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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, most nonprofits do not have a designated HR person. Of those that do, the HR person often does not have any formal training in human resources! So, you have questions about HR issues, 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. Our dynamic team of HR consultants can provide the expertise you need to achieve this.

501 Commons has HR service options to fit all organizations:

  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. Contact:
  2. HR Partner - Your 501 Commons consultant provides year-round support for all of your HR needs. Because you are paying for a fraction of an HR professional, this is extremely cost effective for most organizations.
  3. Project-based nonprofit HR Consulting - customized training, HR policies and handbooks, compensation studies, succession plans, etc.
  4. HR Tune-up - a comprehensive HR assessment and 8 hours of consultation from a volunteer HR professional.
  5. Staff Development Coalition - join the coalition to receive discounts on in-depth sessions with top-knotch trainers.
  6. Climate survey - our staff survey is specifically designed for the nonprofit sector. It will provide you with actionable information that will help you retain staff and increase their engagement.

Benefits of working with 501 Commons

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
  • Design your HR systems to support your DEI/IDEA framework and goals.

Special projects

501 Commons and the King County Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy (VSHSL) are conducting two surveys that can help advance pay satisfaction and employee happiness.

  • The Wage & Benefits Survey: A staff member, generally the executive director or someone in a payroll or HR role, enters wage data into an online portal and responds to questions about benefits, employment practices, and leadership demographics. The results will provide us with an accurate snapshot of compensation practices in King County. This will help nonprofits benchmark their salaries and improve internal equity. Job seekers can also access the information to better understand what they should expect when planning their careers or applying for jobs. The survey closes on May 15, 2023.
  • The Employee Engagement Survey: This survey invites all part-time and full-time staff to identify the wage and non-wage factors linked to high employee engagement and retention, which contribute to robust client services. The survey only takes 15-20 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous. Download this toolkit to help you encourage staff participation. The survey closes on June 15, 2023.

If you are interested in doing one or both of these studies in your community, contact Danielle Lyda.

HR Consulting & Projects

If you do not have HR staff or the staff member with HR responsibilities needs expertise or hands-on help, contract with 501 Commons.

Our HR experts can do compensation studies, review your employee handbook, advise on performance management,  and help you stay legally compliant. 501 Commons can also help you build an inclusive culture and establish policies that support your DEI/IDEA objectives.

Some consulting services are available on a sliding fee scale based on budget.

Learn more

HR Partnership

Get the year-round support of an HR Partner. You get the consistency of an HR expert who knows you, but pay only for the level of services you need.

Contracting for HR services is a cost-effective way to get help with recruitment and hiring, staff evaluations, staff orientation and training, succession planning, benefit decisions, and more.  Read this Nonprofit Quarterly article about the benefits of outsourcing HR.

Complete the Request for Assistance Form and talk with our HR program manager to determine if an HR partnership is right for your organization.

HR Quick Consult

Need quick assistance? 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. This option is ideal for dealing with short-term issues that don't require deeper long-term engagement.

Email your query to and our HR consultant will respond within 72 hours.

Nonprofit Staff Climate Survey

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.

Get started

Staff Development Coalition & Learning Sessions

Nonprofit staff and leaders can join in-depth learning opportunities designed to build resiliency, empathy, teamwork, and emotional intelligence. Sessions with top-notch trainers are generally 3-6 hours long and provide affordable professional development on topics selected by the Staff Development Coalition (SDC). When you join the Staff Development Coalition, participant fees are discounted.

Support staff learning

HR Tune-up

In an HR Tune-up organizations receive a comprehensive HR audit, and 8 hours of consulting support from a volunteer HR professional. Participants came away with a report of findings from the audit and recommendations for implementing fixes that strengthen their HR functions.

If you would like an HR Tune-up, fill out our Request for Assistance.

Request form