Not for Profit

Not for Profit Thought and Action Group

Chaired by Martyn Dicker, Founder and Director, The POD Consultancy

Coordinated by Siobhan Victoria Renshaw


There is often a disparity between what not-for-profit organisations’ employee engagement results say and the reality in the workplace. Organisations with a strong sense of purpose might boast high employee engagements scores, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into engagement with the organisation per se.

In response to this, the Engage for Success not-for-profit Thought & Action Group was established, with the following aims:

  1. Engaging employees beyond their organisational mission
  2. Establishing measures to more accurately reflect genuine employee engagement in the sector
  3. Sharing ideas for voluntary and other sector organisations to enhance their own employee engagement practice
  4. Creating debate around the subject of employee engagement leading to further ideas and interest in the topic

The ambition of the group is not just to improve employee engagement practices in their own organisations (and in turn positively impact the organisation and its workforce), but to advocate for positive change throughout the sector.


This group meets bimonthly usually in central London. Every meeting has a theme, suggestions for which are welcomed from our group members. Presentations from one or more group member are often given, and we also welcome guest speakers to share their thoughts on sector specific engagement topics. Academic and practitioner research is also discussed.

Recent output:

The group have been exploring employee engagement in the sector for three years and have produced a not-for-profit sector employee engagement toolkit. The toolkit shares the findings of research involving over 40 organisations exploring engagement beyond the mission of the organisation, along with best practice advice on the measurement of engagement in the sector. It also includes a number of case studies on the approach to engagement presented through the lens of the four enablers of engagement as first proposed by David Macleod and Nita Clarke.

You can download the toolkit and infographic illustrating the importance of the accurate reporting of employee engagement survey results here.

Future projects:

The group shall soon begin exploration of the engagement of volunteers. A fascinating level of volunteering efforts went into making the Olympics and Paralympics in London back in the summer of 2012 the huge success that they were. The 70,000 “Games Makers” were undoubtedly one of the highlights of London 2012.  We were met with headlines including ‘How volunteers made the Games’, suggestions that the Games Makers should win the BBC’s Sports Personality Team of the Year award and #BigUpTheVolunteers trending. Understanding what engages people who volunteer their time on a non-contractual basis was one of the inspirations for forming this group.

We also intend to examine the relationship between engagement and some of the more sector specific bottom line outcomes. This group acknowledges that unlike in other sectors where links are commonly drawn between engagement and profit, for example, other more sector specific metrics such as the extent to which engagement impacts on the numbers of those whose lives are impacted by the efforts of the organisation should be measured.

Get involved:

If you share our passion for employee engagement in the non-profit sector and would like to get involved, we would love to hear from you. Please contact the coordinator for this group, Siobhan Victoria Renshaw:

Not for Profit Toolkit