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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In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund
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Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA

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

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New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL