Hot Topics: Nonprofits See Improved Jobs Picture
Many U.S. nonprofits are cautiously optimistic about hiring and believe the worst of the economy has passed, according to a new survey from Idealist.org, the nonprofit jobs site.
Of 3,000 organizations polled, 49 percent said they would keep current staff levels this year, 42 percent said they were hiring for new positions, and only 9 percent planned to reduce staff. "We made it through the hardest period, and we're still here," one survey participant wrote. "We will fill positions that become vacant and hire grant/specially funded employees," another wrote.
Sixty-nine percent of the organizations surveyed said they'll hire program or service staff this year; organizations said they'd be adding fundraisers as well as administrative, communications and accounting and finance personnel.
Nonprofit staff members said that after fundraising, their biggest challenge this year is juggling multiple job functions and priorities, according to the survey. They're also struggling to provide staff with affordable health insurance and aren't sure how health-care reform will affect them.
"Clearly the economy is still fragile, and finding an encore career doesn't happen overnight," says Stephanie Weiss, who shares the study in this week's Civic Ventures newsletter. "But I hope those who are looking will take this as a hopeful sign."
The Idealist survey results aren't quite as optimistic as those in a Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey released in April, which found that 60 percent of 450 nonprofit executives responding expected to resume hiring staff this year after freezing positions during the recession.
Are you looking for work in the nonprofit world? The MacArthur Foundation shares this helpful list for job seekers.
A Helping Hand for Those Who Need It: The Transition Network, a New York-based nonprofit that aids women in or nearing retirement, has started the Caring Collaborative, a volunteer corps that helps members with health problems who don't have anyone else to rely on for assistance. For a small fee, network members get meals or prescriptions delivered, escorts to doctors' appointments and even pet care, according to The New York Times. Care volunteers are only available to Transition Network members in New York, but the group is considering expanding to all 14 of its chapters nationwide. Similar programs are cropping up in other parts of the country, including California's Project Renewment, reporter Elizabeth Pope explains.
Nick Lowe, Comeback Kid: In the 70s and 80s, Nick Lowe produced seminal New Wave albums by the Pretenders and Graham Parker and wrote songs that Elvis Costello and his ex-father-in-law Johnny Cash made into hits. Now, at 62, he's making a comeback as a performer, playing the roots-blues-country music that first influenced him. The once-long-haired rocker now sports a "shock of snow white hair, a la the older Cary Grant, and a pair of black Buddy Holly specs," Larry Rohter writes in The New York Times. That way, "I won't have to continually be pretending, like a lot of my contemporaries sadly have to, that they're still young and copping this act they used to do and are condemned to do," Lowe tells the paper.
Kirstie Alley Works the Runway: As the next class of celebrities prepares for a new season of Dancing With the Stars, alumnus Kirstie Alley strutted her still-svelte figure down the runway at designer buddy Zang Toi's show during the recent New York Fashion Week. "I've lost 100 pounds!" Alley, 60, tells Entertainment Tonight. "I feel like I'm back in my element. I honestly didn't even realize what I looked like." Alley didn't win in her appearance during DWTS season 12, but her cha-cha costume had to be taken in 38 inches in the two and a half months between the first episode and when she wore it again in the finale.
Terminal Discomfort: Staying in an airport hotel might not be as bad as you'd think, says Entrepreneur contributor Bruce Schoenfeld, who tested his theory with an overnight visit at the Frankfurt Airport hotel. "I think I would go back," he writes. Skytrax, the U.K. airline research consultant, gave its 2011 best airport hotel awards to the Fairmont Vancouver (B.C.) Airport; Grand Hyatt Dallas-Fort Worth; Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport; Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport; and Tampa Airport Marriott.
Wilson Dishes on Boomer Channel:
Rita Wilson talks about everything from appearing on The Brady Bunch to helping launch Huffington Post's new boomer channel, in a Q&A with fitness guru/interviewer Jillian Michaels. Wilson, a 54-year-old actress/producer/writer, says she was attracted to HuffPost 50 because it's a chance to cover the range of things boomers are going through. "(A)n individual in our generation might be becoming a grandparent at 54, or they could be raising 4-year-olds," she says. "I'm interested in talking about taking care of elderly parents. Many of us have found ourselves in the position of parenting our parents."
Website of the Week: The Johnny Cash Project is a Google-sponsored, crowdsourced music video for "Ain't No Grave," the late singer's last studio recording. Fans log onto the website to hand-draw a single frame, which is compiled with existing frames to create an ever-evolving video. Viewers have different options for watching, including looking at individual frames or watching only the most popular artists.
Last Word: "When an idea comes that makes your heart pound with excitement, that is a good sign that this is something you should pay attention to and pursue," says social worker Susan Nisinzweig, who launched a business inspired by her autistic son's talent in art and music. Nisinzweig pairs her son's designs with quotes about respecting differences on T-shirts and notecards.
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