowledge, respect, and make time for. And if we’re constantly working, you know, we’re not getting that quality time with people. And that’s important to have. I think I’m just speaking the obvious here.
So this is a slide I want to show you before. People are frustrated, especially women of color, and also white women because they have few opportunities for advancement in nonprofits and inadequate salaries. That’s what people listed as the highest thing. So, if you give someone a better job title that literally costs you nothing, maybe they’ll be able to then negotiate a higher salary later. But they’re going to be working harder for you because you gave them something that they wanted. So give them a title change, let them have more autonomy and choose their own projects more. They still do their job, obviously. If you say that you can’t afford a salary now, there are other things you can do.
And if you’re already have a development director who wants more, make her VP of development. You know, there’s still things you can do that are part of creating a culture of philanthropy at your organization, helping donors see that you take fundraising seriously, that they’re meeting with someone high up, not just the funding coordinator, and that makes them feel good as donor. Like that you have them in a nice office and that you invite them into a nice place instead of like the back of the office where you’re seeing one . . . I worked with a coworker who was basically her office was in the broom closet. So, yeah.
Anyway. So what would make people stay? According to our survey, flexible work schedule, paid continuing education, an engaged supportive supervisor, supportive board and tuition reimbursement. So a lot of people here said flexible as their number one thing that makes them happy. And I want to say yes, yes. Flex working is incredible for all of us have other things we need to be doing, family to take care of kids, health challenges, like or just I don’t feel like coming to work-itis, and I want to work from home or I’m just going to take a day. So that is a valid thing. And that happens, especially when you don’t take a rest.
So paid continuing education. I had a friend who was promised by her boss over and over again I this domestic violence agency that she was going to get paid continuing education, but she always promised to her and verbally never in writing. And then when she actually came with her tuition receipt, and asked for reimbursement, the boss said, we can’t do that, because then we didn’t do it for everybody. And so then she left that organization, because it was, in fact, a breach of trust.
So I’ve done webinars on how to build trust up before. And that’s something else, you know, we could talk about for hours and hours and hours. But if you promise someone something you need to follow through, if it’s something that, you know, you said multiple times, and it’s important to them. Otherwise, you will really lose your good fundraisers and that’s what she was there. So I just have to say that, get it in writing whatever you want. And if your boss keeps saying or your board keeps saying they can’t pay you more, ask for these other things. You know, an engaged supportive supervisor, maybe your boss needs training in how to be a manager.
That’s okay to say, you know, like, “Hey, I would love it. If I could get some more training and you could get some more training.” We both need training, because most of us don’t get trained in how to be a manager, we need that, you know. How is manager different from leadership? We need that too. Supportive board. A lot of us here are just looking for new board members, and there’s ways to find them, but we also have to train them and they’ll be more supportive if we train them. And again, the answer comes back to education. So tuition reimbursement, boom, right, just talked about that.
So other things people wanted that were not as important but still important. Quality facilities, open space work environment. I was surprised by that one because I prefer having an office. I don’t like to be where everyone can just see the back of my head all the time and have to be like turning around to see what people want and like tap me on the shoulder from behind. I do not like that. But other people are fine with it. Other people like it. So that’s what we found.
On-site childcare, some people here said childcare. I would love to that if everybody had that, like childcare is so expensive in other countries, right? They have it all taken care of. In I believe Slovakia, I want to say, two years of just full-time benefits for mom and not having to worry about childcare.
Diverse equitable culture. That’s something that’s coming up more and more now. And, you know, that’s part of what we talked about little bit with the Race to Lead study, and the quality of the tools and the software. So those are some very, very important things. But if you think about it, again, it comes back to time and it comes back to relationships.
And, you know, they also you want to have them invest in you. So if your competitive advantage is your people, you need to work on keeping your people so how do we do that? Decent work. Decent work is from the Ontario Nonprofit Network. They have been doing, and been in this realm for several years now. And there are several key components of decent work. So this is what they found.
Seven, opportunities for development advancement, which we’ve seen. Equality and rights at work, which comes for, you know, people wanting to move on up, as well as higher salary and equal salary, right? Culture and leadership. So having a supportive boss, a supportive board. Employment opportunities. So being able to move on up, and then also create more of your own customized job. Fair income. Health and retirement benefits. We talked about that. People said they want that and they have that which is good and stable employment.
