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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


As your nonprofit organization grows, so might your team. Before you start adding people to your staff though, consider the following first:

THE NEED - The first thing to focus on, are the needs you might have for your organization. Although there are a lot of different angles to look at in this regards, there are two main focuses we want you to consider.

First, in simple terms . . . what type of duties are needed to be carried out? Did you take a moment to look at your current roster and see what holes need filled? What talents are missing? What tasks current staff members don't enjoy? Take the time to strategically think that out. Sometimes we hire based on perceived need.

Second . . . make sure you consider future growth and then work backwards. To do this, what you need to do is think about the current capacity of current employees. Perhaps you need 1 staff member for every 40 clients you work with. If current employees are working with less, then their capacity should increase and you need to keep that in consideration. If they work with more than 40, then you might need to think about how to unload some clients. After you consider what the capacity is for each staff member, you then need to work backwards from you goals, to see how many to hire. If you know that it takes 1 staff member for every 40 clients, and in three years you want to add 80 clients, then you know in order to do that, you need to hire 2 staff members as time goes on.

Sounds simple, but so was the example. So really take the time to think of those future goals before deciding how many people to hire, and what departments to put them in.

THE COST - Pretty self explanatory but this comes down to, how much are you willing to pay someone and where is the money going to come from? Everyone wants to hire a FT staff member, but make sure you consider things like the willingness for someone to make more per/hour to work PT instead, what type of person you are getting for the salary offering, benefits, do you need to talk to donors or write a grant to get the funding, etc.

(Enter shameless plug for MSG to help you find those dollars 😉)

EGO - This is the one that is going to be the hardest for people to even believe. Really, really, really, really hard for people to believe. Nonprofit people are humble good people who never let ego stand in the way? Right? Yes-ish. The thing we need to remember is that nonprofit people are HUMAN as well and ego can sneak in a little, intentionally or unintentionally.

There is something nice sounding when you say you have multiple people on your development team, when you can say you have a FT grant writer opposed to a PT one, or that your team is SOOOOO big, you NEEDED to hire a VP of operations. It's easy to compare ourselves with other organizations and start getting our "needs and wants" mixed up a little. Nothing is wrong with adding staff to your team. Just make sure you are doing so with an absolute objective point of view.

Adding people to your staff is nice but doing so in a strategic fashion is even more amazingly awesome!!!


Need more help figuring out how to connect with new potential donors? Would your team feel more comfortable working with qualified leads for donations, planned giving, or a capital campaign? Let Midwest Studies Group help. Visit us at to learn more.

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