Nonprofits a powerful force in job creation

November 8, 2013

Nonprofits a powerful force in job creation

According to CNN, the nonprofit sector is no lightweight in U.S. job creation. When it comes to employment and nonprofits, the subject is often huddled around high turnover among executives and other key employees. However, CNN reports in 2012 the nonprofit sector is the third largest labor force, coming in just behind retail and manufacturing, and generates almost $1.5 trillion in spending per year. Given the number of nonprofits in the country, it's not surprising their employment numbers are so high.

While organizations often rely on volunteers for fundraising and occasionally to help provide services, they still have businesses to operate. Groups need individuals with skills in finance, management, accounting and marketing like any successful business does. Thus, nonprofits not only offer a high number of jobs, but also a wide variety of jobs.

According to the John Hopkins University report "Holding the Fort:Nonprofit Employment during a Decade of Turmoil," nonprofits have shown impressive resilience in the areas of job growth and creation when compared with the for-profit sector. The report found that during the heart of The Great Recession, nonprofit sector jobs increased by 1.9 percent per year while traditional businesses averaged a loss of 3.7 percent.

While the economy overall has improved since the recession, massive cuts in government funding could mean a tougher road ahead for nonprofits. It will be just as important for organizations to maintain skilled workers among many departments, but they will need to do so with leaner budgets.

Relying on outside experts to handle complex issues
To ensure that nonprofits can focus on the most important aspects of their mission, organizations should consider enlisting the help of outside organizations. Groups that provide services and expertise in areas such as unemployment insurance, financial services and risk management can save organizations resources and money.

Groups such as First Nonprofit Companies can provide various services to nonprofits so that the organization itself can focus on the elements of its business that require unique talents. Even highly skilled employees will burn out fast if they are spread too thin throughout the organization.

Companies can also save money in the long run when turning to experts. Consulting services that help lower unemployment insurance costs or manage other complex issues faced by nonprofits can be a financial benefit. An employee not trained in the areas may be able to complete the day-to-day requirements of the job, but make costly mistakes or miss cost saving opportunities in the long run. 

Content presented by First Nonprofit Companies, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


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Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO

In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund streamlines the information we need to efficiently manage unemployment claims. Our relationship with NU Fund gave us access to such things as advice on planning for what’s ahead and how to analyze cost scenarios when unexpected events occurred. Both experiences were very helpful.

Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA

We have had a great experience with FNP. During Covid, when there was the chance that reimbursable nonprofits would have to pay 50% of the unemployment costs, FNP went to bat for us. We would receive weekly information on the Unemployment claim and how they were working to reduce the costs to reimbursable nonprofits. They have a great service also working with [our claims administrator] to make sure all the paperwork is completed correctly for any unemployment claim.

ACLA Libraries, Pittsburgh, PA

PORT Health Services has had a great experience with the Unemployment Savings Program offered through First Nonprofit. Throughout the years we have been involved in the program, we have increased our reserve account significantly through this program and find the reporting we receive both timely and useful. We look forward to our continued involvement with this program and our connection with First Nonprofit for many years to come.

PORT Health Services, Greenville, NC

Job One was spending a lot of money on unemployment. Our insurance broker, Mark Simcosky, recommended that we switch over to First Nonprofit. We did just that! This switch has been a huge savings for us! This switch saved us over $10,000 in the first year. Their customer service is Superior! Any time we have a question, we get a response very quickly. Any time we send them a report and they have a question; they call rather than just assuming. They were very responsive during COVID, even when they were in crisis mode their selves. They also were always there when we needed during COVID and very helpful! We would 1,000% recommend First Nonprofit to anybody that could benefit from it!

Job One, Independence, MO

My experience with FNP has always been positive. Every time I have had to contact them, I’m always put in contact with a friendly and knowledgeable person. If something is missing from our account, they reach out to us to request it. It’s nice to work with a company that makes sure our account is current. I would recommend them to any nonprofit looking to reduce their unemployment insurance costs.

Family Counseling Center, Gloversville, NY

We’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars PER YEAR by changing to become a reimbursing employer, freeing funds for much needed capital investment. FNP has been a valued partner in this process, providing assurance that we have stopgap coverage for extraordinary claims and keeping claims response painless and simple. It’s a huge Win/Win!

NC UM Camp & Retreat Center, Garner, NC