By Joyce Grenis, Senior Vice President of Human Resource Consulting Services, Sikich LLP
The 2012 Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey found that as the economy begins to rebound, non-profit leaders anticipate an increase in employee turnover. Whether these employees decide to leave because of their salary levels, personal reasons or overall dissatisfaction with the organization, one thing is certain—the focus will be on reducing turnover as a critical way to save money and retain top-quality workers.
1. Who are my top performers, and what is the risk of losing these employees? You should understand what keeps these individuals at your organization. Do you know what they want in their careers? And more importantly, can you give that to them? 2. Am I recognizing top performers, or do I treat everyone the same regardless of level of performance? Although high-performance employees like to be recognized financially, they also enjoy non-financial recognition. Do you have an incentive program in place, or a regular newsletter that highlights great work?
3. Are my employees’ salaries and benefits competitive in the sector? Work with a human resources professional to determine what is considered competitive in terms of non-profit salaries and benefits. Are your salaries in line with the market? Do you offer benefits that help your employees, such as comprehensive medical insurance, flexible work schedules and health and wellness programs? If your organization is behind, it’s probably time to rethink this part of your HR function.
4. Do I have supervisors/managers who understand how to motivate the staff? More than 1 million working individuals in the United States participated in a Gallup poll that found the number-one reason why people quit their jobs—their boss. Take a deeper look into how your supervisors and managers are leading their direct staff. Start with an employee satisfaction survey (it can be anonymous) and ask employees what would motivate them. When results are in, make sure management knows what is expected of them, and provide ways they can motivate the staff better based on survey answers and what is realistic for the organization.
For more information on HR related resources for non-profit organizations, such as compliance and compensation, please contact Joyce Grenis in our Indianapolis office at 317-842-4466 or visit www.sikich.com/hr.
All not-for-profit organizations fortunate enough to receive government and private grants must read, interpret and comply with those grant agreements. One of the key issues to address at the inception of a grant is whether the grant represents a contribution or an exchange transaction; the accounting could vary significantly based upon the classification.
Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 958-605-55 provides guidance to distinguish contributions from exchange transactions. In general, the accounting and reporting of grants is determined by the underlying substance of the transaction. The term "grant" is used broadly and can refer not only to contributions, but to assets transferred in an exchange transaction. Each grant agreement should be carefully reviewed in making this determination, as it may be entirely a contribution, entirely an exchange transaction or a combination of the two.
An example of an exchange transaction that involves a private resource provider would be a corporate entity that sponsors research and development at a research university. The grant agreement includes the corporate entity's right to retain the propriety rights to the exclusive knowledge gained from the research, including patents, copyrights or other privileges. The value retained by the corporate entity is more than incidental and, therefore, would qualify as an exchange transaction.
An example of a transaction considered to be in part a contribution and an exchange would be a transfer of land to an NPO at a price significantly lower than its fair market value with no unstated right or privileges accruing to the donor. The difference between the fair market value and amount paid would be a contribution, and the amount paid would be considered an exchange transaction.
We don’t solicit entries from guest writers beyond our sponsors but every once in awhile someone will offer something that seems too interesting to pass up. Following is an abbreviated version of a note I received from a program officer in a local foundation, used with permission. It might prompt you to inquire with your funding representatives about how they want to be kept informed of your efforts and give you an extra incentive to scrub your mailing list. Bryan O.
Dear Executive Director:
It is that time of year when you, your board, and staff are focusing on end of year appeals to your donors. Your grant officers are certainly pleased that you are working to tell the story of your organization’s work and impact, and to inspire support. This year, would you please take time to clean up your mailing list? For example, I should not be receiving your annual appeal in my role as your grants officer. There are days when we receive many copies of the same appeal, addressed to each and every staff member who has ever worked for the foundation – or so it seems.
I recently saw a Facebook post from a not-for-profit that was so happy to have a volunteer preparing their annual fund letters. This morning I got that organization’s annual letter here at the foundation. The mailing was sent with full first class postage and included a 2 page letter hand annotated with underlining, notes and exclamation points; an annual fund insert, and a return envelope. Your appeal to me represents time and money that are going straight to the recycling bin.
Your grants officers want your organization to succeed in all aspects of your organization’s work—programming, community impact, funds development. Please don’t undermine our confidence in the first two by failing to attend to the details of the third.
As your organization enters the end-of-year fundraising push, please take advantage of Indiana Philanthropy Day’s outstanding educational and networking opportunities on Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites, 120 W. Market Street, Indianapolis.
The purpose of Indiana Philanthropy Day is to recognize and celebrate the great contributions of philanthropy and expand knowledge through education and networking. Keynote speakers include Tom Ahern (Ahern Communications) presenting “Smart Donor Communications and Maximizing Return on Investment” and Dan Pallotta (Pallotta Team Works) presenting “Nonprofits Need to Invest and Innovate.” The day’s agenda includes educational breakout sessions, the Indiana Philanthropy Awards Luncheon, and many networking opportunities.