Nonprofit Hiring Shows Signs of Recovery in 2011, New Survey of Employers Finds

The “2011 Nonprofit Employent Trends Study” by Eric Frazieris available free. Key findings include:  

As the economy slowly recovers, nonprofits are adding jobs, a new survey finds.

One-third of nonprofit groups plan to create new jobs this year, and 27 percent said they might do so.

What’s more, nearly 60 percent said they had no plans to freeze hiring, lay off staff members, or cut jobs this year.

Charities that expect to add jobs are mainly those that provide direct services, and they are hiring people to expand their capacity to serve clients. Thirty-five percent said they anticipated adding jobs in that category, compared with 18 percent who expected to add program managers and support jobs, and 16 percent who expected to add fund raisers.

The study of some 450 organizations was conducted by Nonprofit HR Solutions, a human-resources consulting firm in Washington, and the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research at the University of San Diego.

The survey also found that nonprofits did not face quite the dire staffing situation they expected last year.

More than three-fourths of organizations increased the size of their staffs or maintained them at the same level in 2010, while only about a quarter reduced their staffs.

A much smaller number were able to improve employee benefits. About 13 percent of nonprofits said they increased benefits in 2010, while 74 percent said their level of benefits remained the same. Thirteen percent reported a decrease.

Exceeding Expectations

Overall, the job picture turned out to be more positive than nonprofits predicted for 2010 when surveyed a year ago about their employment trends.

In that survey, 63 percent of organizations expected to increase the size of their staffs in 2010 or maintain existing levels, while 37 percent anticipated decreases.
Other key findings from the new survey:

  • Sixty-two percent of organizations with budgets of $1-million or less relied on their current staff members to support new programs last year; 48 percent of groups with budgets of $10-million or more did so.
  • Only a quarter of organizations said they had a formal annual recruitment budget. Of those groups, 64 percent predicted that their recruitment budgets would remain unchanged in 2011—a 13 percent increase from what was forecast a year ago.
  • Organizations reported a staff turnover rate of 13 percent in 2010. More than half of the groups anticipate that their turnover rates will stay the same in 2011; 24 percent expect a lower rate. Of those predicting a higher rate this year, more than three-quarters of employers surveyed anticipate that turnover will be caused by voluntary departures, while 23 percent expect they will be forced to fire poor performers.