Nonprofit Professional Employees Union

We can help make your nonprofit better


By joining together in union with us, you can strengthen your workplace and continue to produce work that makes a difference in people’s lives.


Strengthening the Workplace

We want nonprofit organizations to succeed, and we know having a say the workplace is essential for success. By joining NPEU, we continue to make a positive impact through our organizations' work, while ensuring our workplaces have a welcoming environment and the necessary resources for success. 


Ensuring Fair Compensation

By coming together, we have been able to receive a fair return on our work. We have negotiated collectively for higher pay, better benefits, and a greater voice in our organizations, which prevents us from burning out and allows for long-term, sustainable careers. 


Encouraging Collaboration

Our negotiated contracts put in place a process that encourages collaboration with managers and establishes standards for fair and equal treatment for all nonprofit employees. These systems help create better, productive workplaces. 





A group of employees who come together to negotiate with their employer over their wages, benefits, and working conditions. The employees are the union—they democratically elect leaders to oversee their union’s affairs and conduct negotiations with their employer. Unlike associations, employees in unions have the legal right to negotiate collectively with their employers.

What is a bargaining unit?

A group of employees with a community of interest (similar occupations, geographic location, duties, payment structure, review/rating system, etc.) that have union representation for the purpose of collective bargaining. A bargaining unit can include all the employees in a given office (i.e., wall-to-wall unit) or a set of occupations (e.g., professionals, clerical, technical, etc.).  



Collective bargaining is the formal process employees in unions and their employers use to negotiate the terms and conditions of work—including wages, benefits, and working conditions. Similar to the contracts CEOs have that guarantee their pay, benefits, and other conditions of employment, the terms agreed upon during collective bargaining are solidified in a contract called the collective bargaining agreement. Collective bargaining agreements are commonly referred to as union contracts. Interesting enough, the United Nations views collective bargaining as a Human Right


Employees in unions and their employers can tailor the contract to the needs of their organization and its employees. A contract can include provisions such as improved wages, better benefits, greater work-life balance, professional development opportunities, protections that ensure fair and equal treatment, and other workplace improvements.



NPEU members want their organizations to excel, which is why they have negotiated processes to collaborate with their managers to ensure better, productive workplaces. 

How do most nonprofits react to union organizing?

At first, some nonprofit employers are less than enthusiastic about their staff forming a union, but many come to understand and appreciate the benefits of a democratic workplace where employees have a voice. We know that nonprofit organizations are stronger with a union and our managers agree.

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Steps to Forming a Union

If you and some of your colleagues are interested in joining NPEU, please contact us to learn more.


Step 1: Reach out to US.

Contact NPEU to see if we would be a good fit for you and your colleagues.

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Step 2: Build Support.

Connect with your colleagues and discuss how forming a union will improve your workplace.

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Step 3: Sign an authorization Card.

You and your colleagues sign a confidential petition, called an "authorization card," to help determine if there is majority support.  

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Step 4: Ask employer for voluntary recognition (or participate in a union election).

Seek voluntary recognition of your union from your employer or request a National Labor Relations Board election.

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Step 5: Negotiate your first contract.

Once you formally have a union, you and your colleagues negotiate with management for a contract that puts your pay, benefits, and working conditions in writing.

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Step 6: Ratify your first contract.

Your union's members vote to approve the first contract.