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Nonprofit Talent: How to Recruit the Best Talent for Nonprofit Organizations?

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Nonprofit talent run nonprofit. Organizing and managing a nonprofit is no easy feat. It takes a lot of commitment and drive, not to mention passion, to see your nonprofit’s objectives come to fruition. Many people who run a nonprofit are constantly making sure their nonprofit can execute what they set out to do.

One of the ways to ensure they can meet their objectives is to hire the right people. The people in your nonprofit are your resources and you need to make sure they’re an asset to your organization. With the right kind of people with you, your nonprofit can be a powerhouse in making the changes you want to see.

What is a nonprofit talent?

A nonprofit talent is a group of people who have specific skillsets and talents they can contribute to a nonprofit. These people are often proactive and driven to make changes in their community. They usually need minimal supervision and can work well in a team.

Nonprofit organizations function just like any business entity. They require talents for the day-to-day operations, administrations, Human Resources, CSR, etc. Just like any employee hired into a corporate organization, nonprofits also need to look at the same kind of hiring.

Typically, a non-profit organization will require people to help them with operations, finance, administration, events, and IT. These departments need different types of people with various talents to ensure a smooth operation and the success of the nonprofit.

Each talent recruited into a nonprofit will either work with several other people with similar skills, or they may need to work with a large group of people. However, since nonprofits typically don’t have many resources to spend, it’s not uncommon for a nonprofit talent to multitask and take on several roles.

What to look for in nonprofit talents?

Just because you’re running a nonprofit, it doesn’t mean you can hire any Tom, Dick, and Harry who’s willing to do the job. As much as nonprofit organizations always welcome people who are willing to work, you still need to set some hiring standards so your nonprofit can grow.

Start with a list of what kind of people you’re looking for. Don’t start with job titles, but rather, list the attitudes and behavior you want to see. Nonprofit organizations are about the people and the community. So, you want talents who are people-oriented and understand its importance.

List what you’re looking for in both hard and soft skills. For instance, you need talents with hard skills such as data analysis, marketing, and accounting. For soft skills, you need people with good communication skills, have leadership qualities, and are good at solving problems.

With this list, you can identify these skills in the people you’re interviewing. One of the most vital things to look for during an interview is the passion in the talents. Nonprofits take a lot of work, so you need someone whom you know can commit and is passionate about the cause.

Once you’ve identified the talents with the skillsets you’re looking for, you can place them in the areas you need. However, keep in mind that some of the talents may not be as suitable in the area as you thought they would. This is okay because you can move them around to see where they fit best.

This is why it’s important to set expectations of multitasking while you’re interviewing them. These talents need to be aware of how a nonprofit operates. This way, they will not be surprised if you need them to work with people from other departments.

Another important thing, you need to ensure the talents you’re recruiting are aware of the lower salary paid by nonprofits. Some candidates may be high-valuable, and you know you need them. However, their commitment may be compromised if they’re not willing to receive a lower salary.

Where to find nonprofit talent

Many people are interested and willing to work for a nonprofit. You need to make sure you’re tapping into the right pool so you can recruit valuable talents. Again, it would be detrimental to your nonprofit if you’re not careful with your selection.

A common way to find nonprofit talent is to advertise for a role on your social media. Many nonprofits post vacancies on their social media to attract interested talents. This is an effective way because your followers tend to be people who are already interested in or passionate about your cause.

By posting vacancies on your social media, any followers who are interested to be more involved with your nonprofit can submit their application. However, be wary. Just because a person is willing and seems passionate, he or she may not be a suitable recruit. Just remember your skills list when you’re interviewing them.

You can also search for available talents on nonprofit job board sites / job boards . These sites will list all the talents that are available for hire. There are specific sites for nonprofit talents, so these are excellent places to start. You will see the available talents who have different skillsets, so you can pick from there.

Another common way to recruit not-for-profit talent to your nonprofit is through referral. It’s highly likely that members of your nonprofits know other people who are suitable for your organization. Personal referral often doesn’t come without a caveat, though.

Since the talent is referred to by someone you know, it’s not uncommon for it to be a bad hire. While you may want to maintain a good relationship with the referrer, stick to your skills list and maintain the same professional objectivity you give to other candidates.

Getting volunteers is also another way to find nonprofit talent. People who are willing to get involved are often people you don’t have to supervise. Often, but not always. They’re ready to work and usually very passionate.

Again, volunteer or not, you still need to exercise the same kind of hiring standards. While nonprofits don’t usually turn away a volunteer, you can keep an eye on them in case they prove to be valuable to your organization.

You can designate the volunteers in different areas of your nonprofit to see where their skills fit best. It usually takes some time before you can identify their strength and where they can contribute. Recruiting talent from volunteers is usually effective because you get to know them better while you observe their commitment and passion.


The great thing about nonprofits is how you get to meet with many passionate and fun people. They’re driven, committed, and willing to go the extra mile to make the changes they want to see a reality. The bonds forged through nonprofit work usually last a lifetime.

This is why it’s so vital to recruit the right kind of talent into your organization. You want someone who’s not only good at what they do but also someone you can work well together. You need to be able to communicate with them especially during a serious crisis.

Passion can turn into an emotional factor for many. So, you need to find talents who have a good sense of balance between passion and objectivity. It may take a few tries before you can find a candidate that proved to be a priceless asset for your organization.

But once you do, you will be glad and grateful at how much they can help your nonprofit soar.

About the author

Brian Chan

Brian Chan is the co-founder of Circle Acts Charity. Circle Acts is a registered charity that focuses on high-impact philanthropy and promote donor philanthropy across the world.