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Despite recession, nonprofits hiring

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Even though nonprofits are cutting staff and expenses as they struggle to survive the recession, many are still hiring, with 24,000 management positions vacant this year, a new report says.

As of early this year, almost three in 10 nonprofits were planning to hire senior managers, says the survey conducted by Bridgespan Group and commissioned by American Express.

As Baby Boomers retire and nonprofit organizations become more complex, openings for job in areas like finance and fundraising abound.

“It’s a wake-up call that even as the rolls of unemployed executives swell, nonprofits are struggling to fill key positions,” David Simms, director of the study, says in a statement.

The primary barriers to filling those vacancies are compensation, finding specialized skills, increasing competition for qualified candidates and a lack of resources to find or groom the next generation of leaders.

Of the leadership positions filled over the past year and a half, one in four were filled through career progression, while four in 10 were filled from the nonprofit sector and two in 10 came from for-profits.

While almost three-quarters of survey respondents value private-sector skills, a good “cultural fit” is important as well.

Among the executive directors contacted for the survey, more than four in 10 had significant private-sector experience.

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