I was reminded yet again this week in Denver about the difficulty nonprofits have in hiring and retaining good employees in today's economy. Two key contributors:
1. Health care costs. While rates/contracts/grants for nonprofits go up at or below the rate of inflation, health care premiums do not--they go up way, way faster. And, the result is that nonprofits are passing the increased health insurance costs on to employees, who already are underpaid.
2. Educational debt. Today's college and grad school students bear an unprecedented amount of educational debt. I have students at Kellogg who tell me that they want to work for a nonprofit (and often did before grad school) but how do they pay off a $60,000 educational loan on a $40,000 a year salary?
Idea: Federal legislation that forgives one year of debt for each year worked in a 501(c)(3) with an annual budget under $20,000,000.
If we can't hire and retain good staff....we'll give crappy service. Not a good thing.