Community Platform

The Nonprofit FAQ: Employment

Select an FAQ   (33):

How can we avoid volunteer-staff conflicts?
Points to a rich resource on working with volunteers.
Are 'stipends' wages?
Yes. Reports must be filed on the money people are paid for work and taxes may be due, however small the payments and no matter how they are calculated.
Are NPO wages too low?
Several writers think so, and offer arguments to support their points of view.
Can employees of a nonprofit also volunteer their time?
This is a very tricky problem, subject to complex rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act and many state laws. Great caution is advised.
Can the founder of an organization also be an employee?
Hard as it is, everyone must work to keep the relationship between the founder and the organization on a clear, business-like footing.
Do boards ever fire executive directors? If
Sometimes there is a need to do so. Sometimes there is avoidable bad feeling. Here are two views on this difficult theme.
Do volunteers own the copyright when they contribute creative works?
US law specifies that the creator owns the copyright unless specific agreements are in place.
Good interview questions when hiring a volunteer coordinator
Thoughts about how to give candidates a chance to show their strengths.
How can I become a fundraising consultant?
Consultants must respond to a wide range of challenges (says an experienced fundraiser), so they need to have a wide range of experience.
Is a Management Company a Good Idea for an Association
Maybe. Especially considering the many details that go with having a small office staff.
Is it important to interview volunteers?
Even though people question the value of the process, organizations will want to interview prospective volunteers.
Should nonprofits use the term CEO?
NPOs identify positions with many titles. Some add 'and CEO' to one to distinguish the person with final executive responsibility.
Should the executive director be a consultant?
There are organizational and regulatory reasons to be cautious about such arrangements.
Should we keep volunteer and staff roles clearly different?
The Fair Labor Standards Act makes doing so very important.
What are employee laws? Any related major issues and topics?
There are a variety of federal laws, executive orders, etc., regarding the selection and treatment of individuals in the workplace.
What documents should a new employee receive?
New employees need a lot of information about the organization and its policies; there are also some requirements of employment laws that need to be observed.
What employee taxes do nonprofits pay
Income taxes withheld from employees' pay and the employer's share of social security and medicare are due from any employer. Classifying someone as a contractor who isn't can be expensive (in penalties, etc). Unemployment taxes are more complicated. The IRS has explanations that can help.
What goes in a conflict-of-interest policy?
Here are some examples including one from the IRS.
What is human resource management? Where can I get help?
Basic overview of functions of managing human resources
What is telecommuting? How can it help me?
Telecommuting means working from home, and it's rapidly on the rise.
What is the role of a chief operating officer in a nonprofit, and how do we know whether we need one? offers two essays on the topic.
What kinds of health insurance do nonprofits offer employees?
Some suggestions on what to look for and where to look.
What kinds of retirement plans can NPOs have?
In 1995, there were two kinds.
What to do when a volunteer ED wants to be paid?
Create a step-by-step plan that values the current volunteer while making clear that volunteer service does not create a presumption of later employment.
What US schools offer BA & graduate programs on nonprofits?
Links to lists of graduate programs and some information about undergraduate opportunities.
Where are environmental NPO jobs listed?
Internet resources for advertising and locating npo employment opportunities related to the environment.
Where are general lists of nonprofit jobs?
General purpose internet resources for advertising and locating NPO employment opportunities.
Where are jobs in medicine; social work; law; and education listed?
Internet resources for advertising and locating npo employment opportunities in medicine, social work, law and education.
Where are nonprofit jobs listed?
There are lots of online resources. This item links to several lists.
Where are nonprofit jobs suitable for students listed?
Internet resources for advertising and locating npo employment opportunities specifically for students.
Where are regional and local nonprofit jobs listed?
Internet resources for advertising and locating npo employment opportunities that are organized for regions and localities.
Where can I learn about Human Resources has connects to many helpful discussions of Human Resources at
Why screen volunteers at all?
The approach to recruiting volunteers should be as careful as the process used for adding any new staff.