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How Investing in People Directly Supports Programs
Nicky Goren, president and CEO, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

Most nonprofit executive directors have experienced running an organization where cash is tight. In my first foray as a nonprofit executive director, I walked into an organization with unrealistic revenue projections and an operating budget tied to those projections. This meant that we were facing a potentially dramatic shortfall. And so, in my first year, my goal shifted from how to take the organization to the next level, to how to cut costs to give us the space we needed to plan for the future. That meant all discretionary spending was slashed or eliminated and only the absolutely “necessary” expenditures remained. Those tough decisions did help us stabilize and reorient the organization–but at a cost. 
Top Reasons to Invest in Nonprofit Talent

What Does Investing in Nonprofit Talent Mean?
Intentional deployment of resources to support and develop professionals and leaders in the nonprofit workforce. These resources may include financial capital, political capital, time, attention, skill, etc. 

Purpose of Tool
This tool provides arguments that can be used to introduce the concept of talent philanthropy, and to communicate the compelling reasons for investing in nonprofit talent.

Call to Action
The impact of the work of a nonprofit or a grantee can scaled exponentially if talent is funded with as much intelligence and intention as other significant budgetary expenditures. While we believe it is essential for foundation grantmakers to support nonprofit talent development, we also encourage nonprofits to develop planned allocations of such resources in order to grow and strengthen the talent in their organizations, and bolster their effectiveness and impact. 

From "Top Reasons to Invest in Nonprofit Talent" in Fund the People Toolkit.
Upcoming Webinar

Making the Case for Investing in Your Greatest Asset: Nonprofit People

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST

People are the greatest asset in any nonprofit organization. By investing in the talent needs of your staff, you can increase their effectiveness while also making the organization more sustainable.
  • What does it look like to invest in nonprofit talent?
  • What types of interventions are available?
  • What works?
Elizabeth Kidd, vice president of Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Areaa modest-sized community foundation in western Michigan, will share how they are using small, strategic investments to support executive directors and executive transitions in nonprofits in their community. Latoya Booker, who leads a racial equity organization that is a grantee of Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, will discuss her experiences as an incoming executive director.

Join this webinar to find out how funders and nonprofits can work together to support and develop nonprofit professionals and leaders. Also, get an inside look at talent-investing in practice and learn how to use it in your own organization.


From the Field
Nonprofits: America's Third Largest Workforce
Nonprofits aggressively promote their visions to change the world and their missions to do good. However, their collective work helps to improve our quality of life and strengthen the U.S. economy in another way: Nonprofits are the third largest employer in the U.S.

According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, nearly 12 million people work for nonprofits across the country. By comparison, just over 12 million people work in manufacturing, and another 16 million people work in retail. While the number of manufacturing and retail jobs is expected to continue to decline, the number of nonprofit jobs and the need for social services is expected to continue to increase. 

Based on projections from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the Center's new report, Nonprofits: America’s Third Largest Workforce, also reveals that as of 2015, America’s nonprofit sector:

  • Outdistances manufacturing. In 24 states and D.C., nonprofits employ more workers than all of the branches of manufacturing combined.
  • Is a “major” industry in most states. Economists consider any industry that accounts for 5 percent of a country’s workforce to be a “major” industry. By this measure, the nonprofit sector is a major industry in all but one of the nation’s states and D.C. And in more than half of the states, the nonprofit sector accounts for more than 10 percent of private employment.
  • Is a diverse industry with a broad array of services. The health field—hospitals, clinics, and home health services—accounts for 54 percent of all nonprofit employment, but nonprofits are active in other fields from education and social services to arts and culture.
  • Is a dynamic presence. Nonprofits continued to gain ground as employers between 2012 and 2015 in nine industries: manufacturing, wholesale trade, finance and insurance, and a collection of six smaller industries.

Access to other nonprofit employment data nationally and by state and county is available through Nonprofit Works, an interactive, online database created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.

This article is reprinted with permission from Blue Avocado, the practical and readable online magazine of Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group.
Achieving Equity: We Need a New Approach to Funding
By David Greco

Lately there has been a lot of focus on the issue of equity. "Equity" is obviously a broad term that encompasses a range of issues including income and wealth inequality, as well as economic opportunity. But at its core, equity is ultimately about creating a level playing field and ensuring that everyone has an honest chance at achieving their potential regardless of their race, gender, economic status, or zip code.

A number of large foundations and organizations including the Ford Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Kellogg Foundation, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, among others, have announced new focus areas designed to address the equity issue. They are changing their grantmaking priorities, program areas, and hiring practices, and are pooling resources to advance one of the most vital issues of our time.

While these efforts are to be applauded and encouraged, we need to go deeper.

NEW! Toolkit Resources
Since we released Fund the People Toolkit in September 2017, we have been listening and learning. In addition to learning what information will help you make the case and what resources will best equip you for action, we have also learned more about how you want to receive this information. 

We have recently added videos to several of the field stories featured in the toolkit. Some of the videos are presented in a webinar format with slides, while some are more conversational. All provide concrete examples and benefits of talent-investing, and will help you deepen your knowledge and advance your mission.

Check out the videos below, and then connect with us to share your feedback, suggestions, and ideas.
And if you are relatively new to the toolkit, check out this video which shares an introductory tour.
We want to learn from you! Does your foundation intentionally deploy resources to build the support systems that enable grantees to develop their staffs? Let Yolanda Caldera-Durant know!
Copyright © 2018 Fund the People, All rights reserved.

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