Non-Profit Employees Have Commitment but Face Difficulties

March 26, 2008 ( - Workers for non-profit employers say they are ready to make a long-term commitment to the non-profit space, but that salary and work-life balance concerns make carrying out that commitment difficult.

That was a key finding of a recent survey of 1,750 nonprofit employees including many who wanted a long-term career, but argued that non-profit organizations are not doing enough to help them overcome potential career obstacles. Some 82% of respondents said they are actively looking for work.

According to a news release, other survey findings included:

  • Mission and cultural fit are the most important factors to nonprofit jobseekers, with 84% of respondents indicating that “work is part of my identity, not just a way to make a living.”
  • 63% of respondents plan to stay in the sector for at least ten years, and 82% say they want to hold an executive-level position in the sector. However, respondents believe that the relative absence of career ladders, mentors, and professional development might limit their ability to remain in the sector.
  • More than three-quarters of respondents said they believe that nonprofits have to immediately change their recruitment, employment, and professional development practices.

“This may be the most crucial time in the history of the nonprofit sector to address talent-related issues,” said James Weinberg, Founder and CEO of Commongood Careers, in the news release. “To be competitive in recruiting and retaining the next generation of great nonprofit talent, organizations need to listen to jobseekers and pursue creative solutions. This survey report is one effort to provide them with the information that they need.”

The survey, The Voice of Nonprofit Talent in 2008, was produced by Commongood Careers, a nonprofit search firm.

The survey report is here .