Sunday, June 03, 2007

Conference Board Issues Report on Baby Boomers and Non-Profits

In conjunction with the Civic Ventures' announcement of its BreakThrough Awards, the Conference Board has made a preliminary release of its own report showing that non-profit organizations could be hard hit by talent shortages exacerbated by the large cohort of baby boomers soon entering the retirement years, but that there will be opportunities as well.

According to the report--"Boomers Are Ready for Nonprofits, But Are Nonprofits Ready for Them?" authored by Jill Casner-Lotto--non-profits have not invested significantly in their human resource management, putting their limited resources instead toward their mission. In addition, many funders restrict their support to specific programs or services as opposed to broader human resource development. This under-investment in managing talent has led to some of the challenges non-profits now face in terms of staffing, leadership, and succession. However, The advent of retirement for a vast majority of baby boomers also brings opportunity for non-profit organizations--a considerable number of baby boomer employees in the private sector are considering a move to the nonprofit sector where they can use their experience and skills in social purpose work.
"But action is needed now," says Casner-Lotto. "Evidence suggests that non-profits are seriously lagging behind the government and private sectors in efforts to both retain highly skilled potential retirees within their organizations and actively recruit older hires from other industry sectors."

For example, few nonprofit organizations have developed flexible work options to meet baby boomer preferences. The report describes some best practices underway in the nonprofit sector, as well as an overview of private and public sector responses.
The Conference Board Mature Workforce Program will continue research on these nonprofit issues with a fall launch of a new Research Working Group on Managing an Aging Workforce at Nonprofits.

Source: Conference Board Press Release (May 31, 2007)

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