So one of the things that really bugged me about working at the domestic violence shelter was a lot of the people there had very precarious employment, maybe they’re making $13 an hour, and they were working part-time. Like who can afford to live that way? Like it costs $20 an hour to live in this state just to have an apartment and be able to afford food. This is just my state. There’s very, very few states you can actually afford to live on $14 an hour. I think Arkansas might be one of them. I think Puerto Rico might be another one. But everywhere else was just like you have to be . . . California is like $32 an hour. Obviously, other states are more, even in Indiana.
So precarious work, you mean you don’t get enough hours. It means you can be fired anytime. And it means you’re not getting paid enough to actually live. So Ontario Nonprofit Network right now what they’re doing is they’re actually doing advocacy and legislating in Ontario, Canada, to get nonprofit workers pensions, and they are succeeding in that. And I’m so proud of them. I’m so excited for them. And I wish more nonprofit associations here would do that. And if your association isn’t doing that, I would ask them, why are you not doing that? And if you’re part of a nonprofit association right now, and I don’t care what state you’re in, tell them you would like this presentation. I’m happy to come and do it. Like online and/or offline, and tell them, this is what I need to be working on if we want the sector to succeed.
So culture and leadership. So being proactive. Take initiative and responsibility for results. Here’s how we can fix this. You could say, you know, what’s the problem I can be proactive and didn’t solve today?
Opportunity for advancement, you know, think about for yourself locus of control again, where do I see myself in a year? Where do I see myself in five years, in 10? And how can I nurture my colleagues to be where they want to be in five years? And when I was doing my Fundraising Career Conference last year, Peter Drury mentioned that the number one thing he asks people when he first hires them is, okay, where do you really want to be in five years? And how can I help you get there? That shows that you don’t want them to be just good to work robot for you forever. You really want to support them to succeed, whatever that looks like for their life.
Imagine the change that would be wrought in someone’s behavior if they actually, actually heard you say that to them. And then you help them get where they wanted to go. This is how he has been able to keep his good team and how he’s been able to move on up and different development jobs in Seattle. And now he’s a VP at an organization. I’m really proud of him, you know.
This one key question could change how your direct reports see you, and change the level of trust that you have across the board with them. Tremendously powerful. So don’t forget to ask it for yourself too.
So you could guess what’s going on, you could tell people what’s wrong. Or you could go for mutual exploration. You can listen, listen first and talk later. So we know from our research that this is what’s happening in organizations, there’s not pay equity and there’s not pay transparency. So here I have a graphic that says more transparency, equal pay, flexible and equal work schedules.
So I would say look for ways to show respect and strive for equality. Seek first to understand, empathize with others and hear their perspective before sharing your own and then ask, who needs me to listen to them today? Maybe it’s a board member. Maybe it’s a long term volunteer. Maybe it’s someone who is a donor who just wants to call and chat. Maybe it’s yourself. Maybe it’s a colleague.
So when you think about employment opportunities, you know, let everyone lead the piece they do well, that’s the bottom line. And this is what I help executive directors and development directors do with their boards and their staff and their volunteer teams, is look at people’s strengths, and allow them to find their areas of greatest strength and then go into that zone of genius. And for some of us, it’s just making relationships. For other ones, it’s doing research. For others of us, it’s, you know, helping go to networking events and open doors.
So whatever it is, you know, whether if you’re looking for your next CEO or Executive Director or you’re looking for next development director or you’re just simply thinking about ways to engage more volunteers right now, if you let everyone own the pieces they do well, you’ll have more satisfaction and that ultimately leads to more happiness, as we said from the Hakomi method.
So, sharpen the knife, sharpening the knife, and always work to get better. So you can ask yourself, “How can I renew my mind and energy this week?” It might be as simple as going to the sauna. It might be as complicated as reading a long business book, or you could have a book club and once a month, talk about the book that you’re reading together with everybody in the office. Maybe you could read a book on adaptive leadership. Maybe you can read a book on fundraising altogether, and maybe the board could do that. So we don’t want to sit back and say we know enough and we’ve done enough. We really want to say we are always growing and striving together to do better and be better.
