The Case of the Major Gifts Fundraising Employee Who Didn’t Fit
Now, here's the other side of this situation — how the major gifts manager handles this pressure from up above.
Some major gifts managers caught in this situation handle it with grace, professionalism and strength. They educate their managers toward the kind of thinking I have written about above. It takes a lot of courage to do this. I applaud and lift them up!
But, then, there are those managers who, because they are afraid, simply (a) try harder to be the manager they are expected to be (rather than get the help they need) and then (b) turn around and treat their employees with the same disrespect they themselves are experiencing. It is truly an amazing thing. The abused becomes the abuser.
So, what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Here are a few suggestions:
- First of all, accept yourself for the wonderful and gifted professional you are! This is really important. Do you really want to just hold down a job for the money where you are disrespected every day and you become smaller and smaller? I don't think so. Do not trade money, power or position for a decaying soul.
- Try to talk about this up-line with your manager and the manager of your manager. I find that if you can keep educating your manager as to your value in the program, it helps him or her keep things in perspective.
- Seek and accept help in getting management support so you can focus on the talent contribution you can make.
- Plan to leave the organization if management cannot hear or adapt to your reality. It is not a healthy place for you to be.
- Purpose to value others who are different from you in the organization. In other words, don't be like the person who is disrespecting you because you are not delivering what that person wants. Value all the different gifts and abilities of those around you. That means that if you are a sales, product or creative type, then you have to work harder at valuing those management, finance and HR people.
It takes so many different types of people to make an organization work. Good leaders understand this, and that's why they lead successful and thriving organizations. Bad leaders don't, and that is why you must get away from them.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.