Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Thomas Davis


This study explored the impact of low retention rates in nonprofit organizations and review factors that are associated with this low rate. Nonprofit organizations are a crucial and integral part of our community, there are many factors that are influential in the retention of employees which impact the service that is available to those in need. The need for this study emerged from the researcher’s desire to raise awareness of the factors that lead to low retention rates in social service non-profit organizations and its effects on service provision This study allowed for administration to implement strategies that address the factors that lead to high turnover. Prevention strategies that can be utilized to decrease the dissatisfaction of current employees and increase engagement. The field of social services has been chosen for study because its programs are intended to improve the basic social welfare status of individual lives such that society is reformed. The following subsections were discussed: Growth of nonprofit organizations, nonprofits and human need, nonprofit relationship with funders, challenges within Nonprofits, why employees depart from these organizations and, retention focus. The research method used for this study was quantitative data. Since the research method used for this study was the methodology of quantitative design, snowball sampling was utilized. The Quantitative design was chosen to collect data from a larger group of service providers who worked primarily in a not for profit setting through Likert Scale surveys. The design assisted in quantifying the answer from the surveys to allow comparison, recognition of discrepancies, and or correlations of the iv data. The data was collected from 33 participants through an online survey program, utilizing Survey Monkey and, results were entered in SPSS, to compare relationships. Independent variable were the factors that contribute to low retention rate, and the dependent variable was the retention rate. The population this study focused on was management, staff and, direct service employees who work in social service nonprofits or have worked in the past. This study shows statistics which include ethnicity, age of the participants, marital status, education, and employment status. Along with statistical information on each item presented in the distributed survey, it outlines the statistical analysis that was conducted which includes a correlation study on the relationship between compensation, job training, professional development, filled positions, funding, disruption in services, self-care, access to management, and staff appreciate, and staff’s desire to leave a non-profit organization. The data was analyzed and found that the biggest impact to employee retention is compensation and the stress caused by chronically vacant positions. The study reviews the conclusions relative to our research questions and hypothesis in addition to, theories guiding conceptualization. This study discusses the limitations of study design and, procedures, as well as recommendations for future social work practice and policy. The findings were significant because the study could narrow down two out of the five factors that demonstrated an actual impact on retention in non-profit social service organizations, which gives non-profit managements clear barriers that they can attempt to address.