Entries with Tag: feature

Although nonprofits usually have exemptions from paying taxes, they must still file tax returns each year. Nonprofits file certain forms, depending on the type of nonprofit and the amount of annual revenue. Nonprofit organizations that maintain high levels of organization can find ways to save money and minimize complications in the tax-filing process. With this information, you will understand how to file taxes for a nonprofit.

How Nonprofits Can Save Money on Tax Obligations

Nonprofit tax returns involve a clear and honest accounting of the organization’s gross receipts and expenses for the year. Although nonprofits do not have to pay federal taxes and may be exempt from other kinds of taxes, the organization must demonstrate proper asset management and compliance with local and federal tax laws. These tips can help you manage your nonprofit tax obligations.

1. Ensure Tax-Exempt Status

Nonprofits can only maintain a tax-exempt status through correct use of revenue. Organizations with a nonprofit classification include religious institutions, public safety organizations, charities, research organizations, and more. To preserve your tax-exempt status, you must prove that any revenue goes to other tax-exempt organizations, minus expenses.

2. Keep Accurate Records

To simplify the process of filing your nonprofit tax documents, you should aim to organize and maintain accurate records. The amount of detail that the IRS requires for nonprofit filing depends on annual revenue and type of nonprofit. Since you may need to provide exacting detail of all your expenses, you should ensure that you have those records at hand.

3. Optimize Deductions

Nonprofits can deduct certain expenses needed to run the organization when balancing revenue and costs. Common deductions include:

  • Staff compensation
  • Home or office expenses
  • Rental space
  • Licensing and training
  • Equipment maintenance and repair
  • Advertising
  • Financial losses

If you are unsure of the deductions you may qualify to take, you should consult a professional for detailed advice.

4. Utilize Tax Credits

In many cases, nonprofits are eligible for tax credits, as well. For example, if your nonprofit chooses to make certain clean energy upgrades to an office space, you may qualify to receive a credit for the expenses needed to complete the upgrades. Because nonprofits do not pay federal taxes, they can get the credit in the form of a direct pay reimbursement.

5. Consider Local Incentives

Many state and local governments offer additional incentives to nonprofits. Some states allow nonprofits to avoid paying sales tax, for example. If you qualify for these types of incentives and tax breaks, keep track of your records. Remember to file claims within the designated claim period, so you can minimize expenses.

6. Research Current Tax Laws

Tax laws change every year. Part of learning how to file nonprofit taxes includes staying current on tax laws, so you understand your responsibilities, deductions, credits, and other opportunities. Before you start preparing your taxes, confirm that you are looking at the latest documents for the appropriate tax year.

7. Manage Payroll Tasks

Although eligible organizations do not pay income taxes, nonprofit payroll must still include payroll taxes, including Social Security and Medicare deductions. Since employee compensation can represent a significant portion of your deductions, you should confirm that you have followed proper procedures. If you struggle to manage these tasks, consider arranging for payroll services for nonprofits.

8. Avoid Penalties

Failing to file taxes at the appropriate time can lead to penalties, including the possible loss of tax-exempt status in certain cases. Your nonprofit tax filing deadline depends on the tax calendar that your organization uses. Start preparation early, so that you have time to address issues before the filing deadline.

How to File Nonprofit Taxes

If you have all your files organized and ready for filing, you may find that the process takes less time than you expect. Plan to complete the following steps:

  • Confirm the type of nonprofit, which determines the forms you need to complete.
  • Choose the appropriate forms for your nonprofit, which often includes a variant of Form 990.
  • Collect financial records, including revenue and expenses.
  • Provide your nonprofit’s mission statement, along with other information about your organization’s progress and management throughout the year.
  • File tax documents by the appropriate deadline.

If you have questions or concerns about the information you must provide, you should consider hiring nonprofit tax help.

