Why is the Nonprofit Sector Allergic to Flex Time?


With my recruiter and fundraiser hats on I can see this issue from both sides, and it burns my toast!




I talk to charities every day complaining that they can’t find or keep good fundraisers, but who treat candidates who are looking for a 4-day work week, or some work-from-home options, like they are escaped convicts.

So why won’t you let your Nonprofiteers flex? Innovative companies do it, but conservative charities are chicken. And what exactly are they afraid of? That getting more done by working from home will show up everyone else? That cutting useless meetings to allow for a shorter work week will keep us from curing cancer?

We know the facts already, but we ignore them wholly: Open office spaces are the most common set-up and tend to kill creativity and performance. Flex time is one of the most sought-after benefits to keep and retain talent. And people who work from home are often more productive.

Beyond working from home, what about the tantalizing four-day work week? I have seen this work very well at a couple of successful charities and wish more would try it. It’s not that hard to keep almost the same number of working hours over four days: Just dump some wasteful meetings, take a time management course to control your tasks and inbox, add half an hour to each of the remaining four days, and there you are!

Even more maddening is that flexibility related perks are free and they benefit our charities in the long run by increasing productivity and staff retention. The time to get these perks for yourself is when you’re starting a new job and negotiating your salary. If you’re already employed, you’ll have to push the leadership from within to read the research and consider testing some flex options.

I hope this helps you on your road to flex! Don’t forget to check the links for research and stats to take to your organization’s leadership.


About Siobhan Aspinall

About Siobhan Aspinall: I am a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), passionate about the environment, social causes and surfing. I have been fundraising in Vancouver, Canada for over 20 years and love working with people who have a fear of fundraising. Call me for help developing a first-time fundraising plan, starting up a major gifts program, writing a case for support, or anything else that's keeping you awake at night! Please find me on linkedin and tell me what you'd like to see in future posts! : ) Photo Credit (sanddollar header): Minette Layne via Compfight cc
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