The new nonprofit workforce?

My friends over at Greenlights for Nonprofit Success recently published new research on critical career trends shaping the nonprofit workforce.  A few of the key trends include:

  1. Compensation is more important than ever.

A Greenlights survey found that among Central Texas nonprofit employees, a third of respondents were unsatisfied with salary and 77% indicated a higher salary would increase their likelihood of remaining in the sector.  A major factor driving the importance of compensation is the professionalization of the sector.  Many young professionals view nonprofit work as a career path and have pursued advanced degrees to develop their skills.  They expect to be compensated fairly and also have student loans to pay off.

  1. Competition for talent will only increase.

Greenlights’ found that 80% of young professionals age 35 and under anticipate staying in their current job for no more than four years.  In addition, the majority of Central Texas nonprofit professionals in almost every age group have been in their current position less than 2 years.  All of this job hopping means nonprofits will have to think creatively about how to retain quality staff.  Survey respondents identified factors that will increase the likelihood of a longer career in the sector including increased compensation (see trend #1), increased benefits, professional development opportunities, manageable workloads, and schedule flexibility.

  1. Technology is a major factor in blurring the boundaries between personal and professional life.

The youngest generation in the workforce today, the Millennials, have grown up in an age of instant access to information.  Because of this, they often view work and leisure as one and the same and are more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to be “hyperconnected,” always attached to their jobs and the web regardless of location.   Technology has also made it possible for employees of all generations to shift where they work.  As a result, more organizations are establishing flexplace policies which give staff greater autonomy in where they work, whether that’s from home, at a coffee shop, or other public meeting space.

Thanks for their help in pulling together the top three trend. So what do you think? Sound off in the comments. And for more trends and recommendations for how nonprofit organizations and employees can respond to these sector-wide changes, check out the full report from Greenlights as a PDF.