Many people are under the impression you have to make a vow to poverty to enjoy working for a local nonprofit, but are impressions like this just a myth? Nonprofit jobs can actually be very beneficial to your career, not only that, nonprofits are always looking for new blood. In addition, nonprofits are becoming very popular and somewhat of an economic powerhouse in today’s society. Many people who never dreamed of working for a nonprofit have found themselves right in the middle of the nonprofit world using the skill set they’ve learned for other jobs.
What can working for a nonprofit do for you?
Working for a nonprofit automatically means you will not find six figures on your paycheck. Or could you? Depending on the size of the nonprofit you work for, you could make a reasonable paycheck for working at a nonprofit. There are pros and cons to working for a smaller nonprofit just like there are drawbacks to working for a larger nonprofit. Either way, the typical nonprofit employee will not make a large salary. But, some people think the benefits of working for a nonprofit outweighs a paycheck. Many nonprofits often allow more flex time, days off, and a comfortable dress code.
Nonprofits allow people to connect passionately with their work. Many people who choose to work in nonprofits want to make a difference in the lives of others. The paycheck may not be large, and the work may not be fabulous, but many people think it’s worth the time and effort.
WVU college student Brittany Elliot works at the local Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown; she says working for a nonprofit is rewarding. “The most rewarding part of working for a non-profit is that we get to directly help people,” explained Elliot. “I love that we get to meet the families, interact with them, and know that we (the charity) are making a difference in their lives.”
Nonprofits are always looking for volunteers and employees with useful skill sets. These people can help advance the organization by using their skills and by sharing them. Sharing skill sets among volunteers and employees allows all volunteers to develop new skills to help further the organization and their individual career. Developing new skills can build your resume and provide future job opportunities. This is especially important for college students fresh out of school. Many skill sets are need for nonprofits. Today, many nonprofits are looking for people who can run social media platforms. Young people are the go-to volunteers for this job. By working with and sharing their knowledge of social media, young volunteers can share their skills and learn other skills such as leadership and communication and marketing tactics from other employees and volunteers.
College graduate Casey Strader says she never thought she would work for a nonprofit organization. “I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Sport Management, and I’m getting my Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications, but working in sports is my main goal,” said Strader. “So when I pictured working in sports, I always thought it would be for a franchise/team, and I’ve had a couple internships with different teams. When I saw this opportunity it was definitely a new way to look at working in sports. Instead of working for the team, I’m working for the United Way TEAM NFL, which is in charge of running Cliff Avril’s campaign. This is a new side of the sports world that is also letting me get experience in the nonprofit world.”
Nonprofits are a great way for people to make connections with one another. In addition to building new skills and your resume, building a network of people and resources is also a benefit of working in a nonprofit environment. There are thousands of nonprofits in almost every area of the country. Finding a nonprofit that fits the future career you want can be easy. Experts suggest finding a nonprofit in your area of interest and getting your foot in the door by volunteering. You never know where a simple conversation can lead.
There are pros and cons to working for a nonprofit organization, but it can be a great way to build opportunities and get your foot in the door for your future career.