People who work in nonprofits don't do it for the money.
Managers, employees, board members, and volunteers are motivated by personal values for which they sacrifice opportunities to make a better living in the for-profit sector. This is good — society needs people who care about more than money.
But strongly held values can also spawn costly* conflicts. Intense devotion to the social purpose of their non-profit employer sometimes impels people into seemingly intractable values-based conflicts.
Not to mention budget constraints. Funds are often severely limited, arousing feelings of deprivation and unfairness among workers. "Competition for scarce resources" is a classic source of organizational conflict, nowhere more present than in nonprofits.
And then there's the issue of volunteerism. Managing volunteers is more complex than managing employees who are paid competitive wages.
So, the challenge of managing workplace conflict (and the consequences of failing to do so) is greater in nonprofits than in private enterprise or government.
MTI shares the social values of many nonprofits — after all, our training sourcebook is about improving relationships. If you think your nonprofit would benefit by better conflict management, but funds are unavailable to pay the regular registration fees, send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org including your website address. If our values are congruent, we may be able to help.
* Click for complimentary access to the Dana Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict, an on-line calculator producing immediate results. Estimate your financial return on investment in conflict management training.
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