UST Can Help Your Nonprofit Prepare for Tax Season

To avoid complication and confusion around filing your nonprofit taxes, you can call on UST for expert assistance. We specialize in solutions for nonprofits, including payroll management, tax document organization, and more. We can help you understand your tax filing status and get ready for tax season, in addition to offer our services for unemployment for nonprofit organizationsContact us to learn more about our services or to request a free savings analysis.

SOURCES

https://labyrinthinc.com/how-to-prepare-a-nonprofit-tax-return/

https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/running-nonprofit/administration-and-financial-management/federal-filing-requirements-nonprofits

https://donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/nonprofit-tax-returns

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organization-annual-filing-requirements-overview

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/08/nonprofit-tax.asp

https://crscpa.com/blog/how-to-make-filing-taxes-for-a-nonprofit-easy-everything-you-need-to-know/

https://donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/17-ways-to-save-money-as-a-nonprofit

https://www.freshbooks.com/hub/taxes/nonprofit-tax-deductions-for-501c3-organizations

https://www.cleanegroup.org/what-nonprofits-need-to-know-about-the-investment-tax-credit/

One area where costs can quickly add up is recruitment. Finding the right talent for your organization is vital, but it can also be a significant expense. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce recruitment costs without sacrificing the quality of your hires.

Refine Your Hiring Strategy

Developing a more strategic approach to recruitment can help you save money. Start by examining your current process and identifying areas where you can streamline. Consider using new technology to automate tasks such as resume screening and scheduling interviews. This can free up your HR team’s time and reduce the need for additional staff.

Utilize Social Media

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be an effective way to reach potential candidates. By using targeted ads, you can reach a larger audience of job seekers without breaking the bank.

Leverage Your Network

Networking can be a powerful tool when it comes to recruitment. Reach out to current employees, board members, and volunteers for referrals. This can help you find qualified candidates who are already familiar with your organization and its mission.

Internship Programs

Internship programs can be a great way to evaluate potential employees before making a full-time offer. Interns can be sourced from local colleges and universities, and while they may require some training and supervision, they can help you find a great fit for your team. Additionally, internships can provide valuable experience and networking opportunities to students who may become future employees.

Attend Job Fairs

Attending job fairs can be a great way to connect with candidates who are actively seeking employment. Many job fairs are free to attend, and they provide a platform to showcase your organization and open positions.

By implementing these strategies, you can reduce your recruitment costs and still find the right candidate for your organization.

Another way that nonprofits can save money is by using UST HR Workplace. This platform offers live certified HR experts, over 350 employee training courses, an online employee handbook builder, job description tools and various other resources.

And the best part? Nonprofits can try UST HR Workplace for free with a 60-day trial. So why not see for yourself how UST can help you save money and streamline your HR processes? Sign up today and start reducing your recruitment costs!

Explore additional blogs here for money-saving tips and tricks.

Question: Can I limit the number of times an employee makes changes to their W-4?

Answer: No. IRS guidance states that an employee has the right to make changes to their Form W-4 as often as they would like, and you, as the employer, need to make those changes, even if they’re frequent. The only exceptions are if the Form W-4 is invalid or if you have been previously notified by the IRS that the employee is subject to an IRS “lock-in letter.”

If an employee gives you a revised Form W-4, the IRS states that you need to begin the new withholding no later than the start of the first pay period ending on or after the 30th day of receiving the new form. We recommend having a standard process for implementing any new Forms W-4 and ensuring your employees are aware of that process.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

Creating an employee handbook provides a cornerstone reference guide for an organization. It serves as a central source of information about policies, procedures, and the organization’s culture.

For nonprofits, especially, where resources can be limited and roles diverse, the importance of an employee handbook is immense. A well-crafted HR employee handbook is a tool that shows commitment to consistency, fairness, and transparency in a nonprofit organization.

Further, a comprehensive handbook can also serve as a critical tool in risk management when it clearly outlines policies related to discrimination, harassment, and disciplinary actions.

If your nonprofit needs some tips regarding how to create an employee manual, we can help.

Planning Your Nonprofit Employee Handbook

Working for a nonprofit, you understand the critical importance of creating a plan for any project. An employee handbook is a valuable piece of organizational content, making the planning stage instrumental in its composition and eventual success.

