NetChange | Part 2: People

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Part 2: People

Director, content, social media, and project management are top roles

Question: On your digital/online team, what roles are currently represented, and in what capacity? 

The most common full time roles on teams of all sizes are strategy/digital director, content development, social media engagement, and project management. In 2011 the top roles were social media engagement, strategy, content, and project management.


48%Strategy/Digital Director
41%Content development
40%Social media engagement
36%Project management
25%Online fundraising
22%Technical development


Roles most commonly outsourced to an outside contractor or vendor are design and technical development. The roles most commonly “not represented” on teams are search / outbound marketing (37%), UX / information architecture (35%), and online fundraising (27%).


We are pleased social media has fallen from the #1 role in 2011 to #3 today, as we believe groups had previously over-invested in the role.

We’re also happy to see project management remain in the top four. Senior management often under-estimates the work volume and complexity demands they place on their digital teams, but digital leaders know that solid project and process management is absolutely critical for success.

Teams have the right skills but lack the right people

Question: Does your team have the skills it needs to do its best work? The right people

A full 40% of teams report having the right skills now on board, which is up 14% points from the 2011 dataset. Yet a majority of teams (57%) report they don’t have the people they need to succeed, this number has also risen 7% from 2011.









Either our people are getting better trained or the rate of technical change has slowed enough that we’re getting caught up. Either way skill growth is good news.

Yet despite the majority of teams increasing in size, even more report they lack the right people they need to keep up with ever increasing demands. Digital leaders need to continue to grow both team and organizational digital capacity, and get better at both staying focused and saying no.

Content, technical, and UX top new hire wish lists

Question: If you could hire one more full time role for your digital team, what would it be? 

The top 3 “wish list” roles across all size ranges were content development, technical development, and UX / information architecture.

For large and very large orgs, top roles were content, technical development, and strategy. For medium orgs, top roles were content, technical development, and design. For small orgs, top roles were UX / information architecture, content, then design.

Content development


Technical development


UX/Info Architect




Social media engagement





The increased prominence of roles such as technology and UX put non-profits more in line with where corporate digital teams have long been investing.

Teams now have stable platforms and are focused on creating compelling content, better optimizing channels for outcomes, and innovating new ideas. This shows a very positive evolution of the sector beyond meeting basic survival needs.


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