How to Overcome a Fear of Negotiating and Get a Bigger Paycheck

How to Overcome a Fear of Negotiating and Get a Bigger Paycheck (downloadable pdf) by Jennifer C. Berkshire: Discussion of the impacts of not negotiating as well as simple steps to prepare you for your next opportunity to negotiate. From the Chronicle of Philanthropy (external link).


When Erica Pacheco was offered a job as project manager at, a Latino advocacy group, she tried something she’d never done before: She asked for more money.

“I didn’t even know that negotiating was an option until a mentor explained it to me,” says Ms. Pacheco, who started her new job in October and now works in the national organization’s Massachusetts office. And while she was initially nervous about a back-and-forth over salary, she was happy with the outcome.

“We had an open, honest discussion about money, and I said, ‘Here’s where I think I should be,’” says Ms. Pacheco.

Negotiating over salary is commonplace in the for-profit world but can still be a source of discomfort for new or even veteran employees of charities. One reason: the mission-driven nature of many nonprofit jobs, says Allan Luks, director of the Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders, who also once led Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City.

“There’s a perception out there that you work for a nonprofit because you care about the cause rather than the money,” says Mr. Luks, who trains midlevel nonprofit employees who hope to lead a charity. “But you still deserve to get paid what you’re worth, no matter how passionate you are about the mission.”

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