Characteristics of Nonprofit Work Force

Published 15 Mar 2017

Given the increasing number of individuals in the United States work force who have been seeking employment with non profit institutions, which are organizations currently constituting the third sector of the economy, the importance of implementing a good nonprofit workforce becomes all the more relevant. Recent literature regarding this issue has identified certain key characteristics that are crucial to the maintenance of a good non profit workforce (Mirvis and Hackett 2003). Among these characteristics is the presentation of more challenging work, variety, satisfaction and intrinsic rewards.

While it may seem that these characteristics are hardly conventional, it has been shown that a good nonprofit workforce is often characterized by individuals who are able to step up to the different challenges shown in the duration of the work. This is important because it provides the motivation for most of the employees and also encourages creativity in dealing with work problems in this sector.

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Another important characteristic is the presence of satisfaction and intrinsic rewards. The presence of these characteristics, as found in the study involving a small sample of employees in schools, hospitals and other non profit organizations, has been found to not only signify the presence of a good nonprofit workforce but also signifies the cultivation of a good nonprofit workforce (Mirvis and Hackett 2003). This means that the better the rewards the better the nonprofit workforce. Incentives such as added bonuses and even non tangible benefits such as social contribution have been shown to be characteristics of a good nonprofit workforce.

As shown by the studies, the characteristics of a good workforce are often indicated by the presence of the factors that have been shown in this brief discourse. While these are often used as indicators, they also act as acting forces that create a good nonprofit workforce. It is submitted, however, that with the changing dynamics of the global landscape there may be other pertinent factors that may manifest themselves in future studies.


  • Mirvis, Philip H.; Hackett, Edward J (2003) Work and Work Force Characteristics in the Nonprofit Sector Monthly Labor Review, v106 n4 p3-12 Apr 2003
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