Navigating a New Landscape for Nonprofits since the Great Resignation Laura Whitlock June 8, 2023

Navigating a New Landscape for Nonprofits since the Great Resignation

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented challenges, reshaping the world of work in profound ways. As the global economy recovers, a new phenomenon has emerged known as the “Great Resignation.” Individuals are reconsidering their priorities and reevaluating their careers, resulting in a surge of resignations across various industries. Nonprofits are finding this has become their greatest challenge. 

With employees seeking new opportunities or rethinking their career paths, organizations are experiencing increased turnover rates. This can disrupt operations, strain remaining staff members, and lead to a loss of institutional knowledge. Nonprofits must be prepared to address these challenges promptly. 

As employees depart, nonprofits face the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent. The job market has become highly competitive, with individuals exploring new opportunities or even considering career shifts. To overcome this, nonprofits must focus on strengthening their employer brand, promoting their mission, and offering compelling incentives to attract skilled professionals. Organizations should also prioritize employee engagement, professional development, and work-life balance to retain their valuable workforce. 

Replacing employees and retraining new staff members can incur significant costs. Nonprofits, often operating on limited budgets, must navigate these financial implications wisely. Budget adjustments may be necessary to accommodate increased recruitment efforts, onboarding, and training. Strategic planning and collaboration with funders and donors become crucial during this time to ensure continued financial stability. 

The pandemic has sparked a collective reevaluation of work-life balance, mental health, and personal fulfillment. Employees are seeking workplaces that prioritize their well-being and provide a supportive organizational culture. Nonprofits must respond by fostering a positive work environment that encourages open communication, values work-life balance, and emphasizes employee well-being. Organizations that prioritize these aspects will be better positioned to attract and retain talented individuals amidst the Great Resignation. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work and flexible arrangements. The Great Resignation has further reinforced the importance of these options. Nonprofits should explore and embrace remote work opportunities, where feasible, to appeal to a wider talent pool. Offering flexible schedules and remote work options not only increases the likelihood of attracting skilled professionals but also contributes to employee satisfaction and work-life integration. 

We have also seen many nonprofits abandon the traditional staffing model in favor of outsourcing. This is one way to access top talent, eliminate overhead costs, and be more responsive. Without the worry and cost of recruiting, retaining, and training new staff, the nonprofit can focus on its mission. 

While the Great Resignation has impacted nonprofits, there also lie opportunities to use innovation to grow. Outsourcing new technology and embracing remote work options are just a few of the ways nonprofits are able to continue their important work for their communities. 

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