Non-Profit Success Through Effective Management

In doing my background research to develop a human resources service for non-profits I learned some amazing statistics.

  • There are over 27,000 non-profits in BC and of those, 7,823 have paid employees.
  • These organizations employ 135,356 full-time and part-time employees. [1]

These paid staff make up a workforce larger than the total employment in the forestry, fishing, and mining, oil and gas extraction industries of BC combined. [2]

These dedicated people provide a huge range of services to those in need in this province. It is critically important that the work environment within these organizations be supportive and engaging for its employees.

One of the critical expectations of Director’s and leaders of non-profits is the effective management of their employees – their human resources.

The legal structure of non-profits is such that the Executive Director has the responsibility for making the employment decisions. In turn, the Executive Directors are responsible to their Boards, which hold the overall legal responsibility for these human resources (HR) decisions.

Most of the small to medium sized organizations do not have in-house access to Human Resources expertise when they need it. [3] The majority of the leaders of these non-profits attempt to deal with Human Resource issues off the sides of their desks as they arise.

This general lack of HR expertise leaves these organizations critically vulnerable to difficult HR issues which could, at least, take up valuable staff time searching for a solution or, at worst, allow the organization to be out of compliance with legal requirements and at the risk of legal sanctions.

Strong HR practices are critical to the effective operation of any organization. [4] Studies have linked weak HR capacity in the non-profit sector to a wide range of labour market challenges in the areas of recruitment, retention, leadership development from within, etc. As such, the availability of timely and high-quality HR advice, guidance and support services for leaders in the sector has been flagged as a high need.

Crowflight Consulting has developed and tested a just in time 1-800 HR service to non-profits in BC that will allow senior staff to speak directly to an HR Generalist who will assist them in effectively resolving these HR issues.

[1] Characteristics of the Labour Market in British Columbia’s Non-Profit Sector, Step Up BC, 2014

[2] The Non-profit and Voluntary Sector in British Columbia: Regional Highlights from the National Survey of Non-profit and Voluntary Organizations, Imagine Canada, 2006

[3] Feasibility Study for Shared HR Services, United Way, 2010 and the Characteristics of the Labour Market in British Columbia’s Non-Profit Sector, Step Up BC, 2014 notes that “(only) 5% (of non-profits in BC) have staff members who spend the majority of their working hours on human resources.”

[4] Building Capacity for Effective HR Management in the Non-profit Sector, HR Council, 2008

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