Here is some preliminary work you can do.

1. Identify Goals for the Handbook

Determine why your nonprofit needs a handbook and what you want it to achieve. Dig deeper than outlining policies and procedures. Consider how it can support your nonprofit’s mission, reflect your organizational culture, and serve as a resource for employee engagement, safety, and overall satisfaction.

2. Gather Input and Insights from Key Individuals

Consult with various stakeholders involved with your nonprofit, including:

  • Leadership
  • Department Managers
  • HR Staff
  • Selected Employees

Once you have gathered everyone’s insights, it can help identify the most relevant content areas and address specific concerns or needs.

3. Review and Understand Legal Requirements

Do your research or reach out to a legal professional to understand the legal framework associated with employment in your area, including federal, state, and local laws. This step is essential to ensure your handbook complies with all legal requirements and best practices for employment.

4. Decide on the Right Structure and Format

Understanding the handbook’s format will help you keep things organized. One important consideration is the delivery and consumption method, so decide whether you want to distribute it digitally, as a hard copy, or both.

7 Steps to Create an Effective Employee Manual

By understanding the importance of employee handbooks and with some preparation out of the way, you can officially start creating an employee handbook ready for use with these seven steps.

1. Outline Your Nonprofit’s Mission and Values: Begin with a clear statement of your organization’s mission and values to your respective community, as well as to your stakeholders and employees. This first, crucial step sets the tone for the handbook and aligns employees with your nonprofit’s goals.

2. Define Employment Policies: Clearly lay out policies regarding employment terms, work hours, telecommuting, leaves of absence, PTO, and other employment-related matters. Ensure these policies comply with local, state, and federal laws.

3. Detail Compensation and Benefits: Include information about salaries, benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, vacation policies, training and professional development opportunities, and eligibility criteria. Customize these sections to reflect the unique offerings available to all employees and managers when working for your nonprofit.

4. Establish Conduct Guidelines: Outline expected behaviors and standards of conduct to create and foster a positive work atmosphere. This section should cover everything from the dress code to ethics and confidentiality policies.

5. Explain Performance Evaluation Processes: Describe how and when performance evaluations will be conducted. It is also important to let employees know who will conduct the reviews, what they will cover, and what the remediation process looks like if required. This step helps employees understand the expectations and metrics against which they will be monitored, compared, and assessed.

6. Provide Procedures for Reporting Grievances and Complaints: It’s important for employees to know how to report issues or concerns. Clearly outline the steps they should take if they need to file a grievance or report misconduct.

7. Regularly Update the Handbook: Laws and organizational policies evolve, so it’s crucial to review and update your handbook regularly.

Employee Handbook Examples

Providing real, working examples of employee handbooks in the nonprofit space can be incredibly helpful. If you have a network of fellow leaders in the nonprofit sector, you may ask a peer if you can discuss their strategy or review their handbook.

Alternatively, since specific examples tailored to nonprofits may be harder to come by, looking at handbooks from a variety of sectors can offer inspiration and best practices.

Are You Ready to Create Your HR Employee Handbook?

We hope these tips will get you started, but you don’t have to plan, outline, and compose this important organizational asset on your own. Creating an employee handbook is a significant undertaking, so we encourage you to reach out to us for support.

At UST, we offer an extensive menu of nonprofit HR solutions for community-focused organizations that don’t have full-time, designated HR teams. Start with our reliable UST HR Workplace for guidance. Our professionals can help you prepare to craft your handbook, offering updated legal and regulatory information and overall best practices.

Explore the value of our services for yourself by signing up for our FREE 60-day trial, or contact us to discuss your nonprofit’s unique HR needs and Choose UST.

