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HR Policies For Charities

Nonprofits tend to operate with limited resources, making every talent vital for pushing forward essential. A strong HR presence can create an enjoyable work environment that attracts top volunteers and employees.

Conflict is inevitable within any organization, but Human Resource can effectively manage it by setting fair policies and treating employees equally. In this article we’ll look at four HR policies every nonprofit should implement to operate ethically.

Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is an integral component of any successful business or nonprofit, but particularly important when operating as a charitable entity. An employee handbook serves as an important communications vehicle between management and staff members and also protects them against legal liability in case issues are raised later. Furthermore, employee handbooks help maintain consistency when managing people and save managers and HR time when answering general employment queries.

An employee handbook should ideally be created at the outset of a company’s lifecycle; however, it can be created at any point during its existence. Furthermore, its contents should be revised regularly as people practices and policies evolve over time.

Culture and values should be part of every organization’s mission statement. This helps foster a sense of belonging among employees as newcomers come in to understand why and how the organisation was established – as well as helping prevent miscommunication or misunderstandings between staff.

An ethics code can also be an invaluable addition to an employee handbook, outlining expected behaviors among staff members as well as providing guidance on how they can act with integrity, honesty, transparency and mutual respect for others.

Nonprofit organizations face unique transparency demands in comparison with their counterparts in other sectors. Therefore, nonprofits should post their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (including policies around equal employment opportunity employment ) on their websites so donors, candidates, and other interested parties can easily see these policies.

Training and Development

As with any business, charities need to recruit the appropriate employees and keep them happy, motivated and focused on their work. HR professionals play a crucial role here; their primary responsibility being hiring, compensating fairly and devising plans to keep employees. HR also manages employee relations while assuring compliance with employment laws.

Charities must also consider the needs of their volunteers when managing HR duties, which is usually more cost-effective and allows the charity to focus on its core mission and objectives.

HR policies help charities navigate employment issues and remain compliant with federal, state and local laws. A strong HR foundation can prevent costly legal penalties or reputational harm; additionally, employees will understand their employer’s expectations more easily with clear policies in place.

Training and development policies are equally essential to any charity. According to Forbes, having one will increase staff enthusiasm while creating guardrails for smooth operation of programs. A good policy should outlined what skills will be developed as well as which types of learning support will be provided.

Health and Safety

Health and safety principles applied to businesses also apply to charities, with similar savings possible through prevention of accidents and illnesses that lead to costly worker’s compensation claims and productivity losses. Workers will also feel more motivated when their workplace environment is safe and healthy; an HR professional should be able to put together health and safety policies specifically tailored for charities, train staff on these policies, and monitor adherence.

Even if a charity does not employ any employees, it should still adopt and abide by a health and safety policy as dictated by HSWA (Health and Safety at Work Act). Committee and board members have legal obligations toward all those whom they serve, such as volunteers or the general public.

An HR policy will help prevent mistakes like misclassifying employees as independent contractors (which could result in payroll tax violations and other employment law violations), providing advice from experts in HR for protecting against risks like these.

Charity organizations must also implement a health and safety policy for both volunteers and employees that covers training needs, first aid sessions and designating the designated person for each activity. Furthermore, all premises comply with fire regulations by displaying any required posters.


No matter the size or nature of a charity’s workforce, they should still implement HR policies and processes. Charities often rely on volunteers and interns, who must be treated equally. A comprehensive HR policy should provide guidelines on how to recruit, manage, support, and retain these individuals.

Recruitment is one of the cornerstones of HR, and charitable organizations should place particular focus on it. An organized recruitment plan ensures they find suitable people for roles – reducing attrition while increasing productivity – as well as remaining compliant and legal – both vital elements in maintaining an organization.

Nonprofits face many of the same human resources issues as for-profit companies, including grievances, disciplinary actions and redundancies. Nonprofit HR teams must establish an efficient internal process for handling these situations as well as identify training needs that must be fulfilled before providing any mandatory courses.

Engaging an HR specialist is vital when running a charity efficiently and legally. Their guidance can assist the management team in creating policies that support its goals while also offering invaluable advice about navigating complex employment laws.

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