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Nonprofit-Specific Human Resource Management

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD of Authenticity Consulting, LLC


There's a common misperception that human resource management in nonprofits is very different from human resource management in for-profits. Actually, the activities are very similar in both types of organizations, except that nonprofits often include human resources (staff members) who are volunteers-- staff members who are not paid compensation. Note that Board members of nonprofits are volunteers, but usually are not considered to be staff members. Those who know a great deal about nonprofits also know that the activities to effectively manage paid staff in nonprofits are very similar to those required to effectively manage volunteers in nonprofits, except for the topic of paying volunteers.

Understand Differences Between Nonprofit and For-Profit Organizations

How Nonprofits Compare to For-Profits
Free Management Library Includes Materials for Nonprofits and For-Profits (read "Different Names for Similar Concepts")

Human Resources - Read This Topic First?

Because of the similarity between managing human resources in for-profits and nonprofits, the reader is advised to first review information in the topic:
Human Resources

Nonprofit-Specific Human Resource Topics

Listing of nonprofit resources from Connecticut Association of Nonprofits
Research on the Nonprofit Workforce: Here's a Brief Overview
HR Toolkit for the Voluntary & Non-profit Sector
Top 10 Tips for Running a Good Nonprofit Hiring Process

Assessing the Quality of Your Practices in Nonprofit Human Resource Management

The following link is to a series of questions that you can consider to assess your practices in nonprofit management. The link is to an organizational assessment tool for nonprofits, including paid and non-paid (volunteer) staffing.
Audit and Evaluation of Nonprofit Human Resource Management (including Volunteers)

Also consider
Related Library Topics

Learn More in the Library's Blogs Related to Human Resources and Talent Management

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to Human Resources and Talent Management. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Career Management Blog
Library's Human Resources Blog

For the Category of Human Resources:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books