Staff Development for Non-Profits & Incentivizing Team Members

June 19, 2017


Professional development is a hot topic in every industry. yet the non-profit, cause-oriented community in particular operates under budget restrictions preventing them from deploying the same resources as their for-profit counterparts.  Luckily, helping nonprofit employees develop the critical skills they need to advance in their careers and their organizations doesn’t have to be costly.  There are plenty of creative on-the-job opportunities for employees to learn new skills without an organization having to spend a dime.

Nonprofit leaders can engage promising staff members in critical skill development which can be divided in the following six key categories: Team leadership and management, communication, external relations, fundraising, financial and business economics, and project management

Nine out of ten nonprofit managers indicated interest in leadership or managerial training, and believe that it will make them more effective in their roles, yet only half of them have received such training since assuming a role managing direct reports, only 39 percent of respondents said their organizations pay for leadership or managerial training.

The right training can positively impact an organization’s growth. Investing in staff is a contributing factor to low turnover. A team equipped with the latest knowledge can improve program outcomes, increase community engagement, and cultivate the next generation of leaders. Your nonprofit’s staff members deserve the benefits of excellent professional development.

Incentivizing nonprofit team members  

While financial compensation is generally the best way to reward and retain people, there are other ways you can let employees know you value them — without busting your budget. You could write a personal “thank you” note and enclose a small gift card when a staff member achieves something special, or could reward that person with an extra vacation or personal day. Another idea: Offer the employee more flexible hours.  

Sometimes the best benefit is making your staff’s day to day life just a little easier. Such services save your employees valuable time, so they can focus at work. Some organizations offer taxi rides home or a reimbursable meal if they work long hours. These “extras” go a long way!