Dozens of people have asked me to address dating within the nonprofit sector, and by dozens of people, I mean one drunk single person at a fundraising gala.
This is not a topic that we talk much about, but it is important, because of Rule 1, the Cardinal Rule of Dating in the Nonprofit Sector: Do not date other people from the nonprofit sector*.
Rule 4: Weigh the potential benefits to your organization when choosing whom to go out with.
Yes, proximity is powerful, especially when so many of us work ridiculous hours and see each other all the time. First, because we deserve a decent car and house and occasional access to organic blueberries, and the chances for those things greatly decrease if we only stick with each other.
But more importantly, our work depends on the rest of society understanding and appreciating the role that nonprofit plays, so we have to marry outward.
Rule 3: Hell, don’t date current coworkers, clients, donors, board members, auditors, and volunteers.
It’s not gold digging, it’s thinking of the children.Rule 2: No matter how radiant they are, never ask a program officer out who may fund your org.Well, you better arrest yourself, officer, because you just stole my heart” (#nonprofitpickuplines, go make that trend on Twitter).But, you’ll only come off as creepy, and worse, you will jeopardize funding for your organization.
Sure, you may have kickass pickup lines like, “Does RFP stand for ‘Really Fine Person?’ You’re definitely an RFP to me” or “So, you’re a program officer, huh?