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Nonprofit HR’s Blog


For Immediate Release Media Contact
March 2, 2022Atokatha Ashmond Brew


 Average Turnover in Social Impact Organizations Drops 7% Despite the Great Resignation
Recent Nonprofit HR retention survey reveals the resilience of the social sector

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 2, 2022 – Recent results from Nonprofit HR’s 2021 Nonprofit Talent Retention Survey reveals that amid the Great Resignation, during which roughly 33 million Americans quit their jobs, social impact organizations reported a decrease in turnover from 21.3% in 2019 to 14.3% in 2020. This important data signifies that the social sector is experiencing the Great Resignation “phenomenon” differently than other employment sectors, countering the ongoing narrative about how this economic trend is affecting all sectors equally.

“While this data tells the story of the second half of 2020 and thus is a snapshot in time, it highlights the resilience of the social sector and its ability to hold on to talent during a really volatile time,” said Lisa Brown Alexander, Nonprofit HR President & CEO. “It also encourages us to use a wider lens when considering the Great Resignation because the data proves that you cannot paint a broad picture of its impact across all sectors.”

Nonprofit HR, a full services national talent management consulting firm focused exclusively on the social sector, conducts a Nonprofit Talent Retention Survey annually. Specific results from the survey indicate that social impact organizations experienced a decrease in both voluntary turnover (16.7% to 10.9%) and involuntary turnover (5.2% to 4.6%) from 2019 to 2020. A new retention survey will be conducted in the summer of 2022 to gather updated data on impact of turnover in social impact organizations given the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand that the data we gather in our retention survey is highly critical during this time. As social sector-specific data evolves and accelerates, we must respond swiftly. We are committed to supporting nonprofit leaders with access to actionable, real-time information to equip organization’s with the information they need to drive their people management  agendas and missions forward,” said Brown Alexander.

Related News:
According to Nonprofit HR’s 2022 Talent Management Priorities Survey, over half of organizations indicated that implementing employee retention/engagement strategy, programs and/or initiatives was among the top three culture and engagement priorities.View full survey report here.

Access the full 2021 Nonprofit Talent Retention Survey Results here.

Access the 2021 Nonprofit Talent Retention Survey Results Overview Webinar recording here.

Press seeking interviews may email Managing Director for Client Marketing and Strategic Communication, Atokatha Ashmond Brew, at abrew@nonprofithr.com.


Nonprofit HR is the country’s leading and oldest firm focused exclusively on the talent management needs of social impact organizations. We focus our efforts on project-based human resources consulting, HR outsourcing, talent acquisition, and executive search. Nonprofit HR also offers customized trainings, research and events, all with the objective of strengthening the people management capacity of the workforce. Since 2000, our staff of credentialed experts have advanced the impact of some of the world’s most influential brands in the sector. Learn more at nonprofithr.com.

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