SALARIES / JUN. 19, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Negotiate a Salary for a Non-profit

Every job-seeking careerist has that salary threshold beyond which they tend to feel undervalued and under-appreciated. In fact, many of us go to an interview with a fixed minimum figure in mind. The problem however comes with facing the reality of an organization who's operations are solely dependent on partner and well-wisher contributions. At this point, we might be forced to compromise on our salary threshold without necessarily descending beyond our monthly upkeep. Which begs the question, how do we negotiate a salary in Non-Profit Organizations?

#1 Showcase wealth of Experience in Charitable Organizations and Events

Many non-profits want to put their money into good use. And when it comes to hiring of staff, they're in a quest to employ careerists whose dedication will go beyond 'that 9 to 5 job'. Since many non-profits fight for worthy social causes, there's a high likelihood that you'll be required to dedicate yourself to 24hr interruptions in case of emergencies. Such dedication will call for tolerance, dedication and wealth of experience as proof that you'll efficiently pull this off. The few who clinch such jobs can attest to the fact that impressive compensation packages and incentives are offered to ensure undivided loyalty to the organization.

#2 Showcase your Salary History

To avoid the risk of appearing 'greedy' or overambitious, it would be wise to prepare the Non-profit psychologically for your salary request by leaving copies of your salary history in your resume. This gives the Non-profit HR department ample time to assess options at their disposal before suggesting any 'reasonable' salary offers during the interview. Otherwise, indicating your salary expectations by word of mouth during the interview might trigger an immediate conclusion that the Non-Profit can't afford your services without further negotiation.

#3 Showcase Problem Solving skills relevant to the Non-Profit's Advancement

A recent report by Ipsos Synovate indicated that many Kenyan firms are keen on retaining crucial talent by significantly increasing their salaries. That's because some talents and skills are hard to find in the local labour market. Similarly, you must showcase relevant problem-solving exceptional skills to get an impressive salary. Wealth of experience in the exceptional field would also prove to be a key added advantage.

#4 Do a Background Check on Salaries of Prior Employees

This might prove to be quite a difficult task to pull off considering the oath of secrecy that applies to many company employees. Plus, to be honest, it would be quite hard for a 'stranger' to entrust you with such sensitive information. However, it would be an added advantage to prepare yourself for any salary disappointments by enquiring from those who've been through the road of Non-Profit affairs. If you had done your homework of establishing rapport with such careerists on social media, social forums and social gatherings on the ground, then this will be an easy task for you.

#5 Thoroughly Showcase your Academic Credentials

It's a well known fact that competence should go hand in hand with someone's position and ultimately someone's salary in an organisation. And what better way to depict your competence than by thoroughly showing your academic credentials? This is in fact an indirect strategy to not only earn your position in the Non-Profit, but to also give a good reason why your competence should be well compensated. Remember, most non-profits play hard-ball when it comes to their finances and thus they'll need a concrete reason as to why they should pay you that 'hefty' salary.

#6 Give a Concrete and Professional Blueprint of Future Plans Relevant to the Non-Profit

Being modest doesn't mean that you simply depict humility. To spice things up, your humility should have the aspect of generosity represented by a blueprint you prepared prior to the interview. In the blueprint, your ideas and aspirations for the organization should be in tune with the Non-Profit's background and foundational philosophy. This will not only increase your chances of getting a favourable salary, but it will also justify your salary threshold to your prospective non-profit employers.

In as much as careerists have their demands regarding remuneration in Non-profits, it's also important to realise that the ultimate goal of non-profits is to give back to the community by fighting for a worthy cause. The element of selflessness is crucial when it comes to working for non-profits because at some point, you'll have to give more than you're paid for. In other occasions, you'll simply have to accept underpayment as a sacrifice for exposure and wealth of experience in Non-profit organizations. As Zig Ziglar once said, 'When you do more than you're paid for, eventually you'll be paid for more than you do.'

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