SOURCES

www.abelajlaw.com/non-profits/non-profit-employee-handbook/

No specific citation/allusion, but helpful: blog.airmason.com/employee-handbook-for-non-profit/

www.chooseust.org/solutions-overview

www.chooseust.org/hr-trial

www.chooseust.org/contact-us

Running a nonprofit is the noblest example of a labor of love. The mission and vision are clear, the team driven by passion, and the pursuit of bettering the world is unflagging. However, in the midst of this impassioned journey, the need for structuring operations can sometimes be overshadowed. One of the pivotal yet often underestimated tools in the nonprofit’s arsenal is a well-crafted employee handbook—your statutory script that helps maintain order while supporting the organization’s growth and sustainability.

The Importance of an Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is the cornerstone of any professional organization. While the regulations governing nonprofits may vary, the need for clear and concise guidelines for employees doesn’t. Imagine your handbook as a detailed map of the terrain that marks out safe and sanctioned paths for your employees to traverse through their professional environment.

In the context of a nonprofit, where the spirit of the cause is integral, a handbook goes beyond a list of do’s and don’ts. It reflects your commitment to transparency, fairness, and nurturing a supportive work culture. It outlines your value system and empowers your team members with the knowledge necessary to align their actions with the organization’s broader goals.

Crafting Policies Tailored to Your Mission

Here, we delve into the art and science of handbook policy-making for nonprofits. The policies you establish and the language you use should mirror the unique essence of your nonprofit’s mission. For instance, if your nonprofit’s primary focus is environmental conservation, your handbook could include specific guidelines for eco-friendly practices at the workplace and during off-site events. Similarly, if your cause deals with vulnerable populations, your policies would need to highlight confidentiality and sensitive handling of information.

It’s not just about what you should include but also what you can exclude. As a nonprofit, your policies should be lean and mission-specific, steering clear of the bureaucratic verbosity often found in corporate manuals. Your intrinsic appeal lies in the directness and decisiveness with which you address matters, both operationally and ethically.

Understanding Charitable Compliance

For nonprofit policies, compliance is not just about what is obligatory under general labor laws but also about adherence to the specific clauses that ensure their charitable and tax-exempt status. Here, a thorough understanding of IRS guidelines and any state-specific laws is imperative. Your handbook should not just parrot legal jargon; it must integrate compliance with your organization’s spirit and mission, making the rules as impactful as possible.

Volunteer Inclusion and Engagement

Volunteers are the unsung heroes of the nonprofit world. Ensuring their inclusion in your handbook and understanding their legal standing is non-negotiable. Whether it’s guidelines for volunteer work, reimbursement policies, or recognition practices, a comprehensive handbook accounts for the unique role and importance of volunteers in organizational success.

Language That Leads

The language in your handbook is critical. It should be devoid of ambiguity, friendly but firm, and most importantly, it should inspire and guide. While there may be a temptation to formalize language due to legal stipulations, strive for a balance that never detracts from the heart of your mission and the human element it embodies.

Tailoring Your Tone

The voice of your handbook should echo your organization’s culture. If you’re an advocate for child welfare, the voice should be compassionate and assertive, reflecting the seriousness of the cause. If environmental sustainability is your banner, a tone laced with urgency and practicality can underscore policies on waste management.

The Clarity Imperative

Every word matters when it comes to a document as vital as your employee handbook. Use examples, case studies, and bullet points to break down complex or lengthy policies. Clarity ensures that your workforce understands not just the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your policies but also the ‘why’.

Regular Updates to Reflect Your Evolution

Your nonprofit is not static, and neither are the policies that govern it. Any changes to your mission, legal requirements, or strategic direction must be swiftly echoed in your handbook. Regularly scheduled reviews should be a part of your nonprofit’s policy infrastructure to maintain relevance and currency.

Accessibility and Distribution Best Practices

An important yet underrated consideration is the distribution of your handbook. Ensure all employees and volunteers have easy access to the most current version. Whether through a digital platform or printed copies, accessibility ensures that your policies can be easily referenced and understood by all.

A nonprofit’s employee handbook is more than a compliance document; it’s a declaration of organizational philosophy and commitment. Crafting policies that resonate with the heart of your mission can amplify your work, solidify your team, and project a professional image to stakeholders and the public. Make your handbook an ally in your nonprofit’s journey—after all, even the noblest of causes deserve a blueprint for prosperity.

