Thursday, September 06, 2007

Not so bad, not so good.

Lester Salamon and Stephanie Geller at the Listening Post at Johns Hopkins have published Communique #8, entitled "The Nonprofit Workforce Crisis: Real or Imagined?".

This piece (like everything from Salamon) is definately worth the read. It details the latest "sounding" of nonprofits, in this case regarding their ease/difficulty of recruiting and retaining qualified staff. The results are both unsurprising and very surprising depending on the issue.

-87% of nonprofits find recruitment "somewhat or extremely challenging".
-Of various kinds of staff being recruited, qualified fundraisers were the most "challenging" to find.
-People of color are also "significantly more challenging" to recruit. This is a huge issue for nonprofits working to increase their staff diversity.
-87% of nonprofits feel that the "inability to offer competitive salaries" is a key barrier to recruitment.

Very Surprising:
-A very high percentage of nonprofits are happy with their recruits' qualifications (86%), and commitment to mission (83%). This is terrific, but not what I have heard from execs. Hence my surprise.
-The negative effect of turnover is very limited. A variety of indicators were asked regarding the effect of staff turnover. Responses were very positive, with less than 40% across the board, saying that the turnover was harmful to mission. This is really good news.

The authors also talk about strategies for successful recruitment.

Overall, this is good news, I think.

Read it and post your opinion here!


Anonymous said...

I'm not so surprised about the recruits'qualifications satisfaction.

I do not agree with the conclusions on turnover.

The problem of turnover does not affect directly the fundraising process and the organisation financial sustainability, but the quality of projects.

People should be recruited according to the projects lifecycles. project holders should bear their projects from the launch to the handover. The turnover render it impossible, and people often do not enough assume the accountability dimension.

jota said...


I am researcher located in Uruguay, South America. I am looking for information re: number of Nonprofit organizations in countries other than the US

Can you help?