Mac Smith

Research Friday: Idealist.org Survey Backs 2011 Nonprofit Employment Trends Outlook

posted by
Mac Smith,
Director, Marketing and
Special Projects
Nonprofit HR Solutions

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

Earlier this month, Idealist.org released a nonprofit sector employment trends survey that supported the findings of the 2011 Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey. Both reports indicate that a slow recovery is underway in the nonprofit sector and that many organizations have grave deficiencies in human resources that could threaten future mission success.

The national Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey, produced by Nonprofit HR Solutions, indicated that 60 percent of nonprofit organizations were planning to hire in 2011, even though nearly one-quarter of the organizations trimmed staff in 2010. Findings also revealed that turnover was low within nonprofit organizations. The average turnover rate for respondent organizations was 13 percent, compared to 21 percent in 2010.

Idealist.org reported that only nine percent of respondent organizations plan to reduce staff in the near future, with the rest planning to maintain staffing levels or hire for new positions. Idealist.org’s own job posting numbers seem to support these findings, as their 2011 job postings surpassed 20,000 — a record for Idealist.org. In fact, the Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey found Idealist.org to be one of the popular job boards in the sector, surpassed only by Craigslist.