Working in Non Profit Organization

It is A Social Group

When you work in a non profit organization or a not for profit organization where governance of the organization is based on volunteer help, you will face certain problems if you are working in the job of a department manager in such an organization.

These volunteers can be members of the organization, for example members in a golf country club or an alumini club or they could be members of a community such as members of a religious group.

Volunteers may join the governing committees for various reasons. In religious organization, one reason is to serve God. It could be for status, power (sense of control).

You may be doing your work. You may be hard-working. You may be very profession in your job. You may be devoted to the organization, in trying to fix what is broken and preventing problems that are appearing in the horizon.

However the Committee or Council that you are serving may not be seeing things that way. First, in concept that the Committee or Council members should have accountability, in real life that is not true. They will vary in their commitments, especially if this is not a job that pays them an income. So if you proposals that are time consuming such as policies and procedures, it is likely that you will get little help because they have no time to discuss and deliberate on them.

Second, a common issue is that members that joins a particular Committee or Council may not have the required or relevant experience or qualifications or at an in-depth level. So they cannot understand your operational problems or your proposals.

In such a case sometimes to save face, they may resought to abuse of power, to thumb you down so as to silent the enthusiastic you.

The other problem is these Committee or Council behave more like a social group than a professional team. At one extreme, they may behave as an informal group to protect their own interests rather than uphold justice, righteousness or fairness. The group members probably share common characteristics such as selfishness, self serving and lack of empathy.

In another situation, members may appear to agree with each other at meetings or behave cordially with each other when they meet but they secretly back-stab each other, even when they make a decision together but a member may not agree but had to agree just to save his reputation.

In a third situation, the members may take up a task together because they already agreed to meet regularly and they reluctantly allowed a task to fill their time. You may think you are doing work by taking initiative to raise problems and even provide the solutions to them. Your thought your hard working nature will help keep you in the job or even ensure that you get a pay raise. However, nothing can be further from the truth.During the meeting, you could find the Committee lash at you because they do not care about you as a person. You are treated like a servant. Even if you bring improvements, they just see these as your work that you are paid to do.

Herd Mentality and Ego

It is this herd mentality or ego that you are up against.If they are against you, it is a better approach that you appeal.

They Put the Blame on Staff

It is not their fault. If you are a staff, the fault is yours. They behaved like royalties; above the laws. They simply do not want to be held accountable.

False Notion

These members or your boss may try to sell to you to work for to make the organization great.

Your Boss

Your boss may have an egoistic personality. He maybe incompetent but holding all the power and wanted the status and money. He may hire experienced people so that he can push both work and accountability to them.

If he wins the favors of the Committee members, they will side him, especially those that hire him. So never attack your boss as a person. Should you do so, your job gets killed immediately.

Keeping Quiet and Sweeping Under the Carpet

The reason why such places experience decays over time is when staff realized that they are not rewarded or even recognized for their efforts, they lost all care and not care about doing anything to maintain the legacy, such as keeping records in order (proper documentations)

It is Worst Than Matrix Reporting

In matrix reporting, you report to 2 persons. Here, you report to 1 person on 1 hand and a committee on another hand.

You Are Just Another Face

The committee behaves like a social group and you are just a waiter serving them. If they do not like you, they will not hesitate to fire you.


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