How to Determine Necessary Qualifications for a Nonprofit Job Description

By Stan Hutton, Frances Phillips

Some nonprofit jobs require various levels of formal education and training. You will need to specify these in your job description. If you’re hiring someone to provide counseling services, for example, that employee probably needs to meet certain education and licensing requirements to provide the services legally. If you’re hiring someone to work with children, the applicant may need to pass background checks, depending on the laws of your state.

Professional and business associations can provide helpful information about job qualifications. In addition to any degrees and certifications, you may want to specify that applicants have a certain amount of experience doing the work you’re going to ask them to do. However, if you do so, be prepared to pay a higher salary to fill the position.

You can’t, of course, require that an applicant be of a particular ethnic background, race, age, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. You can’t deny employment to a woman because she’s expecting a child. You also can’t refuse employment to a person with a disability as long as he can perform the job with reasonable accommodations. You are subject to the same discrimination laws as any business.