16 Oct Don’t Throw in the Towel
Did you know the average tenure of a fundraiser is two years or less? Fundraising is a tough job. A recent survey indicated unrealistic expectations, low appreciation, and dysfunctional work environments all contribute to this rapid turnover.1 Is there a way to hang in there and be productive despite all the forces working against you? Solomon gave great counsel for employees who are facing the king’s wrath.
When You Face the Heat
Is your boss mad at you for the sin of commission (something you did you shouldn’t have done), or the sin of omission (something you should have done you didn’t do)? Either way, it’s unpleasant. Perhaps your boss has no legitimate reason to be dissatisfied with you or your work. Maybe he or she is just having a bad hair day. Perhaps you are the boss, and you are facing heat from your board for some decision you made or didn’t make. Whatever situation you face, you need a crisis management plan to deal with the firestorm.
And Feel Tempted to Quit
You have three choices when resolving workplace conflict. You can flee, fight, or flow. Many take the easy way out and flee to the mirage of greener pastures. Solomon strongly counsels against this, “do not leave your post.” Others will stand and fight for their cause which they might win or lose. Some will go with the flow seeking to find a win-win situation where both parties compromise. This sounds promising but it’s often unrealistic. After all, compromise means no one really gets what they want. Solomon offers a fourth option—face it calmly.
Keep Calm and Carry On
No doubt you’ve seen a variation of this motivational poster. In 1939, the British government used this phrase to boost the morale of the British people as they prepared for World War II. Solomon was the first to preach this concept, “calmness can lay great offenses to rest.” Maybe you have greatly offended your boss or your board, Solomon gives hope for a peaceful resolution your conflict. What’s your best response? When your boss/board blows a gasket, respond with grace. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). Instead of reacting sinfully, faithfully keep doing your job and calmly respond in kindness. God can use your gentleness to change hearts. “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone” (Prov. 25:15).
Think About This: Ask the Lord for discernment to flee, fight or flow. God may be calling you to a new ministry where you can use your gifts more effectively. He may be giving you the courage to fight for what is right for the ministry, or he may be asking you to calm down and learn to live with other broken people. Whatever your decision, take time to listen to the Spirit.
Response: Lord, please give me strength to endure when my boss/board gets angry. Help me show patience, grace, love, and kindness.
Joslyn, H. (2019, August 6) 51% of Fundraisers Plan to Leave Their Jobs by 2021, Says New Survey from https://www.philanthropy.com/article/51-of-Fundraisers-Plan-to/246857
Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.