Looking for a job that matches your skills with your personal beliefs and commitments? Consider applying at a nonprofit. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NOCS), there are 1.6 million nonprofit organizations registered with the IRS in the United States. They also say that 9 percent of all wages and salaries in this country come from nonprofits.
There are opportunities for employment at nonprofits. Not just your local or national charity organizations, nonprofits include 501c3 organizations, private charities, private foundations, chambers of commerce, hospitals, fraternal organizations, civic leagues and many more.
Nonprofits are good fits for people who are passionate about charities, and about religious, civic or other causes.
Yet, it takes a special kind of person to fit into the nonprofit culture. TechSoup (techsoup.org), which bills itself as the technology place for nonprofits, states on its website, "Many people working in the nonprofit sector find the experience rewarding and fulfilling." But, it adds, "Working in the nonprofit sector, however, is not without its stresses. Nonprofit salaries tend to be lower, the issues dealt with can seem overwhelming, and many organizations are under incessant fiscal constraints."
Grace Armstrong, chief executive officer of NonProfit Leadership in Tampa (an organization that helps nonprofits), said 11 percent of everyone employed in Pinellas County works for a nonprofit of some kind. These employees have certain characteristics, she said, "They are less focused on the bottom line and more on the greater good. These people are often warm, creative and solution driven."
Armstrong adds that the type of skills nonprofits are looking for include good computer skills, including familiarity with a broad range of programs and social media savvy, good written and verbal communication skills, and good people skills. She noted that dependability and flexibility are traits nonprofits look for - because of limited staff, employees are often asked to fill several roles.
What types of jobs are available at nonprofits? Just about anything from IT to cashier. There are administrative and managerial positions. Many nonprofits deal with children, the elderly and people who need special help, so they require case workers and managers, as well as those involved in fundraising.
How do you look for a job at a nonprofit? First, spread the word that you are looking. Then directly contact organizations for which you would like to work. Most have websites where you can easily find whom to reach.
If you are still in high school or college, contact your career service adviser. Professional organizations in your field often list job openings, including those in nonprofits.
And, of course, there are the help wanted ads in newspapers and other publications, online job boards and social media sites, including LinkedIn and Facebook.
Marie Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing, business trends and employee motivation counseling. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website, www.howtomotivateemployees.org.