Jul 15, 2015
Working at a non-profit organization can often be similar to working with a for-profit company. But there are also some differences in non-profit work environments that make them stand apart. Given these differences, there are certain attributes that non-profit organizations should look for in employee candidates that for-profit businesses would either disregard or not place significant value on.
Certain types of employees are good to have in any work environment, so here's a list of which characteristics non-profits should consider adding to the team:
Reliable: There are often times where companies depend on their most reliable employees to get things done when no one else seemingly can - the same applies for non-profit organizations. Whether it be by adding a couple of hours, taking on an extra project or just getting things done when they're supposed to, hiring someone to get things done in a pinch will be needed on occasion.
Ambitious: People who are constantly thinking of what's to come are essential to success. While many people may be concerned with what's happening now, the future is imminent. One thing that many non-profits claim is the ability to stick to a mission. Having a member on staff who keeps that mission in mind and is looking at how it can grow in the future is needed to keep non-profits on track.
The morale builder: Low morale comes and go, even at work. It may come as a result of exhaustion, a change in company culture or even things affecting employees in their personal lives. But these times of low motivation become a serious problem when they affect the entire office, which is exactly why there should always be a cheerleader there to motivate and boost group morale.
The non-traditional thinker: Creativity isn't shunned in the workplace as it was in the past. If anything, it's necessary. Introducing an out-of-the-box thinker to the fold of your non-profit could be exactly what you need to add something new to the mix. They could come up with some really innovative ideas that change the future of the organization.
Resourceful: Some of the best employees are the ones who are able to make a lot out of a little. This may be especially true for non-profit organizations that are working their way up to a new level of public support. You're ideally looking to hire someone who you can give a handful of resources and have them come back with something of note.
The leader: It's actually best for a company to have more than one leader on the team to divide responsibilities so that they're not all placed on one individual. While there may be a president or chief executive officer of non-profit organizations, they may choose to work by committee to make sure goals are achieved as effectively as possible. Another benefit to having more than one person with strong leadership qualities is that they can seamlessly fill in when one is needed.
The follower: The first follower is just as important, if not more, than the leader. Without someone there to follow through on decisions made by leadership, things are at risk of falling between the cracks. But it's important to note that there is a balance between someone who aspires to be a leader and doesn't find a problem with following rules and guidelines. Hiring a candidate who embodies that balance could give a non-profit organization the best of both worlds.
Flexible: Employees sometimes find that the duties listed in their job descriptions eventually become blurred. Their current daily tasks may be a combination of other jobs that needed to get done since their hiring. Having employees who aren't only accepting of changes, but embrace them, help organizations and companies remain afloat when unexpected things occur, such as new hires or restructuring.
Motivated: As a non-profit organization, the mission is always at the core of everything. Hopefully, it's a motivation for everyone on board. But, to be sure, it's wise to hire someone who has a personal stake in the organization's goal so they're always able to remain motivated.
If you're able to hire an employee who can fill more than one of these roles, consider yourself lucky and take full advantage. Having a strong team will lead directly to better fundraising efforts and more donations to support your mission. To make it even more convenient for donors to support you, consider accepting online donations so they can contribute through multiple channels.