The nonprofit world is like baking: a few exact ingredients with limited substitutions available.
You need a tech person like you need eggs. You need a board of directors like you need baking soda. And you always need sugar, just like you need volunteers.
So how do you go about wooing said awesome people to work for your nonprofit when your pay isn’t as competitive as a large corporation, your facilities might be lacking and a position might entail many smaller duties that wouldn’t ordinarily fall into one homogenous job description?
Well I’m a ‘glass half full’ type of gal, so below are just a few of the reasons you can offer potential hires as to why working at your organization is so awesome:
1. You Give People Options
When we were kids, we wanted to be ninja fairy princesses, doctor olympic swimmers and dancing firemen. We couldn’t pick just one career, so we amalgamated them into one dream job.
Giving your employees a wide range of experiences is one huge benefit most companies can’t offer. Rather than being locked into one rigid position, you give flexibility and range (as, let’s be honest, a lot of nonprofits are understaffed and need people who can look good wearing many hats).
Nonprofits generally function as very transparent businesses. People who work for your organization will get to learn their unique set of duties, their boss’s duties, their boss’s boss’s duties and so on.
In short, you are giving your employees the option to take on other roles that interest them—so they can function as a direct mail designer who also helps with grant writing, or a blogger who also loves event planning.
2. You Offer Creativity
Far too often we are faced with problems such as this: “You have $500 and 60 people to entertain this Friday for a Donor Appreciation Night. Go and make it magical.”
Nonprofit work always involves creative problem solving—for every position.
With a limited budget and resources, your employees will be tested to come up with solutions they would’ve never thought of before.
Each day will present a new set of problems, meaning no day will be the same. And for many folks looking for a job, that in and of itself is a promising benefit.
3. It’s Casual and Flexible
Jeans? Check. Favorite pair of TOMs or Birks? Double check. Kiss those pant suits and neckties goodbye and say hello to comfort. The rigid expectations of a corporate job often aren’t necessary in the nonprofit sector. And this appeals greatly to someone who’s been bound by leather shoes and a belt every day for the past ten years.
It’s small benefits like casual dress and flexible schedules that make all the difference when wooing your potential hires.
4. The People are Ridiculously Cool
People who work in the nonprofit sector are passionate, inspired folks who are looking to make the world a better place. These people are often awesome, motivated and really cool.
And bonus: your future employees will love hanging out with them at work and out of the office. That close-knit environment isn’t always attainable with staffs of several hundred people. The cut throat attitude of certain corporations evaporates when you walk into the doors of a nonprofit filled with people all working together.
Sure, other places may pay better, but how many people get to wake up and go to work with a group of people looking to improve their communities?
What are some of the reasons you love working for your organization?