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Asking for a payrise in charity sector

(22 Posts)
Sophia1984 Sun 21-Feb-16 19:57:59

Hi everyone,

I work as a regional manager for a small charity. I develop and deliver all of our programmes in the region with the assistance of a part-time freelancer. I've been in this role for 4 years and have only ever received cost-of-living increases, which have amounted to about £200 over the 4 years. This is the first year we haven't received a cost-of-living increase.

I have asked how I can progress in the organisation and up the pay-scale and have always been told this isn't possible because of the size of the organisation and would only happen if my line manager's job became available. However, last year they did a restructure and did promote a lot of people (though no one at my level). They have also created new roles for people which haven't been advertised so not sure how I'm meant to apply for those ones..angry

Anyway, I found out last week that my counterpart in another region is on £2k a year more than me. She does line manage a part-time but fixed term person as well as a freelancer, but says she was told other managers earn the same without line managing.

I feel really hurt as I always do amazingly in my appraisals and get a lot of positive feedback, I manage the region alone (while others job share) so have a lot of responsibility, and I don't feel this is being recognised.

I am meeting with my line manager tomorrow and have said I would like to talk about this. Ideally, I don't want to drop my colleague in it by saying how I know others earn more than me, but am worried I will get the same response that I always do. At every appraisal I ask what I need to be doing better at, and there's never anything! I really work hard on my professional development despite not being offered much at all within work - I attend a lot of networking events and training locally.

How should I go about doing this? Any particular tips for getting a payrise at a charity? [I know low wages are part of the deal we get for the 'warm fuzzy feeling' but warm fuzzy feelings don't pay bills)

Earlybird Sun 21-Feb-16 20:36:56

What was the reason given for no cost-of-living pay increase this year? Just wondering if it could be an indication that finances are not in good shape.....which means it could be poor timing to request a pay rise?

LIZS Sun 21-Feb-16 20:45:54

I also work in charity sector , with government funding, had a pay freeze for 3 years and a minimal increase last year. There are bands with incremental increases due to service up to maximum for the band and extra responsibility points which attract additional salary. If you don't have the same number of reports and length of service that could well be the difference.

nonamenopackdrill Sun 21-Feb-16 20:49:15

Join the union.

Choughed Sun 21-Feb-16 21:05:06

You have to be prepared to walk away for your request to be taken seriously.

flossietoot Sun 21-Feb-16 21:13:18

Hi, also a senior manager for a charity. Confused slightly- if you design programmes, surely you put together the funding bid? Is there enough in the pot to cover a raise? That would be my starting point when going in for negotiations. Might be hard to ask for an increase beyond inflation if you haven't actually funded for it?

caroldecker Sun 21-Feb-16 21:26:00

do you know the financials of the charity - look on the website to see how they are doing and staff costs

Sophia1984 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:42:35

Thanks for the advice everyone. Just realised I said I had only had £200 pay rise - meant £2000 over 4 years.

Think you're right that it may not be a good time to ask. I know we didn't do amazingly well financially last year which I am guessing is why we didn't get the standard increase. However, since the start of the year we did receive more funding than we thought we would, so things may have improved.

flossietoot We're quite head office-centric so while I am involved in helping to develop the side of the programme I deliver (education), I (unfortunately) am less involved in putting the bids together.

LIZSI think I would just like to have an awareness of what the pay bands and salary points are, as we have never been told this and I can't find the information through searching online.

Choughed I guessed as much, and am not in a position to do so as I'm pregnant. Even though the maternity pay is also crap, I need to be somewhere I get at least a smidgen more than basic maternity allowance. I also really love my job, but just wish my hard work was better rewarded :-/

I totally understand that they may not be able to afford an increase, but am frustrated that they aren't transparent about wages or about recruitment, as are others in my position. I had better not continue or it will end in an incriminating rant!

Might restrain myself tomorrow to asking for clarity on what the salary bands are, and what I need to do to move up them.

flossietoot Sun 21-Feb-16 21:46:56

2k if your role hasn't changed significantly and you haven't taken on additionally responsibilities really isn't that bad. 😄

flossietoot Sun 21-Feb-16 21:50:52

Also- the funding for charities is quite complex- it is not a case that they have a pot of money that they just dip into- salaries are put in as part of a bid to a particular project, and salary increases are budgeted for at the time of doing the bid. They also use full cost recovery for overhead costs as part of the bids. You may need to wait until the current funding stream ends and the next one starts.

Choughed Sun 21-Feb-16 21:51:49

If they mention your pregnancy as a reason for not getting a raise that's discrimination...

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sun 21-Feb-16 22:11:25

Sorry. DH hasn't had any pay rise in 3 years, not even cost of living. That's reality nowadays.

Sophia1984 Sun 21-Feb-16 22:44:56

I understand I'm lucky to get any kind of pay rise - what doesn't seem fair is if there are people with the same length of service and same responsibilities as me who are paid more. I suspect this but can't prove it.

flossietoot Sun 21-Feb-16 22:46:12

It comes down to the funding bid! They may be on a different funding stream to you.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sun 21-Feb-16 22:49:21

Could your colleague have more experience than you in previous jobs?

Choughed Mon 22-Feb-16 08:25:50

It shouldn't do any harm to ask. Really, they should be more transparent than this!

Hurrayitsnotdark Mon 22-Feb-16 09:44:29

£2000 over 4 yearssounds like a good payrise in a charity in the current climate. We've had, Erm, £0!!! How is your role funded? Does it come from a specific grant or unrestricted income? Is it funded in exactly the same way as the other role? That may account for the difference in salary. Is the other role london area based and attract a London premium?

I would have a discussion about salaries but there's no reason why they need to be completely transparent or to have a specific pay scale especially in a small charity. With regards to maternity leave, statutory is standard and IMO as a senior charity manager, the correct maternity leave. We can claim back most of the costs of statutory leave but enhanced leave has to come from our income and would impact on core services.

mollyonthemove Mon 22-Feb-16 09:49:02

I work in the charity sector as well - as a centre manager - and we have had incremental (NJC scale) over the four years I've been here and the 1% over two years. I guess it is all dependant on the state of your charity's finances, I know we are just managing so wouldn't ask for a rise at the moment. If you feel that there is a lot of spare money, then just point out the equivalents in your sector and show that you're doing the same work for less pay. Good luck!

mollyonthemove Mon 22-Feb-16 09:49:48

And of course, our government funding has gone down so I've had to be creative in my fundraising!!

flowery Mon 22-Feb-16 11:08:52

If they are a small charity do you know they actually have a formal salary structure with scales/ranges/points etc?

Sophia1984 Mon 22-Feb-16 21:13:18

Well, a shy bairn gets nowt, as they say up here. My line manager agrees I should be on a higher salary and is going to talk to senior management about it. Might not happen till next year as budgets will already be set, but she's promised to support me on it grin

Choughed Mon 22-Feb-16 22:01:13

smile great. Now hold them to it!

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