Many nonprofit professionals in the sector work with some of Memphis’ most economically deprived residents, and we see the struggles that they face every single day. Yet I often hear about the financial struggles of the nonprofit sector’s employees. Some work below a living wage; many lack benefits; and, most are not competitively compensated in comparison to our for-profit counterparts. Admittedly, there are systems that perpetuate a scarcity mindset in the nonprofit sector, but we can do better to ensure that nonprofit employees in Memphis are compensated appropriately for working diligently to combat the struggles faced by Memphians that seek support.
The staff and board at Momentum Nonprofit Partners acknowledges that we cannot be complicit in perpetuating a mindset that often leads to low wages for employees. The research is clear: better salaries for employees equals more impact for your nonprofit. Our work is urgently important, as we are saving lives, building better communities, and providing vital services and support for all Memphians. However, we should not be marytrs for our cause by compromising our ability to provide beyond the basic needs for ourselves and families. We all deserve to be compensated fairly.
In doing our part to move this conversation towards serious action, Momentum Nonprofit Partners will institute important policy changes to our job board. As you may be aware, our job board yields the highest traffic of any nonprofit-specific job board in the region, and our members can post their openings at no cost. Effective July 1, 2019, Momentum Nonprofit Partners no longer accepts job openings for any position paying less than the equivalent of $15 per hour or $31,200 per year. With this decision, we encourage you to thoughtfully consider your pay scale so that nonprofit employees in Memphis can do more than make ends meet while also trying to help others in our community. Additionally, job postings will require hourly wage and salary information, as research has shown that the exclusion of salary information disproportionately impacts women and people of color.
Momentum Nonprofit Partners is one of the first organizations of its kind in the United States to implement these necessary policy changes. We hope that these changes will not only prompt dialogue within your organizations, with your boards, staff, and executive leadership but also initiate a paradigm shift in the nonprofit sector.
We appreciate and welcome feedback from the nonprofit community. Thoughts can be shared with Momentum’s CEO, Kevin Dean via email or comment below.