In today’s digital world, efficiency in HR management is not just beneficial; it’s crucial. UST understands the unique challenges that nonprofits face in managing human resources effectively. With HR Workplace, powered by Mineral, your team can build efficiency into HR workflows, ensure compliance to mitigate financial and reputational risks, and get empowered with resources that can do more for your employees.

With UST, you gain discounted access to Mineral’s smart employee handbook builder, alongside a wide array of HR and cost saving solutions for nonprofit employers. Mineral’s smart employee handbook builder is a game-changer for nonprofits, allowing you to build federal and multi-state compliant handbooks with ease. With features like Spanish translation and automatic updates, it keeps your policies not just comprehensive, but accessible and in line with the latest legal and HR best practices. Try our FREE 60-day HR Trial today!

Question: We recently made a couple of small updates to our employee handbook. Do we need to have employees sign a new handbook for each update?

Answer: No. For small, minor updates, you don’t need employees to sign off, especially if you simply made an administrative change like updating the name of your employee assistance program provider, correcting a typo, or adding a clarifying statement. A simple communication to all employees to let them know that the change has been made, why, and where to find the change should suffice as notice.

Larger changes, like a brand-new policy or an update with essential changes, would warrant a new employee signature, especially if they could be disciplined for violating the new or updated policy. If you need to discipline an employee related to the new policy or update, their signature will help show that they were made aware of the change.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

Professionals in the nonprofit sector are often more motivated by the mission over a high salary and interested in pursuing leadership roles that enable them to make a bigger impact towards their mission.

Many nonprofit executives and managers strive to understand how to improve leadership among their dedicated team members. Leadership in this context encompasses more than just guiding the organization towards its goals. It involves inspiring a team, cultivating a passionate and dedicated environment, and fostering a sense of shared purpose and camaraderie. It is important to remember that effective leadership goes beyond mere guidance; it involves creating an engaging and empowering atmosphere for everyone involved.

The challenges that nonprofits typically face, including limited resources, high community and peer expectations, and the need to maximize impact, require more and more unique effort from leaders. Nonprofit leadership requires individuals who possess a combination of strategic and resourceful capabilities, a deep connection to the organization’s mission, and an ability to embody its values.

While some of the necessary characteristics for leadership roles are organic to an individual, there is plenty that you can do to maximize natural talents by committing to nonprofit leadership training for your staff.

Please continue reading to discover how to identify potential leaders and how to develop a leader. With nonprofit executive leadership training, you can create a steady pipeline of caring and dutiful future managers and executives.

Tips for Improving Leadership Skills

Although some professionals are born with some natural leadership skills, they may need some guidance to hone and develop those skills to become a leader within your organization.

In this section, we delve into some practical and actionable tips for how to improve leadership. These steps are crucial for driving your organization forward with potential talent from among your existing and future team members.

1. Offer Broader Exposure to Your Organization’s Mission and Goals

As you strive to elevate and empower nonprofit employees to become leaders, they should understand as much about the nonprofit sector and your organization’s overarching mission as possible. They need to know more than their specific tasks within their department to see themselves moving up in your organization.

2. Provide Opportunities to Take on New Challenges

If you spot potential in an employee, help them develop their skills by providing a well-rounded perspective on daily challenges within your organization. Ask them to cross-train for roles in other departments to allow them to experience different roles and the accompanying challenges and rewards, of various positions.

3. Encourage Employees to Enhance Soft Skills

Soft skills are essential in nonprofit environments. As a leader, you likely find yourself using your communication, critical-thinking, problem-solving, time management, and teamwork skills daily. These skills are crucial to nonprofits operating with a limited budget and staff, which is not uncommon in this sector.

4. Assign Promising Employees Challenging Projects

When you identify potential leaders, it’s a good idea to offer them new opportunities that challenge them in different ways to see how they rise to overcome them and to continue sharpening their natural abilities.

