Staffing at nonprofits can be a challenge

August 29, 2013

Staffing at nonprofits can be a challenge

While volunteers, donors and board members can make big contributions to a nonprofit, it is the day-to-day staff that is the real reason why many organizations are able to support their mission. Having poor hiring processes can make it difficult for nonprofits to recruit the most skilled workers and grow their operations. One issue that can be a deciding factor in whether top talent decides to work is salary, and nonprofit decision-makers have to be ready to put in a solid offer.

According to recent research from CareerBuilder, more than half of job seekers will negotiate salaries when they receive an initial job offer, while workers older than 35 years old are most likely to present a counteroffer when discussing employment within an organization.

Nonprofits should have competitive compensation
Some employees will be willing to give nonprofits a slight break on salary because they support the cause of the organization. But, nonetheless, it's important for nonprofits to offer salaries that are in line with other organizations. One-third of employers are currently basing pay off the insights collected by looking at postings from other entities, while 48 percent will simply discuss salaries with potential employees during the first job interview.

"Forty-nine percent of hiring managers surveyed said job candidates have refused offers due to salary," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "It's critical that recruiters and hiring managers are armed with up-to-date compensation data. If you offer premium talent below market rates, it can be very difficult to fill vacant positions."

Create a streamlined hiring process
Salaries are just one aspect of recruitment that can be difficult for hiring managers at nonprofits. Before any hiring takes place, organizations should have a set process. Here are some tips from The Bridgespan Group on how nonprofits can create a plan for hiring employees:

  • Decide on the interview process: Nonprofits that are adding top-level staff members may want to have candidates meet with the board of directors before offering them the position. However, entry-level team members may only have to meet with their managers before getting hired.
  • Make sure new hires can support the mission: Working at a nonprofit is slightly different than seeking employment at a regular business. Hiring managers must ensure candidates understand the unique cause of the organization.
  • Always remember to stay flexible: Nonprofits are usually thinly staffed, and employees are often moved around to supplement others. Keeping this in mind can make it easier to decide on the right staff members.

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