This is an exciting phase of the worker lifecycle for both your nonprofit and the new worker. After completing the recruitment and interview process, you identified an exceptional applicant and are ready to make an offer.

Make the Offer

Outline the initial offer terms

  • Job classification, if not communicated prior
  • Salary or wage being offered
  • Ideal start date and work schedule
  • Summary of all benefits provided

 Call the applicant

  • Offer the position and describe the terms of employment
  • The applicant may accept the offer, ask for time to consider the offer, ask to negotiate the offer*, or decline the offer during the phone call, and you should be prepared to respond to each possible scenario
  • If the applicant wants to negotiate pay or another aspect of the offer, be clear about what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable

Do not feel that you must make decisions on the applicant’s requests on the initial phone call – take time to listen, assess what you can or cannot offer, and schedule a time to follow-up.

Remember, maintain consistent hiring processes and do not change practices for specific candidates; going outside of the standard practices for your nonprofit could run the risk of discriminatory practices.

* Negotiating Pay

Under the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act, employers can negotiate pay during the hiring process, but if the pay offered a new employee causes a gender pay difference between similarly employed employees, any difference in compensation must be based on justifiable job related factors (not the negotiation itself). L&I recommends employers rectify any gender pay differences caused by pay negotiations during a hiring process.

Prepare an official offer letter

The following section outlines key information to include in an offer letter. 

Position details

  • Title
  • Job classification – exempt or non-exempt
  • Full-time or part-time (including the full-time equivalent – FTE)
  • Regular, temporary, seasonal, or intermittent employment

Department and supervisor, if applicable

Start date

Work schedule specifics, if applicable


  • Exempt – provide the pay amount per pay period and the annualized equivalent salary
  • Nonexempt – provide the hourly wage, pay amount per pay period, and annualized equivalent wage

Summary of benefits

At-will employment

  • Washington is an at-will employment state, employment with the organization is not for any specified term and may be terminated by either the worker or the organization at any time, for any reason, with or without cause and with or without notice.

  • Authorized signer of the nonprofit
  • Space for the new hire to sign and date

Does your nonprofit complete background checks for new workers?

  • If yes, clearly state in the offer letter the offer is contingent upon completion of a satisfactory background check.
  • Outline next steps linked to the background check process like the name of the background screening company, receipt of a consumer report disclosure form, and anything else the individual should expect.
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