The best relationships are based on that. Whether it’s personal relationships, or work relationships is like if we’re all striving to do better and be better, then it’s going to feel really good as well when we allow ourselves to take time off, because we know that we stretched ourselves to our capacity, mentally, and we’re doing the best that we can. And I always believe that you’re doing the best that you can. And this is a way to like prove it to your mind, basically, and help you take a rest.
So, fair income, stable work and benefits. You know, if you’re an executive director or board member ask, you know, are we providing a fair and living wage for our workers? Are we at-will? Do we have more worker protections? Could we offer more benefits? And if not, how can we do better? So if you’re working full time, and you’re not an executive director or a board member, you’re probably on this webinar recently, you’re like, “Okay, there’s things we could do better. What can we do?” I hope I’ve given you some ideas in the last 45 minutes of things that you could do better in an organizational way. Specific things that could go into the employee handbook, into your employment policies, things you can advocate for with other workers and go to management and ask for.
You could all talk together and then pick one thing that you want to ask for, like more flexible working schedules, or more paid time off, or more childcare reimbursement, or on-site childcare, or paternity leave, for example, or just simply time off to be you and do your thing, right? Just paid time off in general. So there’s a lot of things we want, but whatever it is that like, really, you think if you just took a second to dream about how your working life could be better? Imagine could you go and ask your other colleagues if they also want that? And could you all sign a petition and take it to the board chair and say we want this? See what happens.
So I’d also like to ask you to acknowledge invisible systems of power. Mumia Abu-Jamal says, “You can’t fight power if you don’t understand it. You can’t understand if you don’t first experience it, and then dissect it.” So what we have is a culture built on the three pillars of white supremacy–constant war, slavery/capitalism, genocide and colonialism. And we’ve recreated this dynamic in our nonprofits. That’s why we’re working all the time. And I should have said this in the beginning, this is why we never feel like we’re working enough, that we’re not doing enough.
This is why we aren’t getting paid enough. This is why our nonprofits are the places that keep having this massive turnover. It’s because we’re built on these assumptions that haven’t been examined. But now people are finally examining these and it’s really, really exciting.
I have written way more about this in the Bloomerang blog. So if you like, go there and click my name, I break all this down very, very clearly there. Suffice to say, I know you didn’t think that this webinar was going to be about the three pillars of white supremacy. But ultimately, if we don’t look at the foundation that were built on, we cannot actually grow and do better as a sector because, and this is a drum I love to bang, I’m going to say it again. If we say we want to make the world better, how can we say we’re making it better if we’re not looking at inside of nonprofits first and treating our people as they deserve to be treated with love, respect and caring? And the same is true for our families.
So I just want to leave you with that. And then here’s some key things that you can do advocate for, whether you’re the boss or an employee or board member right now. To keep your good people to not lose all that money, to not lose the hundreds of thousands of donor relationships, and [inaudible 00:49:41] the relationships and to make more than ever before, it’s one thing to keep you [set 00:49:45], here’s what you can do, provide higher amounts per hour and lower hours worked. To provide more worker protections, superseding at-will, in your employment agreement that makes less precarious work. Can offer cost of living wage increases each year 2%, 3% better than nothing. Offer more vacation time. Allow people to make mistakes. Offer better titles and professional development stipend and build trust deliberately.
So I just wanted to say if you want to learn more about decent work go to the Ontario Nonprofit Network in Canada, dot CA. If you do want to do more for U.S., let’s talk. Obviously, I’m really passionate about this and I want to work on this here. So book a call and let’s chat about what’s going on in your organization or your association or your state. And so if you go to bitly/mtfree30, we can chat. So I’m going to put that in the chat so you can book a call with me. I’m actually going to go out of town for the next couple of weeks to see my family in Maine and New York because I’m practicing what I preach and I’m taking time off. But I want you to feel free to reach out to me in the beginning of August.
