The Power of Purpose: New Workforce Survey Provides Candid Insight for Nonprofits to Attract and Retain Top Talent

ebook group

April 24, 2018 – Anyone working in the nonprofit world knows the magnetic draw of doing good for others and their communities. But how strong is that attraction once you are in the day-to-day grind of meaningful, yet hard work?

According to new research from Work for Good, that draw is both powerful and lasting: These purpose-driven professionals report high workplace engagement – nearly three times the national average – plus healthy satisfaction rates. And they are committed: Nearly 9 in 10 plan to stay in nonprofits for the rest of their careers.

The full results of that research are now available: The nonprofit workforce speaks: Candid insight to attract, engage, and retain top mission-driven talent is a new ebook published by Work for Good, a leading national nonprofit job board and employer resource. Work for Good’s original research examines how the nonprofit workforce accesses and assesses career opportunities, pursues professional development, and thinks about the employers, and sector, they work for.

“This report is good news for nonprofit organizations, demonstrating the commitment of our workforce and the growing demand for purpose-driven careers,” said Karen Beavor, CEO of Work for Good. “Nonprofits can capitalize by casting a wider net for talent, and focusing on what makes our workplaces great.”

The nonprofit workforce speaks is being offered to nonprofit organizations nationwide to help them best understand how their workforce thinks and acts when it comes to job satisfaction, engagement, and seeking work. In addition to first-hand testimony, this ebook offers ready-to-execute steps for attracting, engaging, and retaining talented employees in a highly competitive job market.

A few survey highlights:

  • 93% feel engaged in nonprofit work (compared to 33% national average)
  • 77% are somewhat or highly satisfied in their current role
  • 88% plan to work in nonprofits long term
  • 52% are financially uncomfortable
  • "Culture and values” is the most-cited priority when considering a new employer

Survey results also showed that, despite high levels of satisfaction, engagement, and commitment to the nonprofit sector, it still takes effort to retain employees for longer than the average three-year stint. “There are clear opportunities to improve our methods for attracting and retaining top talent, and most require relatively simple, low-cost changes,” said Beavor.

Strategies to increase retention:

  • Creating individualized career growth plans
  • Providing on-the-job “stretch” opportunities
  • Communicating clear expectations, constructive feedback, and genuine appreciation
  • Offering flex time or telecommuting opportunities

“Our mission at Work for Good is to provide a direct line between nonprofit employers and mission-minded job seekers,” said Beavor. “As the workforce evolves, we need to understand how their habits, conceptions and misconceptions, and satisfaction relates to their employers. This ebook will help employers better understand what their workforce needs to thrive.”




A Letter from our CEO

May 24, 2016

I am thrilled to announce that, today, Opportunity Knocks becomes Work for Good – our brand new vision for bringing together mission-driven organizations and talent nationwide. We’re excited to build on our 16-year legacy — supporting 30,000 employers and engaging 400,000 professionals — as we build the next-generation hiring resource and career destination for the purpose-driven community.

What’s changed? In short: We’re making good even better. A year in the works, the new endeavor began with a fresh rebranding that captures the spirit of what we all do: Work for Good. We then customized a state-of-the-art job board platform with expanded features, tools, and resources that ease the hiring process and provide practical career guidance.

On Work for Good, you’ll find a full suite of job posting tools to help you easily target, promote, and track your open positions, then communicate with interested talent nationwide. Every posting now includes features like unlimited word count, search optimization, keyword- and geo-targeting, and candidate screening and evaluation tools that make your hiring process effective and pain-free. Our new, premium posting option is an all-in-one solution for supercharging your results, with exposure-boosting extras like custom branding, highlighted listings, and priority placement. And we’ll continue to offer flexible, affordable multi-posting packages that meet any range of needs.

We’re also excited to debut a completely re-imagined way to share insight, in our new subscription series. In Hiring Insight, we’ll feature conversations with HR pros, organizational leaders, and career and hiring experts, sharing proven tactics for attracting and evaluating top candidates, engaging and retaining talent, and building a workplace where people thrive and missions soar — including, later this year, the newest analytics on nonprofit employment trends.

We’ve also designed Work for Good to provide a new level of support for individuals looking for their first or next nonprofit career opportunity. The Work for Good platform makes it easy to search for positions, create a professional profile, set up job alerts, submit and manage applications, and learn from fellow purpose-driven practitioners, hiring managers, and career experts, through our new Career Insight subscription series.

With so much to offer, we are proud to share Work for Good with you, at last. Though much has changed, those who are already part of our Opportunity Knocks community can rest assured that one thing has not: You can continue to count on our team’s exceptional customer care and hiring expertise.

I welcome you to reach out to us — by email, phone or chat, we’re eager to hear what you think of Work for Good, and can’t wait to support your organization’s search for talent.


Karen Beavor
President and CEO