Nonprofit organizations provide essential functions: caring for the sick and dying, nurturing and protecting children, conservation of our history and our environment, creating beauty and inspiring our spiritual growth, and providing a voice for engaged citizens. These are just a sample of the many and varied missions that are supported by the work of paid and unpaid staff (volunteers) in the more than 2 million nonprofit organizations in the United States.
Increasing competition for resources, expanding service demands, and a growing chorus of calls for accountability result in a high-pressure situation in which nonprofit organizations must maximize their effectiveness and efficiency to be successful. The employees and volunteers who comprise the workforce for these organizations carry out their critical missions, which contribute so much to our civil society. Consequently, there is an urgent need for information and assistance to help nonprofits create an effective work environment. Recruitment, motivation, and retention of a qualified workforce require investment in development of sound human resource management policies and procedures.
Additionally, nonprofit organizations need to reduce the risk of lawsuits and claims by knowing the laws and adopting and implementing good employment practice policies. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center in its spring 1999 issue, of Community Risk Management & Insurance, stated that insurers report that more than 75 percent of all directors’ and officers’ liability claims allege wrongful employment practices.
This book provides user-friendly explanations covering a wide variety of human resource policies and procedures, with examples of related forms and supplemental information. Although the coverage of topics is extensive, it is not all-inclusive. Some polices might apply to most nonprofit organizations.
Others are more specialized; for example, there are policies about the interaction of staff and clients that will fit only certain types of direct service organizations. Each organization will need to evaluate the need for each policy and to take care to ensure that example policies are adapted to fit its situation.
Further, nonprofits will need to check with their own legal counsel, especially in regard to state laws, and to be alert for the ever-evolving case law that might affect human resource management practices. Also, federal government law and regulation changes affecting employment practices may occur frequently, and employers must be alert for such changes.
The book is organized by chapters, and chapters are organized into subheadings.
The Contents provides a guide to location of topics of specific interest. Rationales for policies and procedures will be discussed first, followed, when applicable, with policy examples, forms and other tools to aid in policy adoption. References are at the end of each chapter. In addition, at the end of the book you will find a number of helpful Appendices.
Included is a list of action steps for attracting and retaining quality personnel, a quiz to rate yourself as a volunteer motivator, and a plan to help create a motivating environment.