Rewarding Good Work with More Work

Dear Kim,

I have been a development director for the same organization for five years, and everyone agrees I have done a good job. Every year we have increased the number of donors we have and the income from them; we have more foundation grants and we have a board that, for the most part, helps with fundraising. Obviously I haven’t done this alone, but people give me a lot of credit. I work hard and I work a lot. Here’s my problem: Every year, the board and the executive director increase the amount of money we need to raise by at least 20%. That means that since I have been here the budget has doubled. I feel like the reward for doing good work is more work. I can’t keep up this pace. Should I quit?

~Morale Sinks As Income Grows

Dear Sinks,

You could quit, but before you do that, I would suggest following the old adage, “When all else fails, try honesty.” Talk to the executive director about how you can’t keep up this pace. It is possible that everyone feels the same way but no one wants to be the wet blanket that asks whether the organization can maintain this pace. Also, how about asking for some more staff? You are overseeing a development operation twice as big as when you started with the same number of people. Even one more person would be a big help. Finally, your income increases need to be tied to mission and program needs. Is this kind of growth in your strategic plan? When does this pace of growth end? You are taking far too much responsibility on your shoulders and it is time to share the burden.

Good luck.