Guides & Resources

Five Great Things About Working in a Small Shop

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Close to 10 percent of AFP membership identify as working in a small shop. This is Part 1 of AFP’s “Five Things” briefs about small shops: 1) Five Great Things About Working in a Small Shop, 2) Five Challenging Things About Working in a Small Shop and 3) Five Tips for Working in a Small Shop.

We asked Tim Brown who ran a food distribution hub in Kingston which provided food for 87 schools for needy students, and Leanne Kopp, CFRE, executive director of Island Prostate Centre in Victoria, to provide insight.

Here are Five Great Things About Working in a Small Shop:

  1. Close contact with donors and clients: Being able to see the immediate impact of the work on a daily basis and having direct conversations with donors about the impact of their gifts are what provide purpose and passion for the work.
  2. Being able to connect with most of our donors at least once a year: Being a smaller shop means a level of personal stewardship can be maintained more easily, which is critical to our success.
  3. The autonomy of not having a large staff to oversee: A small shop can operate on a very nimble basis, to ‘weave and bob’ to suit demands.
  4. Independence and flexibility: When your organization recognizes the “above and beyond,” and values the flexibility to compensate for that.
  5. No layers of bureaucracy to deal with on a daily basis: The direct benefit of both being the sole leadership position and a small shop is that decisions can be made quickly and easily, which makes the work of all staff that much easier.

Please let us know if you have more great things to share about working in a small shop.

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