The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee

The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee

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Heather Iliff, the president and CEO of an association called Maryland Nonprofits, says that she has seen a number of funders suddenly shift the requirements of their funding in response to a new trend, leaving organizations scrambling to adapt. “On the one hand it’s positive that the government is trying to look at what works and fund what works, but they tend to be categorical and abrupt in their shifts, without providing the necessary transitional supports,” Iliff says.

Iliff has seen that scramble to meet funding demands lead to bizarre and unproductive decisions. An employee of one agency that serves adults with significant developmental disabilities told her that its funders recently ordered it to provide clients with a number of hours “in the community,” as opposed to time spent on the in-house services it normally would have administered. But the funders did not provide guidance on how to do that, and the agency’s best option was to bus disabled adults to a mall’s food court just to satisfy the new requirement.

All of this is particularly difficult for human-services nonprofits that survive mostly on Medicaid funding. Homeless shelters, for example, don’t charge for their services, and thus can’t raise prices when their funding is cut. (These types of agencies have a longer period to adjust to the new overtime rules.) And when faced with funding cuts, many nonprofits have no place to turn but their own payrolls.

Source Name: 
The Atlantic

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