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Fledgling Nonprofit Workers Love Their Jobs but Bear Financial Burdens
Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy  ·  July 22, 2012  ·  Excerpt

The newest generation of nonprofit employees strongly wants to remain in jobs that do good—even as many of the workers struggle to get by on low entry-level salaries and pay back their student loans, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Eight out of 10 new workers want to continue working at a nonprofit, even though 40 percent say they are dissatisfied with their pay. And about 65 percent said they have college-loan debt.

The survey, which tracked more than 900 people who have worked at nonprofits for less than five years, was conducted with help from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

In addition to showing the financial status of fledgling employees, the survey paints a picture of improving economic health for charities.

Nearly 40 percent of the recent employees surveyed said they had landed their new positions after a job search lasting three months or less.

Trish Tchume, director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, says she’s encouraged by signs of economic improvement but worries about the long-term toll that low pay and college-loan debt could take on new employees—and on nonprofit organizations over all, which may have trouble retaining young talent.

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Our take
The accumulation and retention of talented people is one of the most persistent challenges for small nonprofits. Adding to that challenge is the recent explosion of student loan debt, which is at unprecedented levels for graduates in areas from law to business and social work.

Compass Pointe knows how important staffing and human resources is to your organization. Let our research and expertise guide you through an effective retention strategy by providing answers to these and other questions:

  • What is the mindset and morale of my organization's current employees? What are the "unique selling points" of the organization that make it attractive to prospective applicants?
  • What is the public perception of my organization? What does it stand for, and do those core values shine through in marketing/communication efforts, and current staff?


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