It’