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New Report: Making Smart Investments in Human Capital

November 9, 2011 Comments off

New Report: Making Smart Investments in Human Capital
Source: Commongood Careers

In the nonprofit sector, the focus on demonstrating and quantifying programmatic impact has never been greater. As grant makers, foundations, government partners and other intermediaries emphasize accountability for programmatic outcomes, organizations are stepping up to the plate with key performance metrics for assessing the impact of investments. This response by nonprofit organizations to evolving philanthropic decision-making has spurred a culture shift throughout the sector resulting in an increase of data-driven, result-oriented programmatic strategies, particularly among social entrepreneurs and organizations seeking to make a major and measurable difference on the communities they serve.

While organizations have developed sophisticated models, systems and tools for measuring program impact, little attention has been paid to measuring other types of organizational investments. This failure to invest in holistic organizational development has its roots in the historical reticence of the foundation community to make investments in the key functional areas often categorized as “overhead.” Investments in programs are highly visible and have a direct impact on the constituent community, such as increased student performance for a charter school network or increased employment rates for a job-training program. As such, the focus on measuring programmatic results fits in with the traditional giving priorities of foundations more clearly than building effective organizations for the long haul.

While increased attention to measurable programmatic results is undoubtedly positive, the reality is this: when managed correctly, every dollar invested in a nonprofit plays a role in organizational outcomes. This is especially true when it comes to human capital. Without investments aimed at getting the right people in the right roles, an organization cannot effectively deliver on the promise of its programs. Without investments in solid systems that support employee performance and drive a positive work culture, an organization cannot effectively advance its mission. The interconnectivity of human capital investments and programmatic outcomes is clear. However, if this is true (or at least generally accepted), why don’t organizations invest more in their people?

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The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Diversity in the Workplace

April 12, 2011 Comments off

The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Diversity in the Workplace
Source: Commongood Careers

The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Diversity in the Workplace Photo

Across the nonprofit sector, most employers share the belief that racial diversity is a key component of organizational health, performance, and outcomes. Yet, according to today’s nonprofit talent, few organizations are doing enough to attract and retain professionals of color. There is a perceived gap between the intentions and actions of nonprofit organizations when it comes to promoting staff diversity.

A common perception held by nonprofit professionals is that their employers value diversity, but that those values are not being translated into actions resulting in the creation of diverse and inclusive workplaces. For organizations seeking to increase the racial diversity of their staff, or retain their current employees of color, the ineffectiveness of mere “good intentions” around issues of diversity and inclusiveness presents a looming problem.

How committed are nonprofit organizations to creating racially diverse and inclusive work environments? What does it take to effectively recruit and retain employees of color? How do workplace demographics play into perceptions of staff inclusiveness and impact career decisions, especially among people of color? Why do many people of color choose to leave organizations, and in some cases, the sector all together?

+ Full Report (PDF)

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