Teach for America: A Nonprofit Workplace Keeping Pace with its Corporate Counterparts

People at Teach for America are all about the kids. By supporting the educators participating in this celebrated program, TFA employees are deeply proud of their part in a nonprofit that seeks to make high-quality education accessible to all. To accomplish that work, the organization must attract not only its teaching recruits, but also the dedicated staff members who keep the program running.

"The Unlike some other organizations in the cash-constrained nonprofit world, TFA entices talent with benefits that are competitive with those at many corporate behemoths. These include up to eight weeks of paid parental leave, comprehensive medical coverage, a dollar-for-dollar 401(k) match of up to 5 percent of salary and childcare reimbursement during business travel. In addition to paid vacation and sick time, the organization also shuts down between Christmas and New Year's, giving its workforce a much-deserved break.

"There are wonderful benefits for caregivers – including paid travel! — and super flexible hours to be able to balance work and life," says one team member.

Employees surveyed by Great Rated! also suggest this organization is competitive with employers in the for-profit world when it comes to professional development. Training activities for full-time staff members average 150 hours per year and include mentorship programs and a leadership development system that gives participants a hand in the organization's strategic planning. Among TFA employees, 94 percent report they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, while eight in ten say their leaders allow them to meet these challenges without watching over their shoulders. Says one: "Within my specific team, I do not feel as though my lower title limits my ability to contribute. I have worked for Teach For America for nearly four years, and during that time I have been given the freedom to innovate and ultimately shape my own responsibilities and job."

TFA’s mission is a powerful attraction for many employees, but the organization also helps recruit the best people by promoting the quality of the workplace it offers its team. For example, a footer along all pages of TFA's website calls out its place on Great Place To Work and Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Fortune’s online ranking includes a link to TFA’s Great Rated! review where job seekers can see the details that make TFA stand out. Additionally, interested candidates can see how TFA compares to the entire Fortune list via a link on the nonprofit's benefits page. On receiving the Best Companies designation for the fourth year in a row, TFA shared related news coverage on its LinkedIn page. Likewise, the organization also shares its prolific social media presence with job seekers through embedded Twitter and Facebook updates within its Great Rated! workplace review.

As employee comments to Great Rated! attest, team members describe TFA as a work environment where they feel supported by both their colleagues and the broader organization. At the same time, 93 percent say their work advancing education is more than "just a job." To attract a team with this consistent level of dedication, TFA offers a clear example of why nonprofits must communicate, not only their mission, but the organizational culture that informs their work.


Be sure your talent acquisition teams know how Great Rated! helps support their recruiting efforts! See the best practices examples employers are using to promote their workplace culture in this recorded webinar with Great Rated! CEO Kim Peters and Great Place To Work’s Chris Culkin.