I can’t get through to the boss. Should I leave?

Hi Aunty, 


I know you offer good advice to business but I am hoping you can offer good advice to an employee who cares about the business?


I work at a not-for-profit organisation in fund raising several days a week while completing my post grad studies. I have years of relevant experience, and I think they were hoping to utilise my skills to their advantage, which is fine as I am happy to share, and love to see my contribution make a difference.


Anyway, six months down the track I find the director who I report to is cleary stumbling to raise funds. And he has employed a friend as his communications manager. No one in the department is raising any funds (although I have established my activities and financial contribution, which is approved).


Partly I believe this is due to incredibly poor branding and awareness, a shocking website and irrelevant, untargeted communications. There is also no strategic direction, accountability or specific goals in place.


I know the organisation could do much better and have suggested to the director and CEO how things could be improved, but nothing changes (the director and CEO seem unimpressed with each other much of the time).


The director is clutching at straws so badly to raise anything, does not know how to approach corporate sponsors and is demanding staff hold weekend family fund raising functions and bring the money into work. There are ways to create streams of revenue but running around like Chicken Little squawking “the sky is falling” is not helping anyone short or long term.


Do I stay and keep trying to get through to these decision makers or move on where I can make a difference?


Also please don’t make any comments about the recent Mick Gatto bushfire fund raiser that netted nearly $1 million in a night when we are scratching for 100 bucks, as it kills me.





Dear Nicole,


Good on you for trying but I am afraid you are banging your head against a brick wall.

You have a CEO and a director at loggerheads, a director hiring mates, no vision, no goals, no accountability, no leadership, poor branding, no online strategy and you are reduced to begging at the weekend and bringing the money into work in order not to go broke.


That kind of dysfunctional business can create a lot of stress in its employees as they battle to contribute in an atmosphere of incompetence. Not-for-profits need to be as well run as any other business if they are to be effective.


Life is short. Leave as soon as possible. There are many not-for-profit organisations where you can make a difference.


Good luck,

Your Aunty B.


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