Co-hosts Julia Patrick and LaShonda Williams, CFRE, from Fundraising Academy, answer questions submitted by viewers of The Nonprofit Show. Throughout the episode, Julia and LaShonda emphasize the importance of clear policies, effective communication, trust, and ethical practices in the nonprofit sector. They encourage viewers to align their passion with their work, seek professional development opportunities, and engage in meaningful conversations with colleagues and supervisors.
The first question is about managing vacations during federal holidays in a way that is fair and equitable for all employees. LaShonda suggests having a vacation policy in place and providing guidance to HR and the scheduling department. She recommends considering options such as honoring the first person to submit a request, offering incentives for those who work during holidays, or alternating vacation dates to create equity within the team.

The second question pertains to the importance of having a college degree to pursue a career in fundraising. LaShonda emphasizes that while a degree can be beneficial, it is not always a requirement, especially for smaller nonprofits. She suggests affiliating with fundraising professional organizations, seeking professional development opportunities, and looking for nonprofits that offer incentives or scholarship programs for employees to pursue higher education. Ultimately, passion and commitment to the cause are more important than a degree.

The third question addresses the desire to join the Board of Directors for the organization where the individual works. LaShonda and Julia caution against joining the board as a staff member, citing potential conflicts of interest and ethical considerations. They recommend exploring other avenues such as serving on committees or attending board meetings to gain insights and contribute to board discussions without compromising professional boundaries.

The final question concerns ensuring proper credit for donations received while on maternity leave. LaShonda advises maintaining effective communication with the team, providing updates on donor prospects, and discussing concerns with supervisors. She suggests coding donations appropriately and keeping contact reports up to date to ensure transparency and accountability within the organization