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What Impact Will This Unstable Financial Time Have on the Nonprofit Job Market in 2023?

Dani Castonzo
January 19, 2023

After the mass layoffs in the tech industry, high inflation, and talk of a likely recession, many are wondering what impact this unstable financial time will have on the nonprofit industry. 

We sat down with Rhonda Stephens, Evolve’s new VP of Talent Services, to hear her thoughts on what we can expect to see in the job market this year. 

Q: What impact do you think a likely recession will have on the job market in 2023? 

In today’s job market, where there is a high demand for quality candidates, a recession will point out the flaws organizations have regarding retention. Organizations should consider how they can retain their quality talent while keeping costs down, not eliminating talent to keep costs low.

During past recessions, we saw people hold onto their positions and maintain some stability until it "blew over." But the pandemic significantly impacted the candidate pool, and we know today’s candidates are different. They’re resilient, and they will make it with or without us. 

As employers, we need to be willing to make some concessions–work from home or flexible hours, unlimited PTO, stipends for benefits, etc.–if we want to retain our current employees and garner top candidates. With so many generations in the workplace today, a recession will not stop candidates from finding other opportunities.

Q: Many are hoping for a promotion or raise in the new year. Do you anticipate that salaries will continue to increase this year?

During the pandemic, we saw dramatic increases in salaries and all these extra bonuses so organizations could steal all the good candidates. [laughs] I don’t think we will see that trend continue as times even out. I don’t believe salaries will decrease, but I think we can expect re-organization in titles and job duties to streamline salaries back to those of the past and allow for the return of promotions, increases, etc.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is hoping for a new job this year?

Do it, look for new opportunities! Don’t think that a likely recession is going to stop you from being seen or low-balled in a new position. If anything, the nonprofit industry is still recovering from a lack of a candidate pool and looking for talent. 

I’d encourage you to be flexible as well, just as we’re asking orgs to be flexible. You may not get 100% remote or the full salary increase you wanted, but remember the other benefits, like growth, organizational stability, or professional development as an investment of your success. We all need to be a little more flexible and look at what’s really important in a new career.

Q: Do you anticipate that nonprofits and candidates will continue to prioritize culture and DEI-J in the new year? 

Yes, I hope so! Nonprofits have absolutely made strides in developing org culture and DEI-J to ensure they’re a place people want to work. Nonprofits are realizing that you can have a great mission, but to be successful, you need to ensure that people are comfortable, paid a living wage, and are experiencing a positive work culture. 

Q: What are your hopes for 2023’s job market? 

I’m hoping to see a bigger push for professional development and organizations investing in their current staff. That could look like re-aligning duties, adding new staff to prevent burnout, and providing professional development in areas that an employee may need additional coaching.

I’m also hoping to see the education requirement piece brought to the forefront. Do you really need someone with XYZ degree to do this job? This can be a barrier to employment for qualified individuals and counterintuitive for organizations focused on DEI initiatives.

I have high hopes for 2023, so let's get going!


Are you a candidate looking for your next opportunity, or an organization struggling to hire or retain quality staff? Email Rhonda at to see how Evolve Talent can support you!