This Trend Is Hitting The Non-Profit Sector Harder Than “Not Enough Money”


This Trend Is Hitting The Non-Profit Sector Harder Than “Not Enough Money”


Remember the good old days? The days when the #1 issue your organization faced was not enough money for the Mission?

Well, this new era of disruption and resignation brought about two new problems…

An alarming absence of people to carry out the work

An ever-increasing threat of formerly loyal staff walking away from the charitable work they were once passionate about

This tsunami of “no one to employ and harder than ever to retain” is hitting the non-profit sector triple hard.

What is happening? What is causing this unprecedented shortage of workers?

The problem non-profits are facing when it comes to hiring and retention is layers deep…

Compensation: How is fear and uncertainty showing up in staff when you’re not offering compensation worthy of the heart, soul and commitment they bring to the table?

There is a perpetual justification for keeping staff locked into a low wage bracket. The underlying message is “You as an individual should not profit here”.

People need a wage with dignity. If you want people to do the heavy lifting of work for a cause, you have to match it with dollars.

Benefits: People who have worked for years in the charitable sector are obviously fueled by passion and love for the cause, because most lack even a basic benefit plan.

We have over 2 million people working in Canada in the non-profit sector, and over a million do not have a workplace retirement plan. It’s totally unacceptable.

Working conditions: Small to midsize non-profits are drowning in inefficiency. The analog mindset is repelling people who want to give you money and time. Avoiding investing in and upgrading your ability to connect is grinding your message.

Over and over, I hear Executive Directors say, “We went to the Board about getting a new system in place, and the answer is no”.

The churn you experience inside your organization will be fixed when staff have the tools the job requires, and the training to use them.

Opportunity: Non-profit work could be a calling for some very talented candidates right now. Unfortunately, they are largely not considering working in the sector.

The silent message: “There’s no money there, you have to work really long hours, you never get training, the pay is terrible, there’s no opportunity for growth, and it’s kind of a dead end”.

Nonprofits producing extraordinary work have compensation that is livable or better, solid benefits, sound technology, and great working conditions. And they are the exception to the rule.

Here’s what it takes to transform your shop into a magnetic environment for great talent…

Step 1: Confront what stands between you and the best people to carry out your work. “We can’t afford it because we’re a nonprofit” is the narrative to let go of this year.

Step 2: Elevate your organization as a viable and competitive employer. To do this, level up how you think, the tools you use, and the package you offe