Keeping employees happy when funding does not permit financial rewards

January 28, 2014

Keeping employees happy when funding does not permit financial rewards

In traditional business models, rewards are usually monetary. A successful company makes more money and a successful employee receives larger paychecks. Conversely, hiring levels go down when profits and demand fall. For nonprofit businesses, the relationship between success and money is far less consistent. A nonprofit may have its biggest demand for employees when it's funding levels are lowest.

For the HR departments of tax-exempt organizations, this can make it difficult to establish how many employees to hire and how to reward them for a job well done. One way to motivate employees when monetary bonuses or raises are not an option is to hire candidates that believe in the mission. And nonprofit leaders, according to the Times Union, should work to motivate employees much the same way that they do donors. Help them realize that their contribution to the cause is important and that will make their job rewarding.

A strong leader fosters a giving philosophy 
If the mission is strong enough and the employee committed, he or she may even wish to do more work for the organization or give back perks such as unused time off. If a nonprofit can afford to improve the financial situation of their employees, there is certainly no reason not too. To keep top talent, even when they are committed to the cause, does take some other incentives.

However, a good leader can help employees realize that even when times are tough and paychecks are small, their work is appreciated and their impact on the organization is important. The right employee can even be motivated by being allowed to play a bigger role in the future operation of the nonprofit. A more senior position, even without a pay raise, will be seen by the employee as a signal that the organization is committed to keeping them around.

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


Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


Working with Marshal Whittey at First Nonprofit has been a great experience. He handles our request as a priority and goes above and beyond to resolve any issues we have in a timely manner. Marshall follows through to the end and ensures our needs are met. He has been a great resource for LSC and our “go to” for any tax questions we may have. With LSC transitioning several facilities into one federal tax identification number, First Nonprofit was able to assist and provide guidance with best practices resolving claims to each entity. Additionally First Nonprofit provided knowledge (information materials) and one on one training to HRS group with best practices to handle claims state adjudicated, fraudulent claims, and appeals. And processing information in the First Nonprofit [unemployment claims] system allows for timely information can be collected.

Lutheran Services Carolinas, Salisbury, NC

My experience with FNP has been wonderful. Unemployment in general is quite confusing and FNP has simplified the process for us. Everyone we have reached out to or worked with has been very helpful and follows up to be sure we understand the information. I am so happy we made the switch to FNP!

Stone Valley Community Charter School, Huntingdon, PA

First Nonprofit smoothed the unemployment perils for our organization during Covid. Without the ability to cap our UI exposure, we would not have been able to weather the storm. The program worked perfectly and we have come out of the pandemic ready to forge on. Thanks FNP!

Jewish Silicon Valley, Los Gatos, CA

My experience with the FNP has been fantastic. The idea of setting funds aside for the unemployment tax liability is a bedrock for nonprofit organizations like mine, namely ASHBA; what is even more advantageous is having the FNP as a custodian of those funds. 100% recommended!

American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association, Inc., Lexington, KY

I would like to comment on my experience with FNP….to date our District has saved $1,000’s of dollars by being enrolled in the First Nonprofit program. My only regret is that we did not know about this method of paying unemployment tax years ago….as I had figured about five years

ago, had we enrolled 15-20 years ago, we could have saved our small school district upwards of $500,000 in payments to IDES. Also we would have had a pretty hefty sum of money in our Reserve Account. Thankfully I attended a workshop hosted by First Nonprofit back in 2015 which got the ball rolling!

Beardstown Community Unit School District 15, Beardstown, IL

I have worked with the First Non-Profit Team for many years, and I appreciate the quick response and care that Cecilia and the team provides anytime I have questions. While there are other providers that may provide like services, First Nonprofit will always be my first choice! I appreciate you!

Innovative Services, Inc., Green Bay, WI

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