Current Nonprofit Market Outlook Overview:
According to a recent Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies report U.S. nonprofits maintained their position as the third largest employer in the U.S. economy last year. COVID job losses in the nonprofit sector were significant in 2021 and 2020 and over 1.6 million nonprofit jobs were lost between March and May of 2020 alone.
While COVID 19 created new demand for many nonprofit services (from communities in need) many nonprofits were forced to layoff workers as revenues declined. During this shift some nonprofit positions saw the highest of demand amongst the economic crisis. Subdued predictions of fundraising successes for 2021 have slowed hiring in the nonprofit sector some. While frontline nonprofits saw a drastic increase in the program needs they provide, other non-essential nonprofits experienced a drop in demand and or legislation impacts for many in-person programs such as in education. The push to move the sector remote opened new positions nationally and brought more for profit technical and service-based candidates into the nonprofit sector to fill the gaps in online based remote work.
The National Nonprofit Economy:
Nonprofits account for 12.4 million jobs, and about 14 percent of private sector employment. Out of these role hospitals and universities are the largest represented group, while medium sized nonprofit account for 43.9% of all staff in the sector. The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of nonprofit employment, 26.0 percent. The majority of nonprofit have zero employees and many small organizations only employee a very small percent of the sector. According to the 2020 Nonprofit Employment report by Johns Hopkins “between 2007 and 2017, the number of jobs created by U.S. nonprofits grew by 18.6%—three times faster than the country’s for-profit businesses over the same period. Nonprofits also generated the third largest payroll income of any U.S. industry in 2017, behind only manufacturing and professional services.” In addition nearly “60% of private employment in religious, civic, and professional organizations.”
Nonprofit nationally have been increasingly requiring a combination of skills as many have faced decreased budgets and fundraising success in 2020. We have seen a significant demand increase for technical professional in the sectors as nonprofits as a whole have moved to remote working and more and more organizations needing to shift into online fundraising. Skills in the sector that are most currently in demand include essential health and medical care experience, tech support, database administration, online fundraising and marketing professionals, and front-line positions such as case managers, counselors and staff willing to work in-person for essential programs. The nonprofit worker of 2021 needs to be fully equipped to leverage a combination of tools. Understanding of online marketing tools, project management, web design, blogging, social media and online fundraising platforms are highly important.
In-Demand Job Opening Shifts:
The market is strong for nonprofit workers but the function of the work and industries hiring have shifted considerably. With the rising demands of baby boomers whom are aging, and the considerable continual population growth and income discrepancy health and human service demand has increased significantly. Overall hospital systems and healthcare has seen continued and considerable demand for workers and services. Also, Education (elementary, secondary, and higher education), associations, and social assistance nonprofits and nursing homes have seen considerable job creation growth and service demands.
Positions in High-Demand Currently:
- Registered Nurse / Nurse Practitioner
- Data Scientist
- Software Developer
- Digital Marketing & Communications Managers
- Medical Assistant
- Director of Development
- Major Gifts Officer
- Program Assistant
- Program Director
- Online Education Program Assistant
- Database Administrator / Manager
- Technical Support
- Network Administrator
- IT Systems Administrator
- Online Marketing Manager
- Social Media Manager
- Blog Writer
- Tax Professionals
- Physical Therapist
- Dental Hygienist
- Home Health Aides
- Physician Assistant
- Speech-Language Pathologist
Understanding the national nonprofit economy and job section can provide valuable insight to managing your nonprofit. Making sure you are compensating your employees at competitive levels is extremely more of a competitive necessity for organizations in sectors facing a talent shortage. Currently there is a significant skills and talent gap nationally. The number of open jobs is much larger than the available and skills ready talent nationally. This economic condition also known as a skills gap, evidences the need for many organizations to invest in training staff to be successful in new positions and create creative programs to successfully fill open requisitions. As the demand on sought after industries is likely to not decline in the next five years it is imperative nonprofit hold and retain their current staff to stay competitive. For further reading on the nonprofit employment sector we suggest reading The Nonprofit Employment Report by Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.