Investing in the right skills as a non-profit

August 5, 2021

There are key characteristics that a successful non-profit needs such as being agile and staying true to their mission, but there is also a common challenge that many organizations face. Reports show that 18% of US and Canadian non-profits struggled with reduced staff numbers and plenty of personnel transitions - this indicates that non-profits could benefit from investing in their employees, helping them build and develop certain skills to improve the performance of the organization. Here are three areas that non-profits could find value in investing in:


Effective communication is a vital skill for any organization. And given the nature of non-profit work, communicating well also requires a high level of critical thinking. Therefore it is essential to invest in professionals with backgrounds that focus on problem-solving and reasoning. By investing in your employees and supporting their skills advancement and training in this area, you can ensure that your organization will consistently be pushing the mission and vision forward. 


Work in non-profits is rarely ever straightforward; there are constant adjustments to changing developments. This is why flexibility is also important to invest in. The World Economic Forum discusses how cognitive flexibility in particular can help people adapt to new environments and develop resilience for future changes. Being able to deal with ambiguity, regularly readjusting expectations and being able to cope with challenging situations is vital to working in the non-profit environment. Employees should be supported to learn how to deal with these scenarios.

Technological proficiency

All organizations are working in a digital environment thanks to the effects of the pandemic but also the vast technological change that has been taking place over the last decade. This means that one of the most important skills for any employee of a non-profit to have is technological proficiency. We discuss hybrid systems that use AI to navigate humanitarian data without compromising cultural and social nuance in our previous post on ‘Exploring the future of Impact Analysis and Humanitarian Artificial Intelligence’.

ImpactMapper helps organisations to better understand their social impact data through the use of technology, bringing together structured and unstructured data to create detailed Impact Reports across a multitude of topic areas. In addition, we offer training to support you in defining your impact metrics and management system, storytelling through data and M&E methodology and analysis workshops.  

By investing in and developing communication, flexibility, and technological proficiency, non-profits should be able to gain more from their employees which in turn will contribute significantly to achieving the mission and goals of the organisation. 

Written by Jaycie Beckham

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