And so I’m just going to leave this in the chat for you so that you can book a call with me and let’s talk about what you want. So anyway, Q&A time, everybody. Thank you so, so much for being here today. People are saying nice things in the chat to me. Thank you, Juline. And thank you, Julia. Really appreciate that. I’d love to ask if anyone has any questions right now?
Steven: Yeah, awesome, Mazarine. First, let’s thank you. Thanks for sharing all that good research and good advice and ideas for how you can maybe improve things at your shop. So thank you, thank you for doing that for us over the first hour or so. Something that really jumped out at me, Mazarine, if you don’t mind me going back to one of your slides. And I don’t know if you and I ever talked about this. I’d be surprised if we hadn’t, but the number two thing here the paid continuing education, that’s huge. I don’t know if you’re aware of the research from Amy Eisenstein, but she found that every time an employee takes some kind of training program, it results in a $37,000 increase in fundraising revenue. So like . . .
Steven: Yeah, I’ll put that link in the chat to check out that study, because it might be even more ammo, but not only will it make your employee feel good, but it should, you know, repay in the form of dividends to the organization. I love this one. But yeah, that’s awesome. So yeah, we’ve got . . .
Mazarine: Well, I didn’t know about that research. I should get that from her.
Steven: Yeah, I feel bad that I never brought that up to you. But that’s a huge one. So very, very cool. Here’s a question from Alba. Right now we pay half of the employees’ health insurance. They offer dental. But the employees pay for the dental and they offer 401k. Good and they have Fridays off. I would love to provide better benefits. But we can’t afford it. So yeah, this seems to be the common thing I hear, Mazarine, and maybe that’s your view. Maybe we want to do these things but can’t afford it. So, you know, this slide on the screen. It seems like there are some things there that shouldn’t cost the organization much money, right? Flexible work schedule. Engage supervisor.
Mazarine: Right, that doesn’t cost money.
Steven: Supportive board. Yeah, yeah. Any comment on that?
Mazarine: That doesn’t cost money. Yeah, yeah. I mean, continuing education, getting somebody $100 webinar. I know, you’re tiny on profit and $100 webinar could be worth it to them, or get them a book. Give them a book every year. You know, that’s maybe 40 bucks per employee. Again, that’s something, it’s better than nothing. But a flexible work cost you nothing and they’ll still be productive, I promise. If they don’t have to sit in traffic for an hour and grit their teeth and be bored and angry, they can be so much more productive for you. Imagine they can sit at their house and do their work. It’s possible, right?
You know, to have you be more supportive and engaged, you could ask the key question, “Where do you want really want to be in five years and how can I help you get there?” You know, that can help you build trust, keep your good people, and that costs nothing to say. So, you know, those benefits are fantastic, Alba. But think broader about management, leadership conversations. A good book for you, Alba, could be “Adaptive Leadership,” by Heifetz, the practice of adaptive leadership. I’ll put that in the chat to you.
Steven: Cool. Yeah, I love it. I love it. So I’ve got a theory for you, Mazarine, I want to bounce off with you.
Steven: Burnout, the burnout. So I have the theory, I haven’t tested this at all. So if you’re listening, don’t hold me by word. But I have a theory that one of the main contributors to the burnout is special events. Planning and putting on fundraising events. Like the annual gala. And, you know, my wife’s been doing this her whole career and she’s run . . . that’s the worst time of year for us. You know, she’s, you know, almost killing herself to put on this fundraising event. Even at the most recent job, it was multiple events throughout the year. And, you know, are these events really being, are they producing ROI or even breaking even? What do you think about specific things like that, and maybe events that comes to mind? Or do you think of any specific culprits?
Mazarine: Events are the number one. I mean, I just did a board retreat two weeks ago, and I sit on this board, and everybody in this board was like, “Let’s do more events, we’re going to [rock off 00:56:00] event.” And I’m like, that is a terrible idea. And I’m usually pretty conflict avoidance. But guess what, that’s also part of white supremacy, the system that we’re living under. So if you feel scared to say some of these things to your boss, and people who are asking how to say these things, I totally understand. Perhaps what we’ll do is, we will make a blog post out of your questions, because I feel like we need to go into greater depth that we may have time for today. But I would love to maybe copy some of these questions down and turn them into blog posts. I don’t know if you would like, send me some of these afterwards, Steven, but that would be helpful for me. Yeah. Because I know people have this, so burnout.
