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How to Respect Your Time, and Help Your Boss and Colleagues Respect It Too

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You are more valuable than you’ve ever imagined.

I’m not talking about your value as a unique human being living on this planet. In that sense, you’re infinitely valuable.

I’m talking about your value as a professional fundraiser, as measured in money. Dollars and cents.

Once you know your value, it can really help you and others at your organization make smarter decisions on how you spend your time – how much it costs for you to do things. It can free you from the bone-headed activities that waste your time and keep you from accomplishing your most important goals.

When you face a decision whether to do “A” or “B,” knowing you can’t do both, knowing your measurable cost can help you make the best choice.

(And don’t let your boss find out I told you this, but knowing your value can help you negotiate for the compensation you’re worth.)

Here’s the formula for determining your value:

Your annual gross salary, divided by 100

Equals what you cost your organization

Every working day.

This formula takes the complete cost of “you” to your organization – salary, benefits, your share in office space and equipment, HR costs … everything – and puts it in the context of the time you spend doing things.

The formula works for any paid member of your staff.

What it does is this: It makes visible something that is normally invisible: people’s time.

As you know, things that aren’t measured aren’t properly valued. You end up spending way too much of your time (and other staff time) on projects that don’t really matter. Leaving you not enough time to do things that can make a huge difference.

When you quantify the value of you, it quickly becomes obvious if you’re not spending time in the best way.

Example: Say your boss wants to add a fundraising gala to your annual activities. It’s going to cost some predictable amount to rent the venue and all the equipment, pay for the food, pay the band, and send out invitations – all that is easy to quantify.

But it’s going to take a total of 100 hours of your time. Plus a lot of other people’s time. Those time expenditures look like they add nothing to the budget.

But they don’t. In reality, they may be the highest costs of the whole project.

Your 120 hours? That’s 15 days of work.

That is, 15% of your gross salary.

Plus other people’s time.

Suddenly, the net revenue of this gala isn’t looking so good.

More important, those 15 days could have been spent on something with a better-expected return. Like creating a direct mail appeal, talking to a few major donors or bequest prospects. Those things may not happen because you were too busy with the gala.

That’s an opportunity that you will never regain.

But when you calculate your value, you can get very smart, very quickly about the best places to spend your time.

This “cost of you” calculation is just one game-changing concept from the Moceanic workshop, The Hidden Treasure of Fundraising: 4 Secrets to Connect with Your Donors, Grow Your Income and Master Your Career. You can join this powerful workshop for FREE.

There are three more secrets like this in the workshop that can transform and empower your career. Interested? Register for this workshop now!

For a limited time, this workshop, The Hidden Treasure of Fundraising: 4 Secrets to Connect with Your Donors, Grow Your Income and Master Your Career, is free to join. Find the four secrets that power successful fundraisers. You’ll be surprised how easy – yet impactful – these four secrets are. They can change your life, starting now!

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Jason Weaver
    May 11, 2023 11:32 pm

    Where do you get 100 working days from? Shouldn’t it be at least twice that?

    • Jeff Brooks
      May 12, 2023 8:57 am

      Hey Jason, the “cost of you” is considerably more than your salary. It includes all your benefits, insurance, taxes, the cost to manage you, provide all your equipment, HR costs (including the cost to recruit and hire), various types of leave and vacation, etc. That’s why we use 100, rather than the number of working days in a year. It’s an estimate, but it’s much more accurate than only looking at salary.

  • Sean Triner
    May 12, 2023 8:53 am

    Hi Indeed Jason, there are a lot more working days! And you are right, at least twice that.
    The formula isn’t salary divided by number of working days (which average around 220 depending on country). It takes into account lots of other factors and I explain it more in the free workshop.
    It’s incredibly helpful for making decisions around what projects we work on.
    Just recently I was in a coaching session with a sophisticated charity fundraising team, looking at priorities for their digital fundraising program.
    One area – ‘always on one off giving’ on the website doesn’t produce much income for them at the moment. We were looking at ideas to improve this area. Then, applying the formula, were able to evaluate these solutions against other opportunities.
    In the end we have shelved it until they get more human resources. The simple 1% per day formula really helps with perspective.
    I hope to see you on the webinar when you get a bit more detail on the formula.


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