Negotiating a Better Salary at Nonprofit

Debbie writes:
I have received a job offer for a marketing-manager position from a company
that is a perfect fit for me but is essentially a non-profit. As such the salary
is lower than what the market value. My research indicates that an average
wage for a marketing manager in this area is in the area of $60000. The offer
came in at $49000. The posting for the job did indicate a range of $38400
to $51200. Benefits are good; of particular interest to me personally are the
401K and vacation time.
I am not experienced with the negotiations process and am concerned about
running the risk of overplaying my cards. We have not discussed that I am
aware that there is a posted range. I would like to ask for more money
and/or an additional week of vacation. The one area that I do not have
expertise in is with public relations which is part of the job. How should I go
countering their offer?

The Career Doctor responds:
The key with job-offer negotiation is to carefully evaluate the offer the potential for
areas where you can seek changes and then do so in the most professional and
courteous manner possible. You can make a counter-offer in person or in writing.
Since you knew going in the salary was going to be lower than the market –
and often the case with non-profits — and you know the offer to you was near
the top of their range — salary in my mind is probably not negotiable.
However you can use your salary research to request other changes in the offer
instead of the salary. For example you could request an additional week of vacation
a 6-month salary review (rather then the typical annual review) or faster participation
in their various benefits programs.
The key in any salary negotiation is picking your battle carefully — and not asking
for too much. Whether negotiating in person or in print the key is to first thank the
prospective employer for the job offer mention how much you want to work and
contribute to their success and then mention you have just one (or two) issues with
the job offer that you would like to see changed.
For more details read this article (and see sample counter-offer letter) on Quintessential Careers: Job Offer Too
Low? Use These Key Salary Negotiation Techniques to Write a Counter Proposal Letter
REMEMBER: With any negotiation there is always risk so be sure to judge how they feel
about negotiation — and make sure you express that you are flexible and want the job — just
hope there are some things that can be tweaked. There are some employers though who
have revoked the offer because they have been offended by the counter-offer — so tread lightly.
Best of luck to you.
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