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Finding a great nonprofit job

Finding a great nonprofit job

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Photo provided by Getty Images

Photo provided by Getty Images

If you’ve ever thought about joining a nonprofit organization, now might be the perfect time. Local communities are rallying around their nonprofits in droves, especially during a time when people are staying closer to home during the pandemic.

This has led to more opportunities for professionals to leverage their experience to enter the nonprofit sector. If you’re one of these workers, there are things you should consider before embarking on a nonprofit job search.

Read on to learn how you can best position yourself for a successful transition into a nonprofit company.

A growing industry

Nonprofits represent approximately 10% of all jobs in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates into 12.3 million jobs. Additionally, the job growth at nonprofits has outpaced that of most other sectors, according to a Johns Hopkins report on nonprofit employment.

This newfound resurgence in nonprofit work opportunities is attracting all sorts of professionals — from the new graduate to recently retired people looking to make a difference.

Many universities have started to broaden their programs focused on nonprofit careers, building offerings specifically for students considering going to work for nonprofits.

What are your passions?

Before applying for nonprofit roles, it’s important to understand where your passions lie. Do you care deeply about the environment, poverty or international issues? Are you looking to improve conditions for children or the homeless?

No matter what you’re looking to achieve with your professional skill set, there is likely a nonprofit that matches your goals. If not, don’t be afraid to create your own nonprofit to solve the issues you see in your community.

Remember that all nonprofits started from the ground up based on someone’s dream. That someone could be you.

Start local

One of the best ways to make the biggest impact is to start right in your own backyard. Kick off your nonprofit job search with your city or town and then work outwards from there.

Even if you live in a small town, there are likely several grassroots organizations making a difference locally. In larger cities, you’ll find many local chapters of the larger, national nonprofits.

Most nonprofits now list their job openings right on their websites or publicize them in the local newspaper, so be on the lookout for new job announcements in your area.

Start by volunteering

Offering your services to an organization can teach you more about their goals and how they are specifically helping the community. It may also be a good test trial for you to determine whether or not you want to pursue a career with a nonprofit organization.

The contacts you make through volunteering can also be very valuable later in your job search. Many volunteers become paid staff eventually as the organization grows to the point of needing more staffing.

No matter the organization, be sure to highlight your volunteer experience on your resume. Nonprofits love to see candidates with a sense of community responsibility and service. Getting involved with a volunteering opportunity might just make the difference in landing the job.

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