6 Tips for Negotiating Salary at a Nonprofit

Weigh 'Need vs Greed' When Negotiating Salary at a Nonprofit

Nonprofits are a Different Animal

When you’re an employee at MegaCorp and the CEO travels to the shareholder meeting in his private jet to announce that they’ve exceeded Q4 revenue predictions by $200 million, it’s not too difficult to look at the company’s success, negotiate hard for a raise, and say “How about a little something for me?”

But what happens when you work for a nonprofit and you’re not dealing with mergers and acquisitions, but rather microfinance loans to empower women or access to clean drinking water in developing nations?

A reader named Mari recently asked that question after taking my online negotiation course:

“I'm applying for nonprofit entry level positions and the idea of negotiating salary seems entirely greedy and heartless. Is there some way to negotiate salary and benefits (perhaps additional paid time off?) without coming across as ‘stealing more money away from the cause’?”

It’s a question I’ve seen often, and working for a nonprofit definitely comes with its own set of challenges, especially trying to negotiate salary without coming off as greedy. Here are six things to consider.