Working in the non-profit sector can be incredibly rewarding. But, as you well know, it also comes with common misconceptions and immense challenges. Here are three signs you work for a non-profit:
Sign #1: You are constantly setting people straight on what it’s really like to work for a non-profit.
Working for a non-profit is not all that different from working for a for-profit corporation. Still, some people can’t shake the assumption that you and your colleagues congregate for 40 hours a week to spew idealistic views in between sessions of acoustic guitar playing and tambourine shaking.
Non-profit employees deal with the same issues as their corporate colleagues: complex business problems, office politics and performance reviews. Yes, it can be easier to overcome these annoyances when people are united by a common, worthwhile cause, but they still exist. Image credit: inqbation.com
Sign #2: You are a walking definition of “resourceful.”
Doing more with less is a way of life for non-profit employees. So it’s only natural that this resourcefulness extends to other areas of life as well. Non-profit employees are more likely to prepare a hot lunch in seconds by finding unconventional ways to use common appliances. They are more likely to solve complex challenges with everyday items.
Sign #3: The world is your office.
Sure, some non-profit employees do the typical commute to work, sit in the office for eight-or-so hours, and then commute back home. But for many, doing good in the community means actually getting out and working in the community. There’s education, advocacy and corporate relationship building that needs to be done, which means the “office” changes from one day to the next.
To allow employees to focus on mission-critical work while spending less time on necessary administrative tasks, more non-profits are turning to technology to create workflow efficiencies and save money. For example, a non-profit employee with access to mobile expense reporting can easily conquer travel and expense-related tasks on the go. Meanwhile, employees using a paper-based system must save everything and then sort through piles of paper when submitting expenses at a later date – usually the last possible date.
Some people have the impression that non-profit employees work with hand-me-down “computing machines” and other archaic solutions, and that’s just not true. Most non-profit employees took a job in the sector to make a difference, meaning they use business acumen, resourcefulness and technology to increase efficiency and effectiveness wherever possible.
So what do you think? Did we nail these non-profit employee traits? What did we miss?
Find out how technology can help your non-profit better fulfill its mission. Check out How Non-Profits Can Do More Good with Enhanced Expense Management.