5. Serve as a Support Source

Become a mentor to employees who show an interest in becoming a leader within your organization. Ask for insights and show trust and respect even when your decision differs from the employee’s preferred course of action.

6. Offer Training Opportunities

Whether your organization has the resources to create and offer a training program or if you decide to invest in one, some formal training can be beneficial. Well-structured and professional advice, guidance, and support can ensure effective learning and help track an employee’s progress.

How to Identify Potential Leaders

Often, identifying potential leaders begins with the hiring process. When you seek qualities such as passion for the nonprofit sector and your specific mission, as well as the above-noted soft skills and a desire to learn and grow, you need to nurture individuals, creating a steady pipeline of leadership talent.

At UST, we understand how challenging it is when trying to determine how to develop leadership skills in others, nurturing future leaders when you work with limited resources, including the on-hand staff to train top talent. We offer an expansive suite of nonprofit HR solutions for organizations that don’t have full-time HR departments, and can help you identify, train, and nurture talent to ensure you have a group of prepared and enthusiastic leaders.

Learn more about our services first-hand by signing up for our FREE 60-day trial, or contact us to discuss your nonprofit’s unique HR needs.

SOURCES

The Importance of Leadership Skills in the Nonprofit Sector

https://www.michaelpage.com/advice/management-advice/development-and-retention/how-develop-your-future-leaders

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/soft-skills.asp#:~:text=Soft%20skills%20can%20also%20be,carried%20over%20to%20any%20position.

https://www.cio.com/article/234848/6-leadership-qualities-to-look-for-when-hiring.html

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-develop-leaders
https://www.qooper.io/blog/leadership-training-for-nurturing-a-future-leader
https://businessleadershiptoday.com/how-does-hr-help-leadership-development

When it comes to running a nonprofit organization, one of the most important aspects is creating a productive and safe workplace for your employees. Building a Human Resources department is an essential part of ensuring that your organization’s employees are equipped with the necessary resources, support, and guidance to succeed in their roles. In this blog, we’ll discuss the 5 top benefits of creating a Human Resources department and share how UST Workforce Solutions can help you achieve your HR goals.

1. Recruitment and Retention

One of the primary functions of the Human Resources department is to attract and retain top talent. A well-organized HR department can assist with the recruitment process by creating job descriptions, screening applications, and conducting interviews. UST HR Workplace can help your nonprofit organization streamline this process by providing job description tools, downloadable forms, and checklists, and provide access to HR experts.

2. Compliance and Risk Management

Compliance and risk management are critical aspects for any nonprofit organization, and a Human Resources department can help ensure that your organization is meeting all legal requirements and avoiding risks. UST HR Workplace offers a cloud-based HR platform that provides templates, trainings, and expert guidance to help nonprofits stay compliant with state and federal regulations.

3. Employee Training and Development

Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on the skills and expertise of their employees to achieve their mission. HR departments play a crucial role in identifying training needs and ensuring that employees have access to ongoing development opportunities. As part of our HR Workplace platform, you have access to over 300+ on-demand employee training courses, including topics on diversity and inclusion, harassment prevention, and leadership development.

4. Workforce Management

A Human Resources department helps manage the workforce by tracking employee attendance, performance, and compensation. With UST, nonprofits can access an online employee handbook builder and gain expertise on managing employee relations.

5. Strategic Planning

A well-organized HR department can help inform strategic planning by providing insights into trends, employee needs, and organizational strengths and weaknesses. With access to UST HR Workplace, nonprofits can leverage expert guidance to develop long-term plans that align with their mission and meet their workforce needs.

Overall, building a dedicated HR department can provide significant benefits for nonprofits. From ensuring compliance to attracting and retaining top talent to creating a positive workplace culture, human resources is a crucial element of nonprofit success. UST HR Workplace offers a FREE 60-day HR trial to help nonprofits see the benefits for themselves, so why not give it a try? Contact us today to learn more!

