July 29, 2013
Having a dedicated, skilled and energetic staff is imperative to the success of every nonprofit. A recent study spearheaded by Heather Carpenter, assistant professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University, revealed professional development and investing in the workforce can help organizations keep talented employees around for years to come.
Staff members want to continue to add to skill sets
Nonprofits with board members, IT professionals and skilled communicators should create a culture with their staff that they know they are valued in the organization. However, the "2013 Nonprofits Needs Assessment Report," funded by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, showed more than one-quarter of entities evaluated reserve only about 1 percent of their total budget for professional development, while about 13 percent of subjects allot 5 percent of their funds to improving the skills of their employees. Nonprofits that want a happier team need to allocate more of their budget to ensuring employee satisfaction.
"Nonprofit and philanthropic employers are recognizing that in order to reduce employee burnout and turnover as well as maintain positive employee morale, they must provide professional development opportunities to their staff," the study stated. "These opportunities can take place inside or outside of the organization. Wherever the professional development takes place, it provides many positive benefits to employees, volunteers and organizations."
Organizations begin to do more for their staff
Many nonprofits are understaffed and rely on their employees and board members to shoulder a heavy load. After working long hours to meet tough demands, organizations are beginning to look for ways to enrich the skills of their team. The 138 Michigan-based organizations surveyed reported using the Internet and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy as their top outlets for professional development resources.
"They're going to the Internet first for professional development and then they use professional associations and a mixture of external and internal resources," Carpenter told MiBiz. She stressed how nonprofits only use a small percentage of their budgets to improve their skills of their employees, which could hurt employer/employee relationships.
The study stated 73 percent of respondents offered professional training to their staff and 61 percent did so for their board members. By shifting some expenses around and realigning budgets, nonprofits can invest even more in their staff.
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.
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.
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.
NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.
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
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.
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.