Strong Focus on Organizational Culture Drives Staffing Choices at the Best Nonprofits

A classic source of frustration in many workplaces goes something like this: An employee expresses an idea during a meeting. The boss hears that comment but lodges it in the back of the brain and weeks later it comes out as the boss’s idea, forgetting that the colleague started it.

“It’s classic that managers do this accidentally, deliver it as if it’s their own idea. Obviously, that’s frustrating for that employee,” said Charles Best, founder and CEO of, a 17-year-old nonprofit in New York City. “Whenever there’s a workplace where employees feel like they will be acknowledged and get the justified glory for being the one to come up with an idea, they’ll come up with kick-ass ideas,” he said.

“Giving credit where credit is due is one reason why people would want to be here,” Best said.

Recognition, trust and support – both monetary and otherwise – are among the critical tenants that make up a great nonprofit to work for, according to The NPT’s 2017 Best Nonprofit To Work For. The NonProfit Times partnered with Harrisburg, Pa.-based Best Companies Group for the seventh annual report, which ranked as the No. 1 organization among medium-sized employers and No. 1 overall among the 50 nonprofits recognized. last made the list in 2015, ranking No. 3 overall after a No. 8 ranking in 2014.

The Best Nonprofits To Work For report is data compiled from a thorough organizational assessment. Each participating nonprofit completes a questionnaire along with a confidential survey completed by employees. Business partners are also polled. The information then is combined to analyze and rank the workplaces. The organizations were further categorized as small, medium and large. Explanations of the categories accompany those stories.

The NPT’s 2017 Best Nonprofits To Work For identified the top 10 key drivers for employees across the 50 organizations:

  • I feel I am valued in this organization;
  • I have confidence in the leadership of this organization;
  • I like the type of work that I do;
  • Most days, I feel I have made progress at work;
  • At this organization, employees have fun at work;