In the world of corporate fundraising, Beth found herself caught in the crosshairs of an administrator’s relentless quest for 100% participation. Little did she know, her actions would spark a revelation that would reshape her workplace and her career journey.
Annual Fundraising Campaign
Beth worked at a company that had an annual fundraising campaign.
It was a big deal, and every employee was encouraged (or, rather, heavily pressured) to contribute to preselected charities from their paycheck.
This meant you could either make smaller monthly donations throughout the year or opt for a lump sum payment.
The company really pushed for participation, bombarding everyone with email reminders and putting up posters all over the office.
Not Mandatory, but Pretty Much
They even tempted employees with prize drawings, though it seemed like only the top executives and leaders ever won those.
The company had a system that tracked how many people in each department contributed.
Their goal was to achieve 100% participation from every department. Supposedly, this process was private and anonymous, with only numbers on display.
But Beth soon realized that the reality was quite different. If someone was holding back, they were approached and pressured by the administrator.
Flipping the Switch
What struck Beth as particularly odd was how the ordinarily stoic and stern department administrator suddenly became enthusiastic about the charity campaign.
It was as if a switch had been flipped, and her behavior raised some alarms.
One year, Beth was going through a challenging financial situation and didn’t want to contribute. She simply couldn’t afford it.
But then, the administrator came into her office suite, practically bubbling with excitement, saying, “Weeee are almost to 100% participation!”
Coercion to Donate?
She looked around, questioning each person. Her eyes lingered on Beth as she made her way toward her desk. “Have yooouuuuuu made your contribution yet?” she asked.
Without thinking, Beth mentioned that she was still considering which charity to support.
The administrator promptly pulled up a chair next to Beth’s desk and began sharing a sob story from one of the charities, explaining how the money would help those in need.
She guided Beth through the process of making her contribution on the charity’s website.
Bending to Pressure
Being young and feeling pressured, Beth gave in and made a minimal donation of $24 per year, at $2 a month, from her meager salary.
She did it to make sure her department reached that coveted 100% participation. After all, what harm could it do?
The following year, Beth decided to wait until the last moment to make her contribution to see if the administrator would approach her again.
To her dismay, the same administrator arrived with the same memorized sob story, guiding her through the contribution process while keeping a close eye on her!
A Clear Agenda
It soon became apparent that Beth had become the target of the administrator’s agenda.
She was out for Beth’s job, and to achieve that, she separated Beth from the people she got along with, including her direct boss.
It was clear that Beth needed to get out of this situation quickly if she wanted to keep her job.
She began applying for other positions and, within a few weeks, managed to transfer to a different department. It turned out to be a wise move and one of her favorite positions.
Discovering the Truth
In her new department, Beth discovered that they organized and ran various company-wide, city-wide, and county-wide events.
One of their biggest events was the Charity Campaign for the entire company.
Beth couldn’t help but share her strange experiences from her previous department with her new coworkers.
To her surprise, they revealed a crucial piece of information: administrators received a bonus when their departments achieved 100% participation!
Blocking the Bonus
Beth wasted no time and began spreading the word to everyone in her previous department, and the following year, that department had one of the lowest participation rates!
Now that Beth was in a better place in her life and genuinely enjoyed her new department and leadership, she willingly started contributing to the Charity Campaign.
Her new administrator would use the bonus to do something nice for the team, like buying everyone lunch or showing some form of appreciation, and there was no infighting or fallacies.
Beth’s decision to expose the administrator’s motives not only protected her job but also helped her previous department see through the manipulation.
It was a lesson learned in navigating workplace dynamics, and it led Beth to a better, happier chapter in her career.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi