Twenty-two percent of American workers surveyed say they expect a holiday bonus, according to a recent report from Bizrate.com. While the report did not breakout the results, I believe that holiday and performance bonuses are far more common in the for-profit sector than in the nonprofit arena. However, should that be the case?
More specifically, should fundraising professionals receive bonuses?
Bonuses for fundraising professionals are not illegal. They’re not even unethical, if the charity adheres to certain guidelines. While the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Standards prohibits fundraisers from accepting compensation based on a percentage of funds raised (Standard 21), fundraising professionals are “permitted to accept performance-based compensation, such as bonuses” (Standard 22). However, bonuses must be “in accord with prevailing practices within the members’ own organizations and [cannot be] based on a percentage of contributions.”
Here are some potential advantages of offering bonuses:
- Attract fundraisers that are more talented.
- Retain the most talented fundraising staff members.
- Reduce the risk when hiring new fundraisers.
- Inspire fundraisers to give their all toward achieving goals.
Some of the potential problems with offering bonuses include:
- Donors might be concerned about how their gifts are being spent.
- Organizations would be less able to predict labor costs.
- Fundraisers might focus too much on the specific goals related to the bonus while letting other responsibilities slip.
Now, I need to hear from you.
What do you think? Do you receive a bonus? Should fundraising professionals receive bonuses? If so, what should those bonuses look like? What are the pros and cons of offering bonuses?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?