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Jobs > Career Tips > 4 Ways To Mess Up A Salary Negotiation

4 Ways To Mess Up A Salary Negotiation

May 22, 2013

Deciding whether to accept a job offer can sometimes be as stressful as waiting to see if you even got an interview. This is the time when you will enter salary negotiations with the employer and that is where the real stress can come into play.

Salary negotiations can be a very overwhelming experience. This is especially true for job seekers who don’t have a lot of experience. It can be very tempting to accept an offer that isn’t exactly what you want or need just because you desperately want a job, yet some people fall into that trap. It all comes down to doing your homework so that you know what the average going rate is for the position in question. Resources like The NonProfit Times‘ Salary and Benefits Surveys give up-to-date compensation rates for the many different positions in the nonprofit sector, so make sure to study those rates before entering a negotiation.

Here are three other things you need to avoid when haggling over salary:

  • Not thinking carefully enough about what you need. If you end up taking a salary that doesn’t allow you to live your lifestyle comfortably, you could find yourself back on the job market as quickly as you left it. Think about your annual expenses and then compare that to the salary you are being offered. If the numbers don’t add up, you will have to either convince the organization to go higher or look for a different opportunity.
  • Not thinking about benefits. The type and amount of benefits you receive can be just as important as your salary. If the organization is not able to meet your salary requirements but you still really want the job, see if you can get them to offer you benefits that can help make up the difference, such as bonus pay.
  • Believing you are not able to ask for more money. Some job seekers are under the mistaken belief that they can’t ask for more money once they are presented with an offer. This stems from the reasoning that the number they presented is the exact amount they can afford. This is far from the case. Successful negotiations are played like card games; the winner will not play all of their cards at the beginning. As such, the employer is going to start out by offering you a number that benefits them most. It’s up to you to move them to a place that is fair for both parties.


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