5 Surprising Employee Benefits Found in Non-Profits

5 Surprising Employee Benefits Found in Non-Profits

Thanksgiving Day of is just around the corner, which means your organization is probably gearing up for a food drive, adopting a family in need for the holidays, or volunteering at a soup kitchen (or maybe you work for the social service organization that is providing these volunteer opportunities). There are certainly plenty of non-profit organizations in Northeast Ohio to choose from and we’ve all heard hundreds, if not thousands of stories of the good deeds these organizations strive to achieve. But what about the employees that run these organizations day-to-day? What do their non-profit sector employers offer to them as employees?

Below, Figure 1 further unpacks this question, specifically in terms of non-profit employee benefits, comparing the frequency of 5 unique (and somewhat surprising) employee benefits between a non-profit only survey sample and a mixed industry survey sample.

Figure 1: Percentage of organizations offering each of the following employee benefits

 2013 ERC Non-Profit Benefits Survey2013-2014 ERC Policies & Benefits Survey
Domestic Partner Benefits58%24%
Flex-time Arrangement55%30%
Tuition Reimbursement48%58%
PTO (Paid-Time-Off) Bank38%24%
Paternity Leave28%25%

1. Domestic Partner Benefits

The most commonly offered benefit in the table is Domestic Partner Benefits. For the past couple of years non-profits have been consistently ahead of the curve in the business world in terms of offering healthcare benefits to their employees in domestic partnerships. Although a domestic partnership can apply to either same-sex or opposite-sex couples, with this year’s Supreme Court rulings against DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), we are starting to see a significant expansion of these benefits that many local non-profits already offered to federal employees on a state by state basis.

2. Flex-time Arrangement

In 2013 we have heard a lot of discussion around a flexible work arrangement: think Melissa Mayer at Yahoo. Here again, non-profits appear to have already become more comfortable allowing for these more progressive work arrangements than their for-profit counterparts, with 55% offering employees the option to work a flex-schedule.

3. Tuition Reimbursement

With money tight in general, and particularly in the non-profit world, tuition reimbursement is one area where the Policies & Benefits Survey overshadows the Non-Profit Benefits Survey numbers. However, it is important to note that nearly half of the participating non-profits still indicated that they provide some level of tuition reimbursement to their employees.

4. PTO (Paid-Time-Off) Bank

Paid-time-off banks are about 18% more common in the Non-Profit Survey over the Policy & Benefits Survey. While arguments can be made about the merits of PTO banks versus the traditional vacation/sick/holidays/personal time breakdowns, again the key here is flexibility for the employees. For these non-profit employees a PTO bank means being able to take days off when they need it- whatever the reason.

5. Paternity Leave

When it comes to allowing new fathers to take paid time-off from work, the Non-Profit Benefits Survey and Policies & Benefits Survey come in with very similar percentages. Non-profits appear to have a slight edge of about 3%, but overall whether you are working in the non-profit or for-profit sector, there is about a one in four chance that paid paternity leave is offered by your employer.


  • Liz Maier-Liu

    Liz Maier-Liu specializes in writing high-quality, engaging copy across all channels, including email, web, blogs, print, and social media. She is passionate about helping ERC build long-lasting relationships with clients and members through storytelling and delightful copy that calls them to action.Since 2019, Liz has supported ERC’s marketing team. She currently manages ERC’s email marketing campaigns, social media accounts, marketing automation, and websites. Liz also executes content strategies that drive engagement, leads, and customer retention.