Events burn you out faster than just about anything. And I take it from experience the last four years of me doing online conferences, it burns you out. It’s like three months lead up time, at the very least, and coordinating all these little ducks in a row. Even if it’s online, it’s so much work. So I stopped doing it this year. I was like, “Nope, I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m not going to do it. I’m going to focus on helping people one-on-one, getting clients, and enjoying my life more.” And that has worked out really, really well. So on a personal level, and in the fundraising, nonprofit level events are the slowest, stupidest way to make money. By far. Now, they do have the benefit of combining the identification, cultivation and the ask of a donor all into one night.
But aside from that, they are such a pain in the ass. So please, if your board says do more events, say no. I told them no. And they decided to go forward without me and that’s fine. I’m just one board member. Anyway, yeah, burnout. We could talk years but maybe I will. Yeah.
Steven: Oh, I know. Yeah, we should. You touched on a question that just showed up in the chat from our buddy, Julia. Julia wants to talk about these things with her boss, but the boss views it as an attack on kind of her as a leader. What advice do you have just in general, Mazarine? You know, people have been listening to this presentation, they want to make these changes, but they’re not necessarily the person who can, you know, kind of make it happen right away. How do you approach the boss with these things? Is it a matter of, you know, showing them this presentation? Or what do you think? What have you done in the past?
Mazarine: Well, so this is, Julia, I’m just going to say it sounds like your boss is a female body person. So I would say, to be honest with you, speak to her first as a woman. Say, “Look, we know there’s a lot of sexism. And I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself,” and allow her to talk about that. There’s a wonderful book I’d recommend called, gosh, what is it now? I just blogged about it. Tell you what, Julia. It’s basically written by a hostage negotiator, an international hostage negotiator, and it helps you kind of build rapport with people when they have no reason to build rapport with you.
And one of the things that the author talks about, is he talks about how you can do this thing called mirroring, which is you repeat the last thing they said, and it allows them to keep talking and what you want to hear, listen for is when they say, “That’s right.” When they say, “That’s right,” then they’re on the same page with you. It’s not your right, because yeah, that just means shut up. It means that’s right. You know where I’m coming from. So you might say to her, you know how, you know, women don’t get paid as much as men in nonprofits.
She might say, “Yeah, I do.” And you might say, “You know, how we also don’t necessarily get thrown into leadership as fast as we could.” And she’d be like, “Sure, yeah.” “And so you know, how, like, we’re all just trying to do our best here.” And she’s like, “Yeah, of course,” you know, then you could say, “Well, you know, DEI work kind of helps with that.” And so then she might just be more on the same page as you to understand from her own perspective of the situational kind of like, one factor of oppression that she has seen as a female body person that then you can say and it’s other aspects to this too and that sort of brings up intersectionality.
Do you know what intersectionality is? And, you know, but you can just . . . you can let her tell her stories and say, “Oh yeah, so that happened to you,” you know, and just keep her talking and then kind of delve in gently into these concepts, but it is quite hard because people do get very defensive, and especially when it is talking about this stuff. But I feel like we have to start with where they are, and then we can move into where we want to go. You know what I mean, Julia?
Steven: I love it. That’s awesome. I heard of it from that angle, but I knew you’d come up with a creative solution to that question.
Mazarine: Oh, yeah. And let me see if I can find that post right now. And people are asking for this book. It’s, let’s see. I’m looking back through here. I might just go back to my blog right now and see if I can find it. So it’s very much a book I recommend to everyone. And it’s super useful. There’s so many phrases in there. So I’m going to just yeah, go to older entries little bit the gap. Sorry, is anybody else have any other questions while I’m looking for this? Is that it for now?
Steven: I think so. Oh, here’s one from Julie. Any suggestions on guidelines for allowing staff from to work from home? So nice thing to offer, but, you know, setting up boundaries is probably also a prudent idea. What do you think about that, Mazarine, so that maybe people don’t too much advantage of it and stay productive? You know, just to be devil’s advocate a little bit.