Question: Are there any questions we should avoid when interviewing job candidates?

Answer:  Yes. You should avoid questions that cause an applicant to tell you about their inclusion in a protected class. Don’t ask about race, national origin, citizenship status, religious affiliation, disabilities, pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity, past illnesses (including use of sick leave or workers’ comp claims), age, genetic information, or military service. You should also avoid asking about things that might be protected by state law (e.g., marital status and political affiliation). If you were to ask any questions pertaining to these matters, rejected candidates could claim that your decision was based on their inclusion in these classes rather than their credentials.

The types of questions you ask a job candidate should be job-related and nondiscriminatory. This may seem obvious, but employers sometimes ask problematic questions because they believe they are job-related. For instance, an interviewer might ask an applicant if they have any back issues when they are trying to determine if the applicant can lift 25 pounds repeatedly throughout the day. Or when seeking someone to fill a position on Sundays, they might ask if the applicant is Christian or goes to church. Both of these questions are plainly discriminatory and could get an employer into significant trouble.

Thankfully, there’s a way to get this information without asking discriminatory questions. Instead of considering the things that could get in the way of an applicant doing the job and asking about those, frame the question so that it’s about the essential duties of the position. Can they lift 25 pounds all day every day? Are they available on Sunday since that’s the day you are hiring for? Simple adjustments and precautions can go a long way toward a compliant interview process. 

On a final note, you should also avoid questions that are asked purely out of curiosity (Do you have children? What kind of accent is that? What do you do for fun?), as those can easily be misconstrued as discriminatory. When in doubt, return to the job description. Make sure your questions are directly related to the essential duties and answer the ultimate question—can the applicant do the job?

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

Nonprofit organizations improve communities by providing impactful services, including everything from educating, sheltering, healing, nurturing and so much more. Nearly everyone in the United States has benefited from a nonprofit organization in one way or another. The roughly 1.3 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. need assistance to operate and help as many people as possible.

Internship programs offer numerous benefits to nonprofit organizations. Interns provide much-needed assistance, unique skill sets and fresh ideas. Internships can also lead to new hires that help the organization operate and grow for years to come. Even interns who do not become full-time employees often remain proponents of the organization.

There’s no denying that nonprofit internships are valuable, but finding the right interns can be a challenge. Discover how you can recruit and hire interns who will have a positive impact on your organization through their hard work and unique skills:

Where to Locate Your Nonprofit Interns

Nonprofit internships offer many benefits to the organization, as well as to the interns themselves. However, locating the right recruits may feel like finding a needle in a haystack at times. The following are several places to find quality recruits, so you can spend less time searching and more time offering your much-needed services.

College Career Offices

College students make excellent interns, as they’re often eager to learn about the industry they study. University career centers often have partnerships with businesses and nonprofit organizations and counselors can connect interested students with your nonprofit. This option often results in quality interns, as the students enter the career office seeking such opportunities.

Online Platforms

Online job listings are becoming some of the most popular places for potential interns and employees to find work. Sites such as SimplyHired and Indeed[BM1]  allow you to post your internship opportunity and review candidates online. Many online job platforms offer special rates or free listings to registered nonprofits.

Social Media

A strong social media presence is essential to the success of a nonprofit organization. It’s also one of the best ways to reach Gen Z, millennials, and older demographics. Use Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and other social media outlets to launch campaigns and sponsored posts advertising your nonprofit organization internships.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get the news out about your available nonprofit organization internships. Let current employees and your community know about available opportunities. Your organization’s positive reputation will help the word travel fast. Someone on your current team may already have a friend or acquaintance in mind.

6 Tips for Hiring Interns

How you hire interns can have a significant impact on their experience at your nonprofit organization. The following are a few effective tips to help ensure your potential interns understand what the position entails and how the internship can be mutually beneficial.

1. Explain the Internship Requirements Thoroughly

A key factor in finding the right interns and better ensuring they meet your expectations is being transparent. Interns should fully understand the responsibilities of the position, their expected schedule, and how you’ll measure their performance.

