Is a Non-Profit Career for You?


The non-profit sector employs over 10.7 million people in the United States and over 2 million in Canada. For those in the later stages of their career who are seeking ways to give back, working for a non-profit is a viable and cool alternative. Additionally, to further determine your suitability for a non-profit career, you have to know what a non-profit organization is, what jobs they hire for, and where to search for job openings.


What is a Non-profit?


A non-profit is a group that comes together to achieve a mission rather than to make a profit. An example of a mission is raising awareness and advocacy or providing services. Non-profits can make a profit to cover expenses, and they frequently accept gifts and charitable donations. Charities, religious organizations, some educational institutions, and trade associations that offer membership are examples of non-profit organizations.


Jobs Non-Profits Hire for


The roles that private sector companies hire for also exist in non-profit organizations, except they may have another name. For instance, they hire people to fill IT, marketing, sales, accounting and management roles. And sales roles in a non-profit organizations could include: Fundraising, donor acquisition, donor research, and event planning.


Is a Non-Profit Job Right for You?


But how can you decide if a non-profit career is the right choice for you? The best way to determine if a non-profit job makes sense for you is to honestly answer the following questions:


  1. Is there a cause that you are passionate about?
  2. Do you have the skills, abilities and energy to work in the area that you are interested in?
  3. Do you have the knowledge, or know enough about the cause to succeed?


Where to Find Non-profit Jobs and Resources


Non-profits have less funds to spend on recruitment, but the following websites are great starting points to discover job openings and gather research. After you have navigated the websites, you will be able to decide if you want to go the non-profit route. For the websites that you find most useful, consider signing-up for their newsletters and alerts and you may also want to connect with them on social media.


  2. The Chronicle of Philanthropy (Includes a jobs page)


The information contained in this post will get you started, and help you to determine if a non-profit career is for you. In a subsequent post, you will learn how to market yourself to non-profits.