Why Won’t a Nonprofit Provide a Christmas Party for Employees?

by Evil HR Lady on December 22, 2014

I’m interested in your thoughts and experience with the not for profit sector and Christmas. We know that while the skills to do non-profit work are usually high, the wages are often low. People accept this as par for the course of doing good work.

But usually the Christmas parties suck. Done on minimal, if any budget, it is hard not to be resentful. There is money for management to make trips across the country regularly and at short notice, but they can’t find $25 a head for 40 workers?

Is this plain mean-spirited or just the way it goes?

To read the answer, click here: Why Won’t a Nonprofit Provide a Christmas Party for Employees?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

meansomething December 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Great article, Suzanne, but you might want to take a look at the end of it–on my browser the text appears like this (“Susan” and all):

Now, you didn’t ask, but I do think the not-for-profit sector should be cautious about paying significantly below market rates. If you want to return the best value to your grant providers and donors, you really need top quality people.You’ll want to sign up for my free newsletter now because you want to read all of the new articles as soon as they are available.

And, while many of us are willing to work for a lower wage for a good cause, our mortgage companies aren’t willing to accept reduced payments because we work for a good cause.

You’ll want to sign up for my free newsletter now because you want to read all of the new articles as soon as they are available. Join Susan’s newsletter community. Join HR on Facebook and Google+.

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Kobayashi December 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm

As someone who volunteers for a nonprofit, I think you nailed the reason on the head. It looks bad. Even though we all know the staff and volunteers at nonprofits work hard and DESERVE to be thanked (and in the case of volunteers, spending $25-$50 on them once or twice a year when you’ve been saving somewhere around $30,000 a year on not having to pay them a salary, is still a windfall for the nonprofit–but the public and media tend not to “get” that).

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Gene December 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I’ve worked for government since I graduated from high school during the Nixon administration: USN, 3 cities and one county in three states. In that entire time (with the exception of the Navy where everything was paid for) I have never been to an employer-paid party. It’s just not done.

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Genie January 5, 2015 at 4:07 pm

I’ve worked in private industry and at the companies I’ve been at, more orften than not the “party” consisted of employees banding together, taking up a collaection and then using those funds, going out ot a restaurant and splitting the bill, or other not-sponsored-by-the-company event, or just nothing. As a manager I’ve taken my department out to lunch but I paid for it all out of my own pocket. I have a feeling that companies paying for Christmas/Holiday parties is less common than the media cooks it up to be.

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