Award Date

Summer 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Committee Member

Christopher Stream, Chair

Number of Pages



In today's worsening economy more and more people find themselves seeking help through the services of nonprofit groups. Families are in worsening situations and the need for effective and efficient nonprofit human services is growing faster as more people are put out of work. It is clear that the nonprofit organizations must find a way to retain already trained employees to stave off the cost of finding and training replacements. It would be easy to think that nonprofit employees would stay if only their salaries were to increase, however, the literature review and focus group interviews found that is not the case. While more money would be welcomed, most nonprofit employees did not get into the field to become wealthy, instead they joined the nonprofit organization because of the mission and the desire to help people.

Thus, nonprofit organizations' managers must find ways to keep their long-tenured employees. The stress levels the frontline workers are feeling continues to increase as more and more people come in for services. The ability to rely on the mission of the organization to keep the employees is quickly eroding. Employees find themselves in a position of not only low wages but also high stress. This combination will lead to people fleeing the nonprofit human services sector for more lucrative positions in private and government sector jobs.

Through analyzing a survey of Nevada nonprofit workers and conducting focus group interviews, the nonprofit human services frontline workers showed they are interested in more than just money. They want to help people. To keep those employees, the organizations can give the workers more than just money. The workers desire flexible hours, more training and an understanding of what leads to the burnout, causing them to leave the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit organizations would do well to listen to the concerns of the frontline workers or the groups will be faced with a revolving door of employees and less effective service to their clients.


Burn out (Psychology); Charities – Employees; Employee loyalty; Job stress; Nonprofit organizations – Employees


Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




Appendixes and Presentation attached

Presentation: 38 PowerPoint slides

AppendixA.pdf (1955 kB)
AppendixB.pdf (2005 kB)
AppendixC.pdf (1936 kB)
PowerPoint.pdf (15852 kB)


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