Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Business Administration

Colleges & School

College Of Business And Management

First Advisor

Bruce Loppnow

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Employee retention; Nonprofit organizations--Management


This paper seeks to address the following research question: what are alternative and nonfinancial incentives that are strategic and effective for use in key employee attraction and retention in a nonprofit organization? This question was researched within the context of a specific organization, Oaklawn Academy, a nonprofit boarding school with the mission of forming Christian leaders from around the world. It focused on the salaried positions such as administration, residential staff, and teachers. The research also used additional, similar nonprofit primary sources from the geographic area surrounding Oaklawn. Attracting and retaining key talent is a strategic aspect of any successful organization. Organizations that attract stronger talent have a better chance at success because of higher work quality and better service. While there are a variety of types and sizes of nonprofits, they are no exception to the need for attracting and retaining talent. In addition nonprofits often have low retention rates and some cannot attract the strongest candidates. This is due to comparatively lower salary offers for similar jobs than other larger, more profitable companies have. Nonprofits are notorious for low pay and demanding working conditions. Rather than have a traditional bottom line of financial growth or stock price. Nonprofits focus on their mission as their bottom line. Financial incentives are then only a means to push the mission of the organization. These organizations are often restricted by organizational policy, lack of funds, and their customer demographic, all of which contribute to a lower financial reward to those working for these organizations. This shows the strategic importance of using non-financial incentives to attract and retain employees. While any organization can greatly benefit from using these means, a nonprofit organization in particular can rely on them and put them in place in order to further help to retain the best employees when available financial incentives are not enough.


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