The Canadian Nonprofit Employer of Choice™ Awards

In spring of this year, The Philanthropist and Ignite NPS released a paper, Trends and Forces Reshaping Nonprofit Organizations.  In it they identify "Leadership Approaches and Workforce Expectations" as one of four key themes that nonprofit leaders need to explore to help their organizations effectively accomplish their mission and thrive in a complex environment of accelerating change.  

The thesis is made that advancement in technology, changing demographics and intensified competition are shifting workplace values and expectations, leadership models, the ways staff participate and how work gets done in nonprofit organizations. To succeed in this environment,  it is suggested that effective leaders are adopting new approaches to attract and retain talent.

In a quest to create "decent workplaces" thought leaders are debunking the myth that employees in the nonprofit sector are willing (and should be expected) to work in this environment in exchange for the opportunity to “do good.” Today, talented people can find a socially meaningful career outside a traditional nonprofit organization, which intensifies the competition for qualified staff. And, while there are larger systemic issues, Imagine Canada found there are also practical human resource issues at the organizational level that cause young professionals to leave the sector. These issues include inadequate HR management, challenging organizational cultures, lack of clarity around job expectations, and limited training and career development.

2015 was the first year of the NEOC Awards program

The Canadian Nonprofit Employer of Choice™ Awards (NEOC) recognizes charitable organizations who have committed themselves to become better managers of both financial and human resources.

Candidates for the NEOC award are those nonprofits whose people leadership and vision translate into exemplary talent management practices, supporting successful mission delivery in the communities they serve.

"The sector is capable of competing for the skills and talent it needs. To compete, organizations need to remain current with: their labour market competitors, the reasons why people are or would be drawn to sector employment and how to build workplaces that respond to labour force needs."
- Stepping Stones: Envisioning what's next for building talent, Community Foundations of Canada, 2015.

In celebrating the early adopters of best practice governance strategies, the NEOC Awards will also help establish a body of knowledge that will further advance and strengthen nonprofit employment practices in this country.

2017 NEOC award recipients will be announced in February, 2018.