When choosing a new job, there are many things to think about. Most people focus on the salary or hourly wage, but financial considerations should not stop there. Being diligent about including vacation time, bonuses, and severance packages as part of your initial major gifts officer contract negotiation can make all of the difference in your job satisfaction. It is important to cover all of your bases and protect yourself from financial fallouts.
In some industries, including fundraising, vacation time is sometimes a passing thought. Companies claim to value their employees’ mental health but then expect them to take unpaid vacation time or offer just a few paid days per year. Another issue with leave is that companies often deny annual leave instead of finding a way to work around employees’ schedules. Ensuring you fully understand what you’re signing up for, making sure you have sufficient leave available, and knowing the company’s stance on mental health days are essential to ongoing financial wellbeing. Do you need to save up for a vacation in July? Do you need to look for a more accommodating fundraising initiative?
Another essential consideration that most people skip over is a severance package. What happens if the arrangement doesn’t work out or the economy crashes? Maybe people aren’t involved in planned giving donations to fundraising initiatives because money is tight. Ensuring that you have negotiated a severance package allows you some room to breathe in the event of job loss. Negotiating things in your major gifts officer contract such as severance pay, health benefits, and accrued but unpaid time off can protect you from unexpected expenses. Consider this your financial back-up plan!
We know many people aren’t familiar with the ins-and-outs of financial planning in the fundraising industry. Thorough financial planning is not often taught, it is information that people have to seek themselves. In order to provide you with comprehensive information, we have created this resource for major gifts officers to check out when you’re ready to make a career switch!