3 things nonprofits MUST take advantage of when recruiting nonprofit talent

3 things nonprofits MUST take advantage of when recruiting nonprofit talent

September 28, 2017 Job Marketing

Hiring the right talent for nonprofits is often a time consuming and unpredictable process. Recruitment budgets are tighter, and compensation and benefit packages are not as competitive when compared to the for-profit sector.

However, the nonprofit sector has a lot going for it when it comes to attracting talented people who want to make a positive impact through their work.

Here are some of the advantages that nonprofits MUST take advantage of when trying to recruit the right talent:


As a nonprofit, there’s a good chance (I hope!) your organization is mission-oriented, and you can clearly articulate how you’re doing good in the world. Just like in fundraising, your mission has to be front and center when you’re recruiting:

  • On your career page, show how employees are contributing to the greater good and if possible include relevant pictures and video that will leave a lasting impression.
  • In your job ads, clearly and succinctly communicate how the work is meaningful and directly connected to the good that your organization is doing in the world.
  • On your social media profiles and posts, be sure to emphasize the mission first and then the job title or responsibilities come second.
  • As you interact with candidates in phone interviews, in-person interviews, and via email, be sure candidates are being exposed to the meaning behind the work that they are considering.


Nonprofits typically have a powerful network of people who want to help, whether it be board members, volunteers, newsletter subscribers, or fans:

  • Board members: Chances are your board is made up of a talented group of professionals who you can ask for help in defining new job openings, sharing job openings with their network, and/or even vetting candidates.
  • Volunteers: There’s a good chance your next hire may already be a volunteer. What a great way to see how someone works and see how passionate they are before you have to hire them. Additionally, why not ask volunteers to share job openings on their social networks, and refer people who they think could be a good fit. Feel free to offer incentives to volunteers and employees to refer job candidates.
  • Newsletter subscribers and fans: Share job openings with your newsletter subscribers and your “biggest fans” and make it easy for them to share the jobs with others.

Affordable, discounted, and free services

Here’s a list of affordable services and sites that nonprofits can use to recruit the right talent:

  • Council on Foundations – $179 per posting (member) or $399 (non-member) – two months
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy – $180 per posting or $333 for sponsored job listing – 30 days
  • Dot.Org.Jobs – $40 per job posting – two months
  • FindNonprofitJobs.com – $85 per job posting (add $30 for a featured listing) – 30 days
  • Generocity – $100 per job posting – 30 days
  • Idealist – $90 per job posting – 30 days
  • Jane – $269 per job posting – includes a hiring specialist who writes your job ad, and posts your job ad to the top job boards (e.g., Indeed), Idealist, and local colleges and universities; and free applicant tracking
  • Local colleges and universities – usually free – need to manually find and post ads on each college’s career services site for employers
  • Philanthropy News Digest – free – 30 days
  • Regional Foundation Center Nonprofit Job Listings – free – 3 weeks

To learn more, come to Talent Acquisition for Nonprofits workshop at the Philadelphia Free Library at 10am on October 3, 2017.

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