There are many ways to make a difference in your community, such as volunteering or donating money to a charity.
But if you want to help others on a permanent basis, consider working for a nonprofit organization.
Just how important is the nonprofit sector in the United States?
Independent Sector reports that the nonprofit sector
includes 1.14 million institutions, about 6 percent of all entities in the United States.
The sector employs 10.2 million full and part-time employees.
What to Look For
Just as in the for-profit sector, nonprofit opportunities vary greatly. Employees of social service agencies, relief organizations and private foundations all work in the nonprofit sector, yet their duties and work environments differ greatly. The sector offers opportunities for almost anyone. The trick is finding the role best suited for you.
What Nonprofits Look For
Nonprofit employers look for many of the characteristics that other employers seek. Prior experience, education, ability, recommendations and personality all come into play. However, other factors can make a difference in the nonprofit arena. Janet Haddad, who has extensive human resource management experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, recommended including relevant volunteer experience on your resume. She also noted that every nonprofit is different, so you must research the company first.
Pros and Cons
The benefits of working for a nonprofit organization are abundant, but there are also downsides.
Let's just say that non-profit workers don't enter the field for the money.
Non-profit staff salaries are 25% lower than business or government salaries on average,
according to ACCESS,
a former site that specialized in non-profit employment.
Think you've got what it takes to make it in the nonprofit sector? Then explore these sites to find the nonprofit organization that's right for you.
Idealist Idealist is a comprehensive directory of online nonprofit and volunteering resources. It contains information on more than 17,000 nonprofit and community organizations in 130 countries, which you can search or browse by name, location or mission.
Charity Village This is Canada's "supersite" for the nonprofit sector -- it contains news, jobs, information and resources. The Nonprofit Neighborhood lists hundreds of Canadian nonprofits with links to their Web pages.
Nonprofit Zone Search for nonprofit organizations by name, city, category or keyword. Plus find career resources and nonprofit events.
Peace Corps Learn about the history and current work of the organization, as well as how to apply. It's the toughest job you'll ever love!
And finally, start looking for a job! Check out:
OpportunityNOCs Their job bank lists hundreds of classified ads from nonprofit organizations around the country. In addition to job listings, the site also features a nonprofit library and career resource center.
Chronicle of Philanthropy -- Job Openings Browse all job openings from the current issue of the Chronicle or search listings by category. Jobs are organized by type, (technology or fund raising) and by field (arts, health or social services). A special section is devoted to "early career opportunities."
Idealist Along with its extensive directory of nonprofit organizations, Idealist lists hundreds of job and internship openings in every state and many countries.
SocialService.com This site has job listings for fields such as mental health, substance abuse, children and youth, medical social work, domestic violence and community organizing. Search for jobs by state or have new job postings e-mailed to you.
ExecSearches.com This job database specializes in senior-level positions at nonprofit organizations.