Nonprofits stretch to compete in tight labor market

Nonprofits stretch to compete in tight labor market

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Nonprofits across the country continue to struggle to fill roles, particularly human service organizations, where the burden has been "immense," said Rick Cohen, chief communications officer and chief operating officer at the National Council of Nonprofits.

As other industries are increasing wages and paying sign-on bonuses, it's hard for nonprofits to keep up, especially in human service areas where a lot of work is paid by fixed government contracts that often don't cover the cost to deliver services, leaving little flexibility, Cohen said. Plus, fundraising revenue hasn't returned to pre-pandemic levels.

"There's no way to pass on the cost to customers the way that Amazon or Target or Walmart can," he said. "They can increase the price of a few products by 50 cents here or a dollar there. ... There just isn't a way for nonprofits to do that."

In many ways, "nonprofits are boxed in" with few ways to find additional revenue, Cohen said. Child care for Catholic Charities' early learning programs, as well as residential assistance for its shelter, are the two most challenging staffing areas, Harris said. And she fears the former will get harder.

Source Name: 
Crain's Cleveland Business

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