about choosing motivation.

What motivates you?  Is it money? recognition? attainable goals? competition? the challenge? pride? or what?

Full disclosure here:  I haven’t written a blog post for several months (hopefully you noticed…), and the truth of the matter – I just haven’t been motivated!  

My failures in communicating not withstanding, I have been thinking, at least occasionally.  And recently, my thoughts have centered around the subject of motivation.  I shared an article on LinkedIn the other day that pointed out that while almost all of those working in the fundraising/development sector were mostly satisfied with their work – over half said they’d likely be looking for new positions or leaving the field entirely in the next 24 months! I guess what they were really saying was “I’m happy, but not THAT happy.”  Made me wonder – what is the basic motivation for folks in the fundraising/development sector? Let’s be honest here, although salaries for Fundraising Professionals have been on the rise, they’re not on par with the ‘for-profit’ world, but that’s not surprising, and after all, anyone going into the nonprofit sector should be aware of that reality up front, and consequently – not whine about it afterwards.

I think for many (maybe most), the main motivation is seeing the impact of the work of the Organization they serve.  And most all nonprofits do incredible work! Whether it’s feeding the hungry, providing safe drinking water, shelter for the homeless, rescuing the young and old from human trafficking, preventing suicide, and any number of other incredibly worthy causes – non profits make our world a better place and that’s a powerful motivator! So why would people want to leave?

To put it bluntly – unrealistic expectations. Sometimes from the Board, sometimes from Senior Leadership, and often from ourselves, unrealistic expectations are a motivation killer!

So what do we do? I’ve got some ideas, after all, like I said earlier, I’ve been thinking, stay tuned.


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