There’s this “Not for Profit” organization that gave me their rate for project work and then gave me excuses as to why they couldn’t pay it.
It started with a job posting on indeed.com for a Project Manager. I applied and on May 30, 2018, I received an email, on May 31, 2018, for a phone interview. On June 4, 2018, I had a phone interview, which was followed by an assignment to create a transition checklist. The due date for the checklist was June 7, 2018; I sent it to them on June 5, 2018. I received an invite for a face-to-face interview with the owner.
On June 14, 2018, I met with the owner. He seemed very personable, friendly, and approachable. We talked about my passion for writing and art. After the interview, he had me take a behavioral assessment. Before I left, he requested that I send any questions and my salary expectations.
I sent my salary expectations as requested. The owner’s response, “This salary expectation is really tough for us and all non-profits. That salary is in the executive director range, PM’s salary in our world probably wouldn’t work for you and your family.” I replied by letting him know that I wanted to work with his organization in some capacity, either part-time or on an as-needed basis because I believed in what they were doing. His reply, “Would you prefer project-based or hourly work? Let’s discuss a win-win for both of us.” I told him to let me know what he could afford and we could go from there. He replied, “I just got $25 an hour for some project work with flexibility on your schedule. We can start as soon as you can!!”
I started on June 18, 2018. I arrived at the building after 7:30 a.m. The owner sent me an email asking, “what time are you coming in?” I replied, “8:00a”. He said ok and let me know he wasn’t getting in the office until 9:00 a.m. He asked one of his employees, via email, to let me into the building and set me up in a conference room. He followed that by assigning me the task of building a transition guide for his clients with specific instructions on how to write the thing.
I told him that I would work on that at home, bill him for the hours worked and schedule a time to go over the draft with him. After I arrived home, I saw an email from the owner telling me to send him updates on my progress so that he could provide direction based on what he wanted. Before I started any work, I decided to project plan the scope of work with associated cost based on the rate he provided me Friday and send it to him for approval.
The baseline cost for the work assigned totaled $1,800.00. I sent the information to him for approval otherwise, I was not initiating work. His response, “Not sure I can get the whole project approved with no other projects to base your work off of. Does that make sense? This is why I wanted to see an outline and a few steps before you continue the project. Maybe we can discuss over the phone.”
So, I replied, “Why bring on a “Project Manager” when you’re unable to get funding for the project work? ” This was the owner’s reply verbatim, “David I don’t think you understand what I was trying to say. I have no idea what kind of work you do and to commit to $1,800 search for someone we’ve never worked withsearch for someone we’ve never worked with is a big commitment. We have unlimited funding. All I asked was to see what type of work you do in track the progress and see if you’re a good fit. As I can see now I don’t think you’re a good fit I wish you well.”
The gig ended the same day it started. Was it something I said?
Thinking of Working for a Nonprofit
Based on this article, I thought my experience would be a lot different.