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Human Resources Services

Effective HR management is crucial for organizational success

staff chartNonprofits rely on dedicated staff and volunteers to accomplish their mission each day. Yet, 80% of nonprofits do not have a designated HR person. Of those that do, most HR managers do not have any formal training in human resources. If you have questions about HR management, you are not alone!

Increasing staff diversity, following laws and regulations that govern all businesses, and providing the training, supervision, and support that team members need to succeed are crucial elements of effective HR management.

501 Commons provides HR services in these ways:

  1. HR Quick Consults - Get professional guidance for $25 per 15-minute increment up to two hours. We will attempt to respond to you within 72 hours. We are discounting this easy-access service by 25% for organizations with budgets below $1.5 million. Contact:
  2. HR Partner - Your 501 Commons consultant provides year-long support for all of your HR needs.
  3. Project-based nonprofit HR Consulting - customized training, HR policies and handbooks, compensation studies, succession plans, etc.
  4. HR Tune-up and HR Toolkit - Action learning programs for cohorts of nonprofits funded by philanthropy

HR Partner

We can provide you with a year-long HR Partner for just the number of hours you need each month. Your partner will get to know your organization and be available to help with recruitment and hiring, staff evaluations, staff orientation and training, succession planning, benefit decisions, and other day-to-day needs. You get the consistency of a person who knows you, but pay only for the level of services you need.

Read this Nonprofit Quarterly article about the benefits of nonprofits outsourcing HR.

Project-based HR Services

501 Commons can do a quick consultation, provide in-depth consulting on HR issues, or conduct a workplace climate survey. We can also help you increase the impact of volunteers in your organization.

  • HR Quick Consult. Get professional guidance on a policy, tool, or form; strategies for dealing with performance issues; a review of a job description, or some other need for only $25 per 15-minute increment or portion thereof (We are providing a 25% discount on consults for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic for organizations with budgets under $1.5 million). Just email your query to and our HR consultant will respond promptly.
  • A 501 Commons HR consultant can take on longer, more detailed projects. For example, do you need to review compensation, restructure a department, or set up a leadership team? We can match you with an HR advisor who provides services tailored to nonprofits.
  • 501 Commons' Climate Survey – or staff survey – was developed specifically for nonprofit organizations by Dr. Michael Horn. How committed and engaged is your staff? How does information flow in the organization? Staff turnover drives up costs and damages program effectiveness. So use our climate survey to compare your results with other nonprofits and identify areas for improvement to maintain a strong team.
  • All the legal requirements and risks faces by businesses apply to nonprofits too!  We can help you avoid violating labor laws and opening themselves up to fines and lawsuits.  For example, we can help you make sure that you are complying with overtime laws in how you designate exempt staff.
  • We can help you increase the diversity of your staff, train supervisors on unconscious bias,  and ensure that you are offering an inclusive culture.
  • We can help you take your volunteer management to the next level. Do you want to engage more volunteers or use more skilled volunteers? We are experts in skills-based volunteerism!

How It Works

Our HR Program Manager will meet with you to determine the needs of your organization and design an approach that will be the best fit. Whether the HR Partner program, a consulting engagement, or a quick consult suits your needs, our Program Manager can help you get the resources you need to effectively manage one of your most important resources.

In person services are available in the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas. Virtual services, aided by video and telephone conferencing, can be provided successfully to nonprofits in other areas within the US.  For more information or to request services, complete our Request for Assistance form.


With everything you need to know to manage your organization, isn't it great to be able to call in the experts when you need them? Our HR professionals can help you:

  • Avoid costly problems by putting human resource policies and procedures in place
  • Design jobs, set up pay levels, train staff, and manage performance more effectively
  • Align your volunteer and employee human resource strategies
  • Lower turnover, which disrupts services and increases costs

Staff Training and Leadership Development

We offer nonprofit staff and leaders in-depth learning opportunities designed to build up their resiliency, empathy, ability to work as a team, and emotional intelligence. These workshops seek to improve how staff and executive directors work with each other and the communities they serve. Each session is generally 3-6 hours long and provide affordable professional development on relevant topics such as:

  • Staff retention
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
  • Cultivating empathy and emotional intelligence
  • Building leadership skills
  • Improving communication
  • Handling difficult conversations

Learn more about these learning opportunities and why your organization should join the Staff Development Coalition (SDC).

HR Toolkit and HR Tune Up

These action-learning programs are provided when we have philanthropic support for them. In addition to receiving a comprehensive HR audit, participating organizations received up to 8 hours of consulting support from a volunteer HR professional. Participants came away with a report of findings and recommendations and assistance to implement fixes to better strengthen their HR functions.

"“I always appreciate when a professional can answer a question about our operations. But to have a program-wide evaluation of our HR practices is such a great boost to any organization. It is a relief to have our vulnerabilities identified so that we can strengthen our practices.” - Brian Burns, Executive Director, Tri-State Steelheaders
"In addition to matching us with an HR consultant, 501 Commons created sessions with our colleagues before and after this program that were filled with information on processes many of us are still learning. The sessions were insightful and I wanted more!" - Katy Rizzuti, Executive Director, Children's Museum of Walla Walla

If you would like to participate in HR Toolkit or HR Tune-up in the future, contact Linda Mangone at and when we get enough interest in your area we will contact funders for support.