The reverse job

by toonalfrink 1 min read13th May 201812 comments


(opinions in this post don't necessarily reflect that of the RAISE team. This is me personally)

What does a job earn you? Money, for starters. But that seems to be a crude model. If people would only get jobs for money, barely anyone would work at a charity. Or charities would just generally be a lot less costs-effective, because you couldn't hire as many people for the same money.

One of CFAR's techniques (at least back in 2016) is Factoring. You take a goal and break it down to it's constituents. Why do you really want X? Because of Y and Z, so let's try getting Y and Z instead, without necessarily getting X.

In that spirit, here's a few other things that a (proper) job earns you:

  • Actual impact
  • Prestige
  • Friends
  • Feeling useful
  • Doing fun stuff

As a team member of a charity, one of my consistent worries is funding. Some are lucky and get a big grant right at the start. Some just manage to subsist, living from grant to grant with a 3-month runway, working a part-time job on the side so they don't have to take a wage and jeopardize their baby.

I'm most grateful for those that provide a monthly donation. Instead of sweating on the operations hassle of launching a fundraiser, they allow us to forget about it a bit and focus on creating value instead.

In some sense, bringing in money is just another job. Some create content, some do research, some do operations, and some bring in the money so that the whole team can live off it.

We think of the latter as fundamentally different, but I'd like to experiment with the notion that this need not be the case. In some sense, these people are just taking care of one of the organisational needs: making sure everyone has a sandwich to eat.

I want to think of providing funding as just another job. One applies, and if accepted, they do earning to give and share a part of their income (50%?) with the project. Instead of being paid with money, the pay is an inclusion in the team and all the benefits that it provides. Like being listed on the team page and being socially included and invited to all the brainstorms and, well, belonging.

This could very well be a bad idea. This could very well be a good idea. I don't know if this is an offer anyone would want to take. I don't know whether this might lead to toxic dependency relationships. My provisional prior is 50/50. In any case it seems worth trying.

So PM me if this interests you, and we can explore our options.