If you're the type of person that likes helping others, a local nonprofit job may be your calling. While the pay can be low and the work can be grueling, you'll get the daily satisfaction of knowing that you are making a difference in somebody's life.
Nonprofit organizations need talented staff members like you in order to keep their programs running. Whether you want to be on the front lines or are keen on behind-the-scenes action, there are tons of opportunities to get involved.
Before diving into your nonprofit job search, first take a minute to think about what causes and issues you care about. Here are a few to consider:
Education: The learning process is both challenging and incredibly rewarding for kids and adults alike. Consider working in education if planting seeds of knowledge and fostering their growth sounds exciting to you.
Youth: Often paired with education, working with the next generation of brilliant minds is important work. If you love kids and want to help facilitate a safe and fun space for them, include youth-oriented nonprofits in your search.
Arts: Music, fine art, literature, and all the creative genres in between are pillars for expression within any community. Maybe you're driven by your own creativity or you like to appreciate and support the arts. Either way, there are plenty of nonprofit jobs out there for you.
Family & Human Services: Familial support systems can always use extra hands and hearts. Whether you understand what it's like to have a dicey family situation or not, if you feel the urge to help other families in need, there are nonprofit jobs with your name on them!
Environment: Planet Earth needs help! And you're just the person to do it if you love plants, animals, and the habitats we all thrive in.
Animal Rights: Research-based testing on animals and over-breeding are just a couple of the issues facing creatures that don't have the ability to linguistically express their suffering. If this pulls at your heart-strings, empower yourself to do something about it.
- Animal Rights: Everybody deserves to have a roof over their heads, don't you think? If you said yes with an exclamation point, keep this cause in mind.
Now that you're all fired up and ready to fight for what you believe in, what's next? If you've already starting looking, maybe you've seen the titles of some nonprofit jobs without knowing what they really mean. Let's clear that up for you! Take a gander at all of these opportunities:
You’ve probably already had significant experience in a nonprofit if you're considering this position. If you've got the ambition, the diplomacy, and the know-how, go for it! Organizations need strong leaders like you to keep them going.
Often the executive director's right hand, you'll need strong computer and research skills, supreme interpersonal abilities, and a high level of flexibility for this position. Ambition is a must.
All the procedures of the office rely on this person to keep track of their progress and delegate as needed. This is a leadership position with knowledge of both technology and people required.
Often involving recruiting, scheduling, and training, this is another leadership position to consider if you are a people-person who loves inspiring others to get involved.
Photo Credit: Summer in the City
If you've enjoyed customer service positions in the past and want to take that to the next level, keep this job in mind. It’s heavy in management and planning, all the while focused on clientele growth and retention.
You like money, crunching numbers, and are extremely detail-oriented if you are considering this job. It's a lot of responsibility and usually requires a degree in accounting and a good amount of experience. But if you’re qualified, you get to be the "chief" of something, which is neat.
The operations manager of a nonprofit is typically overseeing the production line of goods or services. It means going over the production process with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything is meeting standards.
Usually working under the financial officer, data entry and analysis is your game. Previous administrative and accounting experience is certainly a plus, but check specific requirements for the organization you're interested in.
If you're into tedious details, love working at a computer, and have mad organization skills, consider pursuing this job. Database managers are responsible for gathering and storing large amounts of information. Depending on the size of the nonprofit, requirements for this position may vary.
An important leadership position, the human resources director develops and manages strategies that concern employee well-being. This job requires collaboration with many departments and works as a consultant to other managers, so strong interpersonal skills are a must.
Accuracy is key! Computer skills and perhaps some accounting experience are necessary, but a degree is often not required. A vital component to the operation of any company, you can feel good about ensuring all your co-workers get paid.
Photo Credit: Hamilton Family Center
Marketing and Fundraising Jobs
This job is strategic and political. You'll work closely with a Board of Directors to raise funds for the organization. Previous similar experience is needed for success.
13. Grant Writer
The qualifications for this one are different for each nonprofit. Ultimately, you’ll need superb written communication skills because, as the title suggests, writing is the majority of this job. One of the cool things about this position is that the hours are often flexible (though deadlines are not!) and sometimes you can even work from home.
Another strategy-based position, the marketing director is hip to trends in the community. In this position, you’ll need to thoroughly know your target audience and be fluent in all forms of communication and some advertising. Usually, previous experience and a degree are required.
This position is still pretty fresh in the job market, and depending on what nonprofit is advertising the job, your personal habit of tweeting and uploading photos to Instagram likely qualify as notable experience.
This job is all about branding and publicity. In smaller organizations, the marketing director, social media manager, and communications director are sometimes combined to form the ultimate marketing specialist. This position alone often revolves around ensuring that every aspect of your nonprofit shines like a new penny—in person, online, and everywhere in between.
Do you love managing websites and are familiar with a whole slew of web-building software and know how to code? Great! Put those techy skills to work and earn the superhero-esque title of Webmaster.
18. Program Manager
This nonprofit job description varies a lot, but the main hitters of planning, managing people, problem-solving, and being able to see the bigger picture of the organization are pretty much always on the list. You should probably feel confident and knowledgeable in your field if you're applying for this position.
A leadership and people-loving position, this person is on-the-go and usually working on several projects at one time. Scheduling, implementing, distributing, communicating, and managing your time efficiently are all components here. Typically a bachelor's degree and previous experience are required.
Depending on the size of the nonprofit, this position could be combined with other community or outreach-related jobs. Fundraising, as well as finding ways that your nonprofit can contribute to the community, are focal points of this position.
Often working out in the field, the outreach specialist is a liaison with various influential organizations and people in the community. Good judgment and personable communication skills are exercised frequently.
Whether you are still in high school or have years of experience in the field, there are teaching positions available for a variety of skill levels. After-school programs, volunteer education programs, or community-building classes are just a few where you can put your passion for teaching to good use!
Photo Credit: Big Brother Big Sister of the Bay Area
23. Case Manager
Previous experience or education is usually preferred for this position. It's tough work. Knowledge of federal and state laws, as well as that of your community's resources, are needed, but this at-the-front-lines position can feel deeply rewarding.
Working closely with marketing and other departments, your people skills, research capabilities, and time management can shine in this position. Multi-tasking is at the core here and some experience in a similar position is often preferred.
Usually listed as an entry-level position, this is a great nonprofit job for someone who is very organized and enjoys recording and communicating information. Excellent written and verbal communication are highly desired, as are proficient computer skills. If you're a current student, there are some nonprofits that offer work-study programs for this position.
There you have it! Now go forth and spread those wings! (Or maybe just start with spreading around your resume).