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    19 Struggles You'll Only Understand If You Work For A Nonprofit

    Stuffing envelopes like a total hero.

    1. You've spent a lot of time trying to convince your friends and family to donate to your organisation.

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    "I thought you loved me, mother."

    2. Or to volunteer at your events when you're desperate.

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    "What are you talking about? Setting up 500 chairs is the BEST way to spend a Saturday night!"

    3. Sometimes when you DO manage to get a volunteer for something, they don't actually turn up.


    But they seemed so enthusiastic!

    4. If you ever slack off at work, or even stay home sick, you feel guilty as hell.

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    People who work for big evil oil companies don't feel that, right?

    5. At some point in your career, you will be at a party where someone will start explaining to you that your work is actually harmful.

    Work at a homeless shelter? You're stopping them getting jobs. Work for an animal rescue charity? You're ruining evolution.

    6. That, or they'll offer up some "helpful suggestions" about how you could do your job better.

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    "Have you ever even tried teaching the homeless interpretive dance? It's the only way to transform their lives."

    7. A lot of your time is spent asking rich people for money.

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    8. Or chasing up people who said they would make a donation, but never got round to it.

    9. When you lose out on a grant that you had been counting on, it hurts.

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    There goes the cool project you were excited about!

    10. But when you DO get a big donation, it feels pretty great.

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    Just think what you can do with it!

    11. You also spend a lot of time filling out paperwork for government grants.

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    Uh, yes, this project was extremely effective.

    12. Chances are, you've stuffed a lot of envelopes in your day.


    Especially at the end of the year.

    13. Hanging out with friends who work in the corporate world can be a little...rough.

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    14. You've volunteered many a late night when there's something big to organise.

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    15. At some point you'll inevitably face some kind of consultant coming in to train you.

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    Their advice is often stuff you could have, uh, worked out by yourself.

    16. Sometimes you'll get a donation with really specific requests for how it's spent.

    "I ONLY want this money to be used to teach particle physics to vulnerable youth, and CERTAINLY not to play the cello."

    17. Getting free food at events is always way more exciting than it should be.

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    You basically get paid in canapés.

    18. You're pretty sure you should feel good about doing difficult, gratifying work...but a lot of the time you just feel like you should be doing more.

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    19. But when you do have a big success, you let yourself feel at least a little bit badass.

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    For about five minutes, and then it's back to work!

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