Staffing and Payroll Issues

Staff vs Volunteers

Many people are unable to help out a non-profit organization by donating money, but are willing to donate something just as important: their time. Finding people who will work for you for free isn't easy, but it's not impossible either. There are several internet sites devoted to matching volunteers with organizations. Although volunteers are an invaluable asset, there are limitations involved. Be aware that, since they aren't getting paid, they will determine when they're available, not the other way around.

Aside from volunteers, you will likely require at least a few paid staff. As with any business, hiring staff requires you to carefully decide which jobs you need done, interview prospective employees, and finally hire the best candidates. Be sure to comply with the Employment Standards Act and all other regulations governing employer/employee relations.

Volunteer Hours

Many volunteers aren't involved with your organization for strictly altruistic reasons. Some people are required by law or by their profession to record a certain number of volunteer hours. Others may be looking for experience in a field related to your organization, hoping to spruce up their resume.

In these cases, you can expect that they will inform you of their circumstance, and you should be prepared to keep careful track of their hours and performance. Further, expect that many of them will leave once they've accumulated the hours they require. At the same time, these sorts of volunteers may turn out to be your best, especially since those looking to improve their resume or to gain valuable experience may want to use you as a reference when applying for a job in their field.

Paying Employees

In the case of paid employees, you'll require a payroll plan to keep track of employee hours, wages and salaries. You'll also need to make deductions from their paycheques for income tax, employment insurance and federal pension plans. You also have to pay Worker's Compensation costs to protect your employees in the event that they are injured while on the job. Because of the many issues involved when you hire employees, it's probably a good idea that you outsource your payroll to a payroll company.