Working for a nonprofit organization can be a rewarding path for business majors who want to do something more philanthropic in their careers. Many of the attributes that attract people toward business careers can also apply to careers in nonprofits.
Staff development, communication and above-average pay were common practices at organizations that received the highest ranking among the 2014 Best Nonprofits to Work For, according to The NonProfit Times.
The top three organizations on the list ranged from 23 to 420 employees. Overall, the highest-rated organizations of any size had three traits in common, the publication said:
- Salary, benefits and incentives: Some organizations paid workers more than average salaries, others distributed bonuses for performance achievements and others increased benefits to make up for lower salaries.
- Communication and engagement: Workers are kept informed and involved with the organization’s direction and leaders seek advice and suggestions from employees.
- Growth and development: Organizations provide opportunities and training for workers to advance and learn.
Secrets of the Top 3 Nonprofits to Work For
- The National Older Work Career Center, Inc., in Arlington, Virginia, was rated the No.1 organization overall. In the category of small organizations with 23 employees at the time of the rating, its chief financial officer told The NonProfit Times that mingling teams from different departments in tasks was part of a strategy to open communication with workers.
The organization takes advantage of its small size that allows executives to remain in contact with workers and meet with them each month, adding to employee involvement. Also, employees receive regular assessments of how they are doing through individual development programs that include training and following career goals.
- AHC, Inc., the No. 2 overall organization and top medium-size nonprofit, instills a focus on customer service starting with new employees. The company seeks out suggestions from newbies and acknowledges their ideas at a party at the end of each year. Everyone who submits a suggestion receives a gift card, said AHC’s head of human resources.
In addition, about 75% of the staff of 61 takes part in a wellness incentive program that includes a financial reward for workers. Employees achieve a healthier lifestyle and the programs increase communication and involvement among workers.
- The Wounded Warrior Project, the No. 3 overall nonprofit and top of the large organizations, concentrates on culture and its mission. The Jacksonville, Florida nonprofit recognizes employees need a chance to grow, build skills and increase their professional abilities, according to its executive director.
That effort includes naming team leaders for each of its growing number of offices who is in charge of keeping workers engaged. The leaders could be a staff worker or a supervisor. The effort includes a budget for team building and a survey of team leaders to stay abreast of the atmosphere in their offices.
Topping the List
Small and medium organizations make up the majority of the 50 best nonprofits to work for. Small organizations have 15 to 49 workers, medium have 50 to 249 workers, large organizations where ones with more than 250 workers.
Of the top 50, 18 are small organizations, 25 are medium and seven are large.
Here are the top 10 with the number of employees:
- National Older Worker Career Center, Inc.: 23
- AHC, Inc.: 61
- Wounded Warrior Project: 420
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands: 23
- Partnership for Public Service: 64
- PRS, Incorporated: 73
- Alzheimer’s Association: 475
- DonorsChoose.org: 63
- The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults: 17
- Young Community Developers, Inc.: 22
After getting a degree in business, new graduates may want to consider seeking employment from one of these wonderful nonprofits.