What Can Nonprofits Do To Retain Employees?

Sign that says hold on.

This is the first of our Wednesday Sector Qs: Conversations and questions about pressing issues and breaking news in the nonprofit sector.

A January survey from the TIAA-CREF Institute and Independent Sector found that many nonprofit employees are worried about their financial future and their monetary compensation.

According to the survey, while 95 percent of nonprofit employees said that personal satisfaction with their organization’s mission is a central driver for their career decisions, 35 percent were not at all or not very satisfied with career advancement opportunities, and 45 percent were not satisfied with their ability to prepare for financial goals. In fact, nearly one-half of employees have considered leaving the sector to find greater compensation.

Many nonprofits realize that compensation and career advancement opportunities need to be improved. In a survey conducted by Nonprofit HR Solutions, a third of nonprofit organizations said that providing a competitive salary for their employees is a challenge for retention. And one in five highlighted large workloads and a lack of mobility as contributing to their difficulty in holding on to staff members.

While we recognize that these issues are challenging for nonprofits and employees, organizations are also exploring solutions. For example, iMentor has developed a program to cultivate leadership within their organization while Giifa, a startup, wants to crowdfund for nonprofit salaries.

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