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Nearly Half of Nonprofit Employees Expect Cost Cutting Measures in 2021, New Eagle Hill Research Finds

Future Cuts Come on Heels of 2020 Layoffs, Furloughs Hiring Freezes, Salary and Program Reductions
Non Profit Employees Report Substantial Changes to How Nonprofits Operate and Serve Constituents, Along with an Increased Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Arlington, Va., January 26, 2020 –  Amid the pandemic, economic uncertainty and social turmoil, new research finds that 58 percent of nonprofit employees polled say that their employer cut costs last year, with 49 percent expecting further cuts in 2021. Also, the majority of employees (54 percent) say that nonprofit leaders have implemented significant changes to their organizations goals and activities, while 82 percent indicate their organization changed how it serves its constituents in response to COVID-19.  

These findings are contained in the 2020 Eagle Hill Consulting Nonprofit Survey conducted by Ipsos. The survey included 505 respondents from a random sample of nonprofit employees across the U.S. regarding the nonprofit industry in light of recent events including social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.”

“For nonprofits to continue to deliver on their mission during these uncertain times, it will be critical for leaders to make employee engagement a top priority. Employees are the driving force behind the resilience and innovation that is required for nonprofits to not only survive this turmoil, but emerge stronger once we’re through these rough waters,” Jezior explained. 

The Eagle Hill Consulting research finds that:

  • Nonprofit employees report that in recent months, their employers have implemented program reductions (30 percent), hiring freezes (30 percent), furloughs (25 percent), salary reductions (24), and layoffs (20 percent). 
  • Looking forward to 2021, employees predict that program reductions (32 percent), hiring freezes (32 percent), salary reductions (23 percent), layoffs (20 percent) and furloughs (17 percent). 
  • 88 percent report that their nonprofit has changed how employees work due to COVID-19.
  • In response to recent events, employees say their nonprofit has made changes to raise money to support causes related to COVID-19 (51 percent) and racial justice (19 percent). 
  • 58 percent 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 percent), facilitated staff conversations (33 percent), and established governance structures (18 percent), established affinity groups (17 percent), reformed recruiting (14 percent) and changed human resources policies (12 percent). 

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill