Why do People Work for Non-Profits?
Recently, national charity watchdog, Non Profit News, published its list of the “best non-profits to work for.” Ronn Torossian CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations wondered what criteria the publication used to determine its winners, and how that work environment translated to success both in public relations, and in the marketplace.
Right out of the gate, NPT admitted that the mission is one of the foremost reasons people choose to take their talents to a non-profit organization. People seek out a company or organization with shared values, and a common mission. Nothing terribly revealing about that… but what other reasons would a good employee prospect have for picking a particular company.
Let’s get the easy one out of the way up front. People like to work for a company that offers good pay, and a good benefits package. Sure, many non-profits might offer lower base salaries for comparative responsibility at a for profit business, but they can meet that gap with performance incentives, and other tangible benefits.
Now, let’s dig into the meat and potatoes of what not only attracts the brightest and best, but keeps them there. Torossian said he was not surprised to see good communication on the list. In organizations that make it a habit to ask staff what they want, and do their best to keep them on top of what’s happening in the company, employees are happier and report feeling more fulfilled. They love knowing what their work is accomplishing, particularly when that work is tied directly to some specific Good Work.
Another important factor for non-profit employees is an element of inherent challenge and reward. Employees who opt to work in charities tend to be more prone to wanting to solve big problems. They want to learn more, and have the chance to grow into bigger and better versions of themselves. The daily job of tackling impossible, or at least, perpetual, challenges fits this bill quite nicely.
SO… how is your organization advertising these benefits to your ideal candidates or, even, volunteers?