Strategies for Nonprofit Human Capital Design

Best Practices For the Contemporary Nonprofit

Each nonprofit leader must think about how, why and who they intake as part of their workforce. Hiring right is the first and most crucial step in implementing strategic human resources management practices in nonprofit organizations.

Guided by world-class faculty through a series of sessions, you will find yourself thinking of strategic ways to design the right job, hire smart and increase your cross-generational and cross-sector agility in order to better understand the current and future workforce. You will also actively learn about volunteer engagement; and how to sustain engagement at every level of your organization.

Center for Nonprofit Management

Develop a strategy for team management


Who Should Attend

  • Nonprofit managers tasked with recruiting and hiring functions within their nonprofits
  • Senior nonprofit leaders who supervise human resources staff
  • Cross-functional leaders poised for a nonprofit ‘VP of Recruiting & Talent Development’ and similar roles
  • Public sector and government leaders who are responsible for recruiting functions
  • Career switchers or for-profit leaders who intend on joining a nonprofit team or Board

Key Benefits

  • Think strategically about who and why you hire
  • Design a plan for motivating volunteers to carry out the mission
  • Understand cross-generational and cross-sector hiring and management
  • Learn how to craft jobs that establish a hiring strategy for the organization
  • Maximize organizational performance by increasing staff engagement

Program Content

Nonprofit Workforce Planning Strategy

There is a great need for nonprofits to think about the mission-related and business drivers, which define their strategic workforce needs. These questions should not only be focused on how many people the organization needs, but also the capabilities and skills needed, when, and at what cost to the organization.

  • Examine your current workforce planning strategy
  • Reformulate based on supply & demand gap analysis and talent needs
  • Discuss the changes needed in the staffing & compensation strategies to align with mission-related and strategic goals
  • Evaluate your ability to retain talent through performance management

Performance Management Strategies

Performance management and feedback systems, when coupled with clearly defined job expectations, help boost performance.

  • Define the organizational HR culture
  • Evaluate existing performance management system for alignment with employee needs and organizational goals
  • Consider feedback mechanisms that will work for your organization

Talent Acquisition - Hire Right

  • Discuss how to achieve organizational goals and maximize organizational performance by hiring talent that will support the organization's mission
  • Learn to hire the right talent which has not only the necessary technical skills, but also competencies, knowledge and skills that are aligned with your organization’s culture and values
  • Participate in an open discussion on real-life learning with a leader responsible for hiring

Maximizing Engagement By Rethinking "Job Design"

  • What incentives can nonprofits use to motivate people and engage them in their work?
  • Explore the concept of job crafting - a flexible, customized and bottom-up approach to design tasks and work
  • Explore different types of job crafting
  • Learn about the benefits of job crafting through applied learning, including a Burt’s Bees® case study

Effective Volunteer Management

  • Volunteers are the lifeblood of a nonprofit organization
  • Understand how to engage volunteers and provide them with significant direction to make an impact within the organization and the communities served
  • Address key tactics for identifying roles and responsibilities for volunteers, managing volunteers effectively as well as provide an overview of how to move volunteers into different roles


Gail Berger - Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations; Deputy Director, Center for Executive Women; Associate Professor of Instruction, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering

Maryam Kouchaki - Professor of Management & Organizations

Mary Lee Montague - Chief Executive Officer, Montague & Associates

Kevin Murnane - Adjunct Lecturer in Leadership Development and Communications

Michelle Shumate - Associate Professor, Communication Studies; Associate Faculty, Institute for Policy Research; Director of Graduate Studies, Master’s in Communication Studies; Founding Director, Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact

Accommodations, Fees & Policies


Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall
340 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago Campus Parking Map - Please Note: the Huron Superior Parking A lot and the Erie Ontario Parking C & D lots are available to the public and should be used when attending programs at Wieboldt Hall.

Application Deadline

The deadline for registration is 10:00 am one business day prior to the program start date.

Scholarship Assistance

Up to 50% scholarships are available for all of our nonprofit executive education programs for those working in nonprofit organizations. All applications are initially submitted at the full list price. Each is reviewed by our registrar and any scholarships granted will be reflected in the amount applied to your invoice or charged to your credit card.

Payment Deadline

  • Scholarship Recipients: ten business days in advance of the program start date. Beyond that point, we reserve the right to transfer scholarships granted to another participant in need of financial assistance.
  • No Scholarship: three business days in advance of the program start date. Your registration will be canceled if we do not hear from you.

Hospitality during the Program

We strive to provide healthy meal choices for our participants for breakfast, lunch and breaks. We typically provide a range of choices, including some vegetarian-friendly and gluten-avoidant selections. We cannot meet all dietary preferences, but we will do our best to accommodate health restrictions, religious restrictions and food allergies.


Participants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay in Chicago.

Download Nearby Hotels List

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager five business days in advance of the program start date if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants will be charged 20% of the stated program fees.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to rollover their payment to a future program or receive a refund. Participants are allowed two rollovers, after the second rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.

*Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation. Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option. The participant must continue with the rollover process.

Learn More

Please email or call us if you would like additional information about Nonprofit Programs

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208