An experienced colleague who heads a small fundraising team recently asked me for guidance on a bonus scheme linked to performance in the role. Here are some suggestions:
- If your organisation has performance-related pay, try to fit in with the existing system. Try not to be the office that needs special treatment any more often than you have to.
- Whatever performance indicators are set for you, ensure they also appear on your boss’s performance plan – this will motivate them to help you be successful.
- Performance for the team leader should include results from their personal effort, and results for the team as a whole — keeping the team leader incentivised to ensure that everyone is successful.
- Where possible, measure should be based on both current year and multi-year results.
- Measures should be a combination of financial results (e.g. amounts bank and pledged), activities taken (e.g. number of prospects managed, solicitations made), qualitative aspects (e.g. culturally-appropriate work style, and feedback from donors and colleagues).
A well-constructed pay deal can ensure that you get some financial reward for the additional work you put in that yields exceptional results.
Fundraisers shouldn’t be afraid of asking for a good pay deal, but the way you go about asking for it and negotiating the details will be seen by others in the organisation as an illustration of your fundraising skills. Be sure you display your best self in the process.
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