Mazarine: You know, okay, it looks like I actually may have not put this blog post up yet. If you let me, you know, email everybody afterwards, I will send this book out to everyone because it’s such a good book. Yes, excellent. So the way to broach this conversation is to actually get the statistics on and maybe this another . . . Okay, another blog post on burnout we should do. There are statistics on the longer the commute, the more unhappy the person. And I feel like that’s a key place to open with statistics. Like, this isn’t just my crazy idea. This is research. The more time I spend commuting to work, the worst job I’m going to do and the worse I’m going to feel and the more money I’m going to waste and gas and planet warming and, you know, buying things I don’t need because I don’t have time to make lunch, you know.
So, actually, there’s been a couple articles that I feel like I’ve posted on the Bloomerang blog that come from “The Guardian” that say, “We should move into a four-day workweek across the board and that ultimately, if you really want to stop global warming, a nine-hour workweek. So working from home can become a very real possibility.
So again, it’s the research that backs this up, but broaching that topic based on this research could be a good place to start. Another good place to start would be showing this boss that if they just let you work from home one day a week as a trial period for three weeks and you just kick ass on those days when you work from home, it’s like, you know, taking a puppy home from the shelter. Just keep it on a trial basis. And then you’re like, “I love this puppy. This puppy is so good. I just, you know, this is it. This is a dog for me,” you know, so it’s kind of like the puppy technique with your boss.
Steven: Start with a trial. That makes a lot of sense.
Mazarine: Right, exactly. Yeah.
Steven: Start off, “Hey, this is a temporary experiment,” maybe even if you think you’re going to keep it, that makes a lot of sense. Then if you have to change it or take it away and won’t be too big of a disrupting thing. That’s cool.
Mazarine: Yeah. Wow, we still have hundreds of people on and we’re already, like five minutes over. This is great.
Steven: Yeah, we’re five minutes over. I do want to be respectful of people’s time. But I would say Mazarine, you know, reach out to her for sure. She’s on Twitter. She’s really pretty active on there as well. But chat with her, you know, take her up on that offer. And we’ll definitely be following up with the slides and the recording later.
Mazarine: And the book recommendations.
Steven: So yeah, we’ll get all that good stuff into you, in your hands, all the things we mentioned that weren’t in the slides, necessarily. Mazarine, thanks. This is really cool. It’s fun. I loved the talk.
Mazarine: Oh, thank you. Hey, everybody, I’m grateful everybody came and I hope I . . . it wasn’t a downer, but you actually got some resources you can use and I’ll do my best to give you more to take action on this because I want you to succeed, I want your nonprofit to succeed, I want your mission to succeed and I want you to take personally and have satisfaction in your work in your life. So thank you for listening.
Steven: I love it.
Mazarine: Thank you for having me, Steven.
Steven: I want that too. Because we all benefit from it, right?
Mazarine: Yes, ultimately yes.
Steven: Cool. Well, we had a great session. Yeah. Next week, same time, same place. My buddy Victoria from the Curtis Group. She’s awesome. She’s going to be talking about building fundraising capacity. Also, it’s kind of an interesting follow up to this presentation. I think there’s definitely some connections there. So I like that these sessions are back to back. So if you’re free next week, if you don’t have anything else going on, maybe if you do have something else going on, cancel it because you’re going to learn something. So [inaudible 01:05:37] to join us again.
And if you’re not free, that’s okay. We got tons of other sessions. I just scheduled a Halloween session. We’ve gotten that far out in advance. Lots of really cool topics coming up.
Mazarine: Oh, geez.
Steven: I know. I actually scheduled a January session. I didn’t make the registration line, but we’re that far out. I can’t believe it. It’s July. New fiscal year for some of you folks, I love it.
So we’d love to see you on another session. Like I said, we do these pretty much every Thursday, throughout the year, only miss a couple of weeks. So let’s see your smiling face again in the chat, but we’ll call it a day there. Look for all that good stuff for me. We’ll follow up with all the resources. And hopefully, we’ll see you again next week. So have a good rest of your Thursday. Have a nice weekend. Stay cool out there. And we will talk to you again soon. Bye now.
Mazarine: All right. Thanks, everybody.