What is Human Resource Management for Nonprofits?

Sep 6, 2022 | Blog Post, In The News | 1 comment

The success of your nonprofit organization depends on finding dedicated, qualified staff. Oh yes, let us not forget to add “keeping employees happy.” Finding good people is critical to master your organization’s goals. Therefore, developing a relationship with Human Resources (HR) is always important to a healthy workplace. Your organization’s employees, staff, and management should feel empowered, supported, and excited about reporting to work each day. Having experienced HR professionals within your reach is always key.

So, what is Human Resource Management for Nonprofits? I’m glad you asked! Human Resource Management for nonprofits includes a variety of business areas, such as recruiting new talent, creating compensation structures, designing strategies to keep employees on board, establishing policies for the nonprofit workplace, and creating policies to manage volunteers. Clearly, there is a broad spectrum of HR responsibility as it relates to nonprofit organizations.

HR generally is the department where rules and regulations are created and established. Employees and volunteers can inquire about their pay, submit grievances, discuss their benefits, and learn more about the organization’s policies. Suppose your nonprofit organization does not have a Human Resource Management department. In that case, you might want to consider utilizing an HR consultant to help you manage and recruit talent, onboard your new staff, provide developmental training, and develop and maintain a positive culture for maximum productivity and happiness of your team.

A clear misconception of HR in any organization is that “HR is the principal’s office.” In reality, HR is the hub (connection) of any organization. Knowing that employees have a confidential partner whom they can speak to regarding issues such as unfair practices, biases, professional development needs, work policies, workplace issues, etc., also helps with the retention of employees. A common myth is that “Employment laws are different for nonprofits.” This is hugely false! Nonprofits are not exempt from state and federal employment laws. One thing to remember, in addition to state laws, is that federal employment laws generally cover workplaces with more than 15 workers. Without an HR staff or consultant, your organization could easily find itself in court.

Four key points to ponder regarding HR for nonprofit organizations:

  1. Inform employees of the contact person and/or process to follow should they need to report harassment, unfair practices, unsafe environments, or need to have a confidential meeting with HR or an affiliate of HR.


  1. Provide employees with written guidance in the form of an employee handbook or employee manual. It is always a good idea to offer guidance to managers, employees, and staff and to have them sign an acknowledgment that they have received a copy.


  1. Tackling the do’s and don’ts of HR can be costly if not handled appropriately. Review the HR needs of your organization. Do you have HR management within? If not, would an HR consultant be of interest?


  1. All employees must be paid a wage and must be paid for all hours worked. Employees of the organization are not allowed to volunteer for the organization where they are employed. Volunteers, independent contractors, and unpaid interns are not considered employees. Just be sure to classify everyone in your organization appropriately.


If you found this topic useful for your nonprofit organization and would like more information on this topic or other HR-related topics or programs, please visit www.lrhrc.net or email me at lrhumanresourcellc@gmail.com. We will gladly assist with your Human Resource questions or concerns.