[How We Hire] A nonprofit workforce that amps up efforts nationwide

Published on: Feb 9, 2018


As the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for NeighborWorks America, Tiffany Lawrence and her team attract, retain, and develop the people whose work amplifies the impact of more than 235 community-development organizations. With nearly 20 years in HR, Lawrence gained experience in many work environments – including for-profit firms dealing in technology, finance, and political research – before joining NeighborWorks. “Nonprofits represent a new dimension for me,” said Lawrence from her D.C. office. “In this sector, the employees themselves are our key assets. Every investment in them is important.”

My pitch for potential hires: NeighborWorks America is a dynamic, accomplished, mission-driven organization. We are coming up on our 40-year anniversary, an amazing demonstration of our commitment to communities. Working at NeighborWorks, you can feel the impact of your efforts helping affiliates create “places of opportunity” for their clients; in 2017, our network assisted over 22,000 individuals and families become homeowners, with clear and far-reaching effects. Beside the opportunity to do great work, we also offer excellent benefits, a learning environment, and the chance to put your passion and best thinking to use.

Something people love about working here: Our ability to touch lives, in so many ways, by supporting the NeighborWorks network – about 235 locally-run nonprofits located in every state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Our staff appreciates everything we do to help our clients and build strong communities: In addition to homeownership assistance, NeighborWorks also improves the financial stability of families, gives people the power to connect with one another, and even helps people start and grow businesses.

Something I love about working here: Working with my colleagues. Passion for the mission permeates all levels our staff, bringing together a dynamic, diverse team and energizing us each day. There’s also an incredible amount of intellectual curiosity within our workforce, a testament to our lifelong learning culture, which is practiced by everyone from the newest staff member to the most tenured.

Something I look for in a resume or cover letter: The ability to convey why this position is a fit: a clear explanation of how past experiences and education make you suited to both filling the position, and furthering our mission.

One way jobseekers impress me: I am most impressed when candidates have done their research, and made themselves somewhat knowledgeable about the organization. Candidates who ask thoughtful, substantive questions about our culture and the nuances of the position demonstrate a real interest in us, not just in a job.

One trait essential to employee success at NeighborWorks: Natural problem solvers.

Something cool we do to support staff: We offer 40 hours of paid volunteer leave to each employee, every year, to be used for philanthropic or community-based volunteer opportunities.

Why our office is great: Our building at 999 North Capitol Street is a truly beautiful space. Our offices are open-concept, with lots of natural light, and designed to be invigorating and comfortable – including “thinking” spaces, meeting spaces, collaboration spaces, and social spaces. There’s also an on-site fitness center, and it’s walkable to restaurants, shops, and a major public transportation hub.

NeighborWorks America builds the skills, supplements the resources, and amplifies the reach of some 235 NeighborWorks organizations nationwide, which work to help individuals, families, and communities thrive through comprehensive approaches to affordable housing and community development. You can find out more on their website, and by following them on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.