100 Best Companies to Work For 2013: Nonprofits

A salute to Minnesota organizations setting the standard in work environment and employee happiness

Editor's note: This article is part of The 100 Best Companies to Work For, 2013, a feature appearing in the June 2013 issue. Click here to nominate a company for the 2014 awards.

People spend about one-third of their lives at work  so it's no surprise that employee satisfaction is such a valuable commodity for both companies and employees. In our second annual survey, we asked Minnesotans what's important to them when it comes to their work life, and what makes their company a great place to be. The 100 Best were chosen using data gathered from an anonymous employee satisfaction survey administered by an independent research group. Only the top Minnesota companies as judged in areas such as work environment, employee benefits, and employee happiness were selected for inclusion in the list.  

Watch our video interviews with some of our Best in Class nonprofits here.

Child Care Choices
Headquarters: St. Cloud
Inception: 1977
Employees: 22

Child Care Choices knows the importance of making good decisions for youth. Through initiatives like Child Care Aware, it provides a variety of resources for people who care for children. The organization emphasizes employee training and development and has used personality assessments and other resources to help employees see what each person brings to the table. Things like yearly staff training and receiving paid time to participate in United Way activities also foster a sense of learning and contribution among staff.

In addition to encouraging employee development and input, Child Care Choices wants employees to have fun and enjoy being at work. The organization promotes healthy living and personal well-being by planning regular health and wellness activities and providing a child- and pet-friendly office. Other perks include a flexible work schedule, health benefits, an extensive employee assistance program, bonus opportunities, and casual Fridays.

American Heart Association, Minnesota
Headquarters: Edina
Inception: 1924
Employees: 37

With a mission to help people build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, the staff at the American Heart Association, Minnesota, has the satisfaction of knowing its work benefits others. The AHA works hard to provide work-life balance for staff, offering employees flexible work arrangements when possible. The organization also promotes wellness through the "It Is All About Me!" program  an educational wellness program comprised of quarterly challenges, online seminars, a walking club, and personal health coaching. The AHA is also committed to employee training and development and offers staff the chance to participate in the American Heart University, which includes thousands of online courses, tools, and references to support career development.

The Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Minnesota Chapter
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Inception: 1982
Employees: 13

Serving Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Minnesota Chapter has been helping people affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma for more than 20 years. Its mission to help find a cure for cancer is what motivates the staff in both big and small tasks, and is also what brings employees together to participate in events like the Light the Night walk and the office's Friday fun breaks. The leadership team has also been instrumental in creating a supportive office culture by encouraging employees to come up with new ideas for campaigns, maintaining an open-door policy, and promoting a flexible work schedule.

Open Arms of Minnesota
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Inception: 1986
Employees: 16

Minneapolis-based nonprofit Open Arms of Minnesota prepares and delivers nutritious meals to more than 800 clients living with HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other debilitating diseases  as well as their caregivers and dependent children when needed. It's this simple yet impactful mission to help others that motivates Open Arms employees to do their jobs each day. Open Arms also counts on the help of more than 1,900 volunteers to cook and deliver meals. And employees say that working with these volunteers is one of the things that they love most about their jobs. Open Arms also offers competitive health benefits and paid vacation time, among other perks.