For many, nonprofit jobs are more than a mere profession—they are a mission, a calling, a reason for being. These workers go into the nonprofit sector with a propensity for making the world a better place. They take these jobs to create true meaning in their lives, to fight for a cause they believe in, to fundraise for non-financial gain. People of all stripes and colors, with a miscellany of interests, work for nonprofits, from the American Red Cross and the Humane Society to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
If you like teamwork, can parlay creative thinking into interpersonal skills, and enjoy rallying people to join your initiatives, you should consider a nonprofit job. The fields in this sector are incredibly diverse, ranging from health, poverty, and education to foreign affairs, environmental concerns, the arts, and various other advocacy groups. Traditionally, when looking for a nonprofit position, job hunters will seek out nonprofit organizations (NPOs), which have been granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the past few decades, not-for-profit entities have proliferated exponentially in the U.S., with about 1.6 million nonprofit organizations now recognized by the IRS. Nonprofits employ 10% of the nation's workforce, which translates to around 11.4 million jobs.
Since helping others and fostering support may be priorities, you can expand your search by looking for overall service jobs. Otherwise, narrower service categories that aren't within NPOs can include:
Given how much variation there is in the nonprofit sector, job qualifications and educational requirements aren't set in stone. But it's safe to say that a bachelor's degree will be helpful for you to qualify for any given nonprofit position. Job titles can go from health policy analysts, membership managers, and communication specialists to nonprofit executive directors.
Of course, the kinds of skills you'll need to succeed will depend on the nature of the role you're applying to. An inherent sense of altruism and compassion will serve as your guiding light. And if you already know where you want to end up, you can pursue certain studies that will set you in motion. For instance, a job seeker who wants to work at the United Nations may need to earn an advanced degree in international affairs to appreciate the peace-mediation dynamic. Or you can become a lawyer and work for a nonprofit such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The nonprofit sector is a large, sweeping classification, and the approach to creating an optimal nonprofit resume will be contingent on the specific job and NPO you're applying to. You should definitely play up any previous volunteer experience and goal-oriented accomplishments. Monster can provide expert advice on building out your resume, including how to write a nonprofit resume that gets results. Meanwhile, browse through our list of resume examples for further inspiration.
Since you'll need to explain what motivates you to work for any particular cause, cover letters are an important part of any nonprofit job application. We have several nonprofit correspondence samples to get you started. Make sure to also review advice from Monster experts on writing cover letters.
It's best to perceive your job interview as an opportunity to showcase your values and what made you choose the nonprofit sector. A cardinal rule here is to deep dive and research the NPO before you go to your interview. Some questions your interviewer could ask are:
Master the art of the interview by leveraging Monster's plentiful resources that can help you learn what questions to expect and how to respond to them.
Even if NPOs are not for profit by definition, that doesn't mean you can't have a career that pays a good salary. The job title and type of NPO will determine your salary ranges. To give you some examples, the median pay for a fundraising manager is $75,378, while it's $57,849 a year for a grants administrator and $47,086 for a program coordinator. Make use of the Salary Tools on Monster to find pay details for nonprofit jobs in your area.
Are you ready to change the world? Monster has a ton of nonprofit jobs to help you jump into a rewarding career. Build a profile so that you can connect with recruiters, receive notifications for new job postings, and begin fulfilling your life's mission.