One of nonprofit sector’s biggest challenges is one that has typically been under-researched, under-funded, and largely unaddressed.
Nonprofits’ struggles with attracting, nurturing and retaining the right people are well known. We know that nonprofit employees work hard and are passionate about their work. We also know that low pay can be an issue, but it is definitely not the issue.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that unlike most for-profit companies, nonprofits tend to view good HR as a luxury rather than a necessity for survival. This view leads to an under-investment in an organization’s most precious resource: its people.
This is where the Taproot Foundation comes in (full disclosure: yes, this is a shameless plug). Presented by American Express, our new Leadership Development & Strategic HR practice offers a set of grants aimed at helping nonprofits think and act more strategically with regard to human resources. By strengthening HR philosophy and execution, these Service Grants strengthen and empower entire organizations.
Fostering leadership throughout an organization gives the organization’s executive leadership more time to concentrate on other priorities–fundraising, networking, building or sustaining good programs–and to do so with confidence in their staff.
We have developed these grants because we have full faith in their power to transform the way work is done at nonprofits. I realize that these sorts of efforts may seem reminiscent of situations worthy of an episode of “The Office,” but worry not. Extensive research and input from experts has gone into the development of these grants. There will be no Steve Carells in sight.
Natalya Matusova is a Product Development Fellow at the Taproot Foundation.