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TD Magazine

Nonprofits Are Prioritizing Talent Management in 2022

Monday, February 28, 2022

Culture and engagement, L&D, and performance management will take precedence.

News about talent wars, skill shortages, and retention challenges are of concern to all organizations—including nonprofits. So how do employers plan to tackle those struggles in the year ahead?


Nonprofit HR asked more than 400 US nonprofits representing more than 20 different focus areas, ranging from food distribution to housing to supporting youths from marginalized communities, about their 2022 priorities. According to the resulting 2022 Nonprofit Talent Management Priorities Survey report, respondents' top three focus areas are culture and engagement, L&D, and performance management. Nonprofits are also prioritizing talent acquisition this year, including attracting and hiring diverse talent, strengthening the company brand, and improving internal interview skills and practices.

While the majority of respondents have a dedicated HR or talent development team, only one-quarter said they currently have a formal talent management strategy or plan. Still, nearly eight out of 10 are focusing on L&D, with more than half concentrating primarily on developing an L&D program or strategy. Launching a diversity, equity, and inclusion training program and increasing investments to develop and strengthen teams are two additional high priorities for the responding nonprofits.

Further, more than one-third of respondents plan to prioritize talent-focused technologies. One survey respondent noted, "We have tools, but need to understand/leverage functionality." More than half will implement a learning management technology system, while two-thirds plan to expand their use of talent acquisition technology, such as an applicant tracking system.


Respondents reported that a lack of staffing and financial resources dedicated to HR are obstacles to them achieving their talent management goals. Most nonprofits also identified that they've adjusted their talent management priorities because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Much of our engagement and culture strategy will revolve around change management due to downsizing our office and a new ‘work from home first' plan," one respondent said. "Finding ways to keep people engaged with each other and with the agency while working mostly remote—this time, permanently. Not everyone thrived while working from home during the pandemic, so it's going to be very interesting to see how people do with this."

About the Author

Derrick Thompson is a former writer/editor for ATD.

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