Workforce needs may vary based on the organization’s stage of development and size, available resources, and the scale of programming. A nonprofit just starting up, for example, may consist of a group of dedicated volunteers or a charismatic leader enlisting volunteers and attracting resources to fill a critical community need. Compare that to an organization that is growing and has stable resources. Such an organization may employ a mix of paid workers and outsourced services to increase their capacity in support of expanding programs.

The kind of worker needed may also change. Smaller organizations tend to need highly adaptive and multi-talented workers. Larger organizations with more resources can offer a broader range of positions for workers that have varying skill levels and experiences.

As you align your organizational needs with right-sized worker opportunities, consider establishing intentional practices that lead to hiring a workforce reflective of the diverse communities your nonprofit serves. Do the workers at your nonprofit reflect the people you serve or the people most affected by the issues your organization is working to address?

For example...

Think about an educational organization and the teachers employed. If the teacher population was representative of the general US population, we would expect to see 51% female and 60% white (non-Hispanic) teachers. Instead, according to the National Center for Education Statistics about 76% of public-school teachers are female and 79% are white. To be more reflective of the communities served, schools and educational programs should recruit more males and people of color. In addition, due to shifting demographics, the percentage of students of color is even higher than the general population, so a school might set even higher goals around recruitment of teachers of color to better reflect the student population.

Skip to content