But once the union was formed, contract negotiations stalled. Employees started collective actions like using union logos as their backgrounds and emailing management and board members employee testimonies. In mid-March, terms for a contract were finally agreed upon.
“We underscore our commitment to equity,” said Cheryelle Cruickshank, its executive director, in a statement about the deal. “We have achieved a mutually agreed verbal agreement that is fair and equitable for all parties.”
Money can be difficult to access at nonprofits, which rely on individual donations and institutional grants, many of which come with time limits and other constraints. “There is a scarcity mentality, and even a scarcity reality, to contend with,” said Alicia Jay, the co-director of All Due Respect, referring to nonprofit budgets, which can look quite different from those of large corporations. “It isn’t a bottomless well, like with private companies such as Amazon.”
Often, funds will be earmarked for a specific program, but do not always include the administrative costs associated with running it, Dr. Jones said. “No one wants to fund the electric bill, or the holiday party.”
MacKenzie Scott, the novelist and philanthropist, has shown a way forward, perhaps, by giving away billions in unrestricted grants. This method gives organizations the authority to specify where and how they want to spend their money.
Still, nonprofit union organizing is in its early stages. “There is a model mismatch between the way unions typically organize in for-profit settings, and how they can do it differently among nonprofits,” Ms. Smoucha said. “It is a big growing pain, but it’s imperative we figure out how to do it better.”