Further detail shows this year nonprofits plan on hiring program/direct services staff (69 percent) and fundraising staff (35 percent), which were also listed as the most challenging positions to recruit (44 percent and 37 percent, respectively).
"Even though the economy is slow and unemployment is high, the nonprofit sector has remained surprisingly resilient during the economic downturn, and these findings are supported by the increasing number of job postings on Idealist," said Ami Dar, Idealist's founder and executive director. "Throughout the summer of 2011, job postings hit record highs, with more than 10,000 jobs posted in July and August on the Idealist website alone. This is very encouraging, since the nonprofit sector accounts for almost 10 percent of employment in this country."
Idealist has seen the economic cycle mimicked in the site's job postings, which went down from 12,462 in the first four months of 2008 to 8,763 in the same period in 2009, and then recovered and doubled to 12,974 and 17,486, respectively, for the first four months of 2010 and 2011. This accelerated growth has continued through the year, even in these past few weeks, and more than 6,800 positions are currently posted on the site.
Many of the organizations surveyed feel that in order to ensure their sustainability in this more challenging economy they need to be creative and diversify their funding streams, including starting new earned income programs, partnering with other nonprofit organizations and expanding the type of grant support they seek.
The survey also found 70 percent of respondents cited managing multiple priorities as the biggest challenge they face in their nonprofit HR work, and 65 percent said in 2010 no money within their organizations was allocated for HR skill development. Sixty-two percent said health care costs are rising this year, and 64 percent are unsure if and how the new Federal Affordable Care Act will affect their organization.