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May 12, 2021
Nonprofit Employees Expect Employers to Cut Costs in 2021

February 6, 2021 — Amid the coronavirus pandemic, economic uncertainty, and social turmoil, new research finds that 58% of nonprofit employees polled say that their employer cut costs last year, with 49% expecting further cuts in 2021.

Also, the majority of employees (54%) say that nonprofit leaders have implemented significant changes to their organizations goals and activities, while 82% indicate their organization changed how it serves its constituents in response to COVID-19, according to the 2020 Eagle Hill Consulting Nonprofit Survey, which drew 505 respondents from a random sample of nonprofit employees across the U.S.

“The good news is that most nonprofits leaders are not hesitating to make changes in response to a multitude of unprecedented challenges,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “But change is never easy for employees, and it’s even more complicated when employees are operating with fewer resources, higher demands, and they’re fearful about their job security.”

She noted that it will “be critical” for nonprofit leaders to make employee engagement a top priority.

The survey also found that:

  • Nonprofit employees report that in recent months, their employers have implemented program reductions (30%), hiring freezes (30%), furloughs (25%), salary reductions (24), and layoffs (20%).

  • Looking forward to 2021, employees predict that program reductions (32%), hiring freezes (32%), salary reductions (23%), layoffs (20%), and furloughs (17%).

  • 88% report that their nonprofit has changed how employees work due to COVID-19

  • 58% report that nonprofits have increased the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

  • The actions employers have taken to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace include more training (44%), facilitated staff conversations (33%), and established governance human structures (18%), established affinity groups (17%), reformed recruiting (14%), and changed resources policies (12%).
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