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Compensation and benefits is certainly an area of contention in non-profits. This being my first experience in a non-profit it is quite difficult to adjust to.

Sadly, I think non-profits are so concerned about money that they don't realize the importance of recruiting the best workers. For example, just last week I met the candidate of our dreams, our salary offer was too low for her but she later agreed to meet us halfway. Unfortunately the organization was unwilling to spend an extra $3000 on this wonderful candidate despite the fact that the money was there because it wouldn't be fair to the other employees.

Our benefits are now comparable to for-profit organizations and our pay is definitely well below the for-profit level. There's just no way non-profits can compete. We're left with the people who don't do it for the money, which aren't always the greatest candidates out there.

Ann,
This is such an interesting post to read after having been out of the blogosphere for a couple of months!

Two of the most daunting obstacles faced by nonprofits are
(a) a growing scarcity of funds (charitable giving is increasing at a much slower rate than the increasing proliferation of nonprofits, meaning the competition for limited funds is only getting fiercer) and
(b)Nonprofit organizations tend to be operated by well-meaning people who nevertheless fail to understand that they must consider themselves a *business* and operate accordingly.

I disagree, however, with the assertion that "nonprofits just can't compete." When I took a job as executive director for a nonprofit, I sure wasn't in it for the money! NP employees know they probably won't be earning market rate. However, they do expect to have their skills and services properly acknowledged and compensated, and this is where all the business-like acumen and cleverness a nonprofit can muster comes into play, as they must go "a-wooing.."

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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