Many interns are juggling internships with school and or jobs. It’s important for them and the organization to know if the role is something they can handle. Now is also the time to explain what an ideal candidate looks like and the specific skills and characteristics you expect the intern to have.

2. Establish a Consistent Screening Process

A screening process narrows your list of potential candidates which helps you avoid hiring individuals who do not fit your organization’s needs. Your screening process may include the following methods and any others that are more specific to your nonprofit.

  • Review the intern’s application
  • Check references
  • Verify their skillset
  • Perform an online or phone interview
  • Perform a background check

3. Ensure Each Intern Has a Supervisor

Interns are typically seeking work experience or looking to fulfill requirements for a specific qualification. Assigning a supervisor to new interns throughout the hiring process and beyond will help ensure they understand their responsibilities. The supervisor is also the first person an intern can consult with questions or concerns.  

4. Emphasize the Organization’s Impact

Individuals seeking nonprofit internships are often looking for meaningful work that has a positive societal impact. Ensure that potential interns understand the cause the organization supports, how they’re increasing awareness, and how the intern’s position will help the organization achieve its goals.

5. Reflect and Offer Feedback Often

Interns are often eager to learn and advance in their careers. Establish time for interns to discuss the position and their experience as new recruits with their supervisors. While this may include reflecting on their goals or feelings about the organization, it’s also a time for interns to provide feedback.

Nonprofit internships are designed to benefit the intern and the organization. Interns can offer valuable insight into the pros and cons of the organization’s operations, scheduling demands, the recruitment process and more. 

6. Remain Adaptive

Being able to adapt is essential to an organization’s success. Remember that not all interns will become full-time employees and that your internship program may change as your organization grows or develops.

Keep an open mind when assessing potential interns, as some may prove to be greater assets than their resumes can express. An intern you thought was an ideal hire may not work out, while a less-qualified intern exceeds your expectations.

UST offers virtual HR solutions for organizations that don’t have full-time HR departments. We provide a complete range of HR resources to resolve HR issues quickly and smoothly. Our solutions support the unique needs of nonprofits, so you can stop worrying about HR concerns and focus on extending your organization’s positive impact.

For more insight into human resource best practices for nonprofits, join our newsletter.

Sources:

https://www.chooseust.org/ust-hr-workplace

https://www.chooseust.org/solutions-overview

https://www.volgistics.com/blog/how-to-recruit-nonprofit-interns/

https://www.wholewhale.com/tips/where-to-look-for-nonprofit-interns/

https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/about-americas-nonprofits/nonprofit-impact-communities

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/benefits-internships-nonprofits-students-scott-wylie#:~:text=By%20offering%20internships%2C%20nonprofits%20can,them%20in%20their%20future%20careers.

https://www.chooseust.org/


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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

UST maintains a secure site. This means that information we obtain from you in the process of enrolling is protected and cannot be viewed by others. Information about your agency is provided to our various service providers once you enroll in UST for the purpose of providing you with the best possible service. Your information will never be sold or rented to other entities that are not affiliated with UST. Agencies that are actively enrolled in UST are listed for review by other agencies, UST’s sponsors and potential participants, but no information specific to your agency can be reviewed by anyone not affiliated with UST and not otherwise engaged in providing services to you except as required by law or valid legal process.

Your use of this site and the provision of basic information constitute your consent for UST to use the information supplied.

UST may collect generic information about overall website traffic, and use other analytical information and tools to help us improve our website and provide the best possible information and service. As you browse UST’s website, cookies may also be placed on your computer so that we can better understand what information our visitors are most interested in, and to help direct you to other relevant information. These cookies do not collect personal information such as your name, email, postal address or phone number. To opt out of some of these cookies, click here. If you are a Twitter user, and prefer not to have Twitter ad content tailored to you, learn more here.

Further, our website may contain links to other sites. Anytime you connect to another website, their respective privacy policy will apply and UST is not responsible for the privacy practices of others.

This Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use for our site is subject to change.