5 Top Tips For Retaining Nonprofit Employees

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5 Top Tips For Retaining Nonprofit Employees

How does a nonprofit organization thrive? Well, it all starts from within – the office and the team. Every task and execution shapes up when your organization’s employees are whole heartedly on board and equally passionate about your shared mission. Just like you make an effort to engage communities with your nonprofit, you should do the same among your staff members. Your employees play a very big role in your attempt to increase charitable giving and grow a lasting relationship with your donors and supporters. Engaging and retaining nonprofit employees isn’t that hard, you just have to put in the work. 

Employees at your organization deserve to be recognized for their effort and dedication, they need to be fueled with a sense of oneness and value for them to stay loyal and motivated. Many employees leave due to several reasons that may include low benefit packages, poor work-life balance or lack of long term career opportunities. In the face of such challenges, there are many ways to implement and build a culture of trust – here are the top five ways you can try today. 

Focus on Lateral and Vertical Growth

What do you think about when you think of “growth” for your employees? It is extremely important for that growth to include both lateral and vertical aspects. 

Lateral growth is all about increasing skill sets and learning new strategies – all within the same role. 

  • Consider providing your employees with a challenging assignment in order to grow their current skill set.This will also bring about better engagement. 
  • In the process of retaining nonprofit employees, make sure that you identify an existing skill gap and address the same. Provide professional development and training opportunities.

Also focus on the vertical aspect, have a succession plan in place – offer promotions where it is well deserved. Remember, most employees are likely to stay if they feel that your nonprofit offers them a growth in their respective careers. 

Maximize Benefits

A competitive salary and benefits package are a must when thinking about the advantages you can offer to your employees. Review your budget and calculate your turnover cost. It is true that most nonprofit organizations are built on the foundation of charitable giving and funds, however, benefits need to be offered to your staff members. Even if your nonprofit cannot afford to increase pays at the moment, offer commissions and bonuses instead. 

Invest in a Culture of Trust

Give your employees ownership of their work and duties. Encourage them to find new ways to tackle an issue every day and give them the independence to find a solution of their own. This act will not only boost the self confidence of your employees, it will also generate a culture of trust. Try to match the organizational culture with the work style of your employees. Show them the belief you have in them and they will be very much likely to stay. 

Incorporate Feel-Good Activities

As an organization working towards serious issues that need aid, the office culture and mood doesn’t have to be stern and serious all day, all the time. Give your employees a break and a treat, take time to enjoy with them and get to know them as individuals. 

  • Office lunch party is a great idea as it will create an opportunity to combine work and fund – have a brainstorming session over lunch.
  • Dinner with your employees will allow you to bond with your employees personally and get to know them beyond work. 
  • A day off where you take your employees on a day out is a refreshing idea too.

Ensure Work-Life Balance

Retaining nonprofit employees demands offering a thin yet impactful balance. Known as the “social exchange theory”, when an organization offers something beneficial to an employee, the employee reciprocates by going the extra mile. The same theory could work for your nonprofit as well. When a person has a good work-life balance, the person is way more likely to work harder and more efficiently. Offer flexible work schedules and let your employees take the call on how certain tasks need to be done. Listen to your employees and talk to them about their preferences and identify a common ground. 


Include all your employee retention strategies in your formal retention plan and work as per your plan. It is also ideal that apart from the shared mission of charitable giving, your employees are also on a good page with each other. It is truly a team effort that makes the dream work. Make sure that your hiring is top notch, that way you can be assured that retention should not be that hard. For any queries related to nonprofits and nonprofit fundraising, feel free to reach out to us. Now over to you!

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