Working at a foundation is often considered a prestigious, influential role, with job openings few and far between. (Only about 1,100 people total are employed at all of MCF’s member foundations.) Perhaps because of this, we don’t often hear about the job satisfaction of these foundation employees.
That changes with a new report from The Center for Effective Philanthropy. The report argues that we should pay more attention to this question, as more satisfied foundation staff will achieve better results and form better relationships with their grantees and community partners.
CEP’s report produced a clear finding: foundation staff members are most satisfied when they feel empowered in their work. The employees who were satisfied in their jobs spoke in glowing terms about a supportive work environment and opportunities to grow, while those who were dissatisfied said they felt undervalued and untrusted. This mattered much more than other factors such as perception of pay or workload.
Factors that influence this feeling of empowerment include staff believing that:
- Management communicates a clear direction for the future.
- The work they do is aligned well with the rest of the organization.
- The foundation is devoted to its employees
- Performance reviews are fair and helpful.
Read CEP’s full report for more, including case studies from two foundations that received particularly high marks for the job satisfaction of their employees.