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I work for an animal charity in the uk as a fundraiser and recently found out that the staff who work with the animals think I "don't do anything".

I was told by a trusted co-worker that this was said following a staff meeting that I was unable to attend. As a small charity we are facing financial difficulties, and this was the subject of the meeting. The comments were made suggesting that I should be made redundant as a way of saving money.

As the only dedicated fundraiser for the charity, these comments are untrue and very hurtful, as I often put in more time and effect than I'm required to, to make sure that we are bringing in as many funds as possible.

Apart from shouting about the amount of money I bring in, which I am not currently doing and not keen on starting doing, how can I change their opinion of me and the job I do?

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    It seems weird that a response to financial problems would be "Let's fire the fundraiser." How do you get on with your colleagues in general? Do you ever chat, take breaks together etc.? Also is there any visibility about whatever funds you're raising (list of new sponsors, donation drives, charity activities etc.)? – Llewellyn Sep 15 at 18:46
  • I am friendly with staff and will have general chit chat, but we are separated. They have a staffroom for the staff who work with the animals, and I'm in the office. There isn't any sort of update for staff, for them to know how much has been brought in each month, everything has always ticked on until recently. – CrazyCatLady90 Sep 15 at 18:59
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First by way of reassurance, it is probably worth mentioning that it won't be your colleagues who decide who if anybody is let go from your organization. It will be your boss, who hopefully has a much better idea of your value to the organization.

However this does indicate a slight problem with communication which you might do well to address. First I would go to your boss and tell her what you heard was said, and make sure he doesn't share their opinion. Assuming she doesn't, maybe persuade her to occasionally announce to staff when you have brought in some particularly large donation.

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Provided that there are no ad hominem attacks, the questioning of the value of fundraising staff is fair game. Nobody likes having their usefulness questioned, but it is nothing personal, and responding emotionally is a bad idea. It goes without saying that an effective fundraiser is expected to be bringing in a lot more money than his/her salary costs. To the extent that it is possible to ascertain the added value you offer, you should ensure that it is discoverable through diligent documentation.

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Every kind of organization was founded with the aim to make profit. This is also true for non-profit and charity organizations which aren't depended on financial benefit but on the applause they get form their customers. If the customer of an organization is satisfied he will reward it.

In the special case with the co-workers who have made a small rant against an individual the first thing to do is to determine if the co-workers are expressing the opinion of the customer. If yes, they have the permission for criticism. The best reaction is to do what the coworkers want, otherwise the organization gets in trouble. In the second case, the co-workers have no idea what the needs of the customers are, and then it's up to the individual to figure out the real needs. This can be used as a defense against loud employees. In such a case, it's only their individual opinion how to work right, but not the real demand of the customer.

  • Please read the question again. The question is about many co-worker criticizing another co-worker who works in a different department (The OP in this case). Rants about criticizing customers and profits do not answer the question. – Shadowzee Sep 16 at 5:37
  • @Shadowzee If i have understood the comment right, the idea is that coworkers are forming a dialogue oriented social structure which can be reduced to individual behaviors. An overall grounding into the organizational structure isn't need, it's enough to analyze the situation on a psychological basis. Is that what you want to explain? – Manuel Rodriguez Sep 16 at 9:59

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