Essential Tips for Hiring Full-time Staff for Your Nonprofit

People who work full-time at charitable nonprofit organizations need to be the most compassionate, passionate, and skilled people if the organization is to reach its goals and amplify its advocacy. This is why founders and presidents need to have a strategic hiring process that works to find the best possible people for the job. Here are some essential tips for hiring full-time staff members for your nonprofit organization.

Consult specialists

Consider employing the services of human resources (HR) specialists such as a ServiceNow HR service management team, who can help you with onboarding and transitions, as well as digitizing your hiring processes. Having this support can help with the most important and complex components of HR and engaging your new team members to help them maximize productivity. Bolster your hiring processes and your HR support, and you will surely build a team of capable and passionate people who can help move your mission forward.


Before you begin the hiring process, consider first the kind of contract you will offer the applicants so that they can have a clear idea of what they’re getting into. Here are the options you can choose from to know just exactly what position you have to fill:

  • Full-time: This entails about 40 hours of work every week and should take priority, hiring and time-wise.
  • Part-time: This kind of contract requires less than 30 hours of work every week and may not take as much priority in your organization.
  • Contract: This type of contract is per task basis and may be performed sporadically and require no commitment from applicants.
  • Consultant: This type of position is reserved for highly skilled, trained, and even licensed individuals only and is reserved for people who have qualifications that no one else in your team may have.
  • Volunteer: This position is for people who have a passion for the nonprofit’s advocacy and may want to be a part of it in whatever capacity. This type of contract usually looks for people that don’t require much retention or training.

Ultimately, what will dictate how you hire people and the positions you will open is your nonprofit’s budget. When deciding on hiring, think prospectively and consider how staffing can be maximized using a combination of all types of contracts. Be upfront with your applicants about the commitment you expect from them and the kind of compensation the nonprofit is capable of giving.


Every nonprofit or organization that’s centered around any type of advocacy needs a level of knowledge on the subject. From environmental causes to fighting for marginalized communities, people who run these types of organizations need to have the facts, accurate information, statistics, and even academic research that can back up the necessity of the nonprofit in the first place. Some may argue that anyone can learn, but you immediately gain an advantage when you find people who are already both knowledgeable and passionate about the cause before they join.

It may seem obvious, but hiring qualified candidates is the first step in finding these people. Choose applicants who have a background in the cause before coming into the organization so that you don’t have to start from scratch and so that you’re already working with someone who has the confidence to perform their tasks.

people talking

Soft skills

Nonprofit work is much more personal than a regular corporate job. So much of the work relies on raising funds through teamwork, compelling storytelling, and finding ways to connect your potential donors with the organization’s mission and vision. Here are some key characteristics that you need to look for in all your potential employees:

  • Communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Learning agility
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Empathy
  • Organizational skills
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving

Hire only people who exhibit these key characteristics, and build a team of people who can bring your organization’s mission and vision to life.


Since a big chunk of working in a nonprofit involves caring for people and raising large amounts of funds, the last people you need in your nonprofit are those who have a history of abusive leadership or toxicity. Your main priority is finding people who have integrity, compassion, and a willingness to serve and support others in the background. There’s a reason why nonprofit work tends to attract narcissistic types; they make the mission an opportunity to gain glory for themselves and hurt the cause in the process. Do background checks, get references from their previous employers, check their social media accounts.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to doing sensitive work that affects people, it’s always better safe than sorry. Do everything you can to ensure that you only hire the most suitable candidates to join your nonprofit. Your beneficiaries deserve nothing less.

About the Author

Scroll to Top