Filling the Leadership Pipeline

Filling the leadership pipeline means both recruiting talent to the nonprofit sector and retaining talented workers and leaders once they’ve joined the sector.


Recruitment involves the range of activities from job postings to selection and socialization that help build a talented nonprofit workforce for individual organizations and for the sector as a whole. Rather than simply filling specific positions, however, the goal of nonprofit talent recruitment should be to recruit individuals into nonprofit careers. Doing so requires an eye to awareness-building and retention during the process of recruitment.

Funders can invest at the sector level by supporting career fairs or online recruiting resources, or at the community or organizational level by supporting programs like summer internships.

Read the case study: Internships That Strengthen the Sector.
View links and resources.


Retention activities prevent and reduce turnover and retain talent. Many factors determine successful retention, including: effective and meaningful human resources functions within a nonprofit, providing ongoing training and development opportunities; and  strengthening employee engagement by creating meaningful and rewarding work experiences.

At the individual level, funders can invest in coaching or other personal development opportunities for existing and emerging leaders. But foundations can also help nonprofits implement programs that provide clear paths up the career ladder for employees  or programs that help build skills and confidence. Funders can also fund convenings or trainings focused on retention in the communities or networks they serve.

Read the case study: Keeping Top Talent on Track.
View links and resources.

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