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US NFP Workforce at Risk


Thursday, 27th May 2010 at 1:03 pm
Staff Reporter
A new survey in the US finds Not for Profit organisations risk overworking their work force in tough economic times.


Thursday, 27th May 2010
at 1:03 pm
Staff Reporter


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US NFP Workforce at Risk
Thursday, 27th May 2010 at 1:03 pm

A new survey in the US finds that while the Not for Profit job market is stabilising, demand for services is rising and organisations risk overworking their work force.

The 2010 national Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey found that even with anticipated job growth in 2010, the economic downturn has clearly affected Not for Profit organisations and their employment practices. For example, it found NFPs are reporting an increase in overall demand for their services and as a result many organisations risk overworking their employees by using current staff to run new programs and initiatives.

The survey says this is especially the case with smaller organisations and this staffing strategy has potentially negative consequences of employee burnout and voluntary turnover.

Not for Profits also reported that they are more likely to fill higher-level positions with candidates from outside of the organisation. The report says this indicates that they might be overlooking the value of succession planning as a key part of their organisational strategy (i.e. not promoting from within). For senior and executive level positions, Not for Profits are hiring from outside of the organisation and this is especially disconcerting for emerging leaders.

The report says that there are few opportunities for upward mobility within NFP organisations and the 'move out to move up' mentality still rings true.

The survey found that Human Resource Management is also not a priority for most Not for Profits.

Organisations indicated their ongoing struggle to maintain proper human resource (HR) management practices. Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated that their organisations did not have any formal budget for recruiting employees and the majority of organisations allocated limited resources to staffing management and HR in general.

The research project has been carried out by the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research and Nonprofit HR Solutions (a Washington DC based NFP human resources consulting firm).

On the positive, side the survey found that the Not for Profit job market appears to be stabilising and as organisations are starting to recover from the economic downturn they are planning to hire new staff in the latter part of 2010 into 2011.

The US Not for Profit sector employs on average 61.2 million full and part-time employees nationwide from volunteer managers, to fundraising and development specialists, to executive directors.

The 2010 national Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey is intended to provide a snapshot of current employment practices within the sector. This report, which has been produced annually by Nonprofit HR Solutions since 2007, includes responses of over 500 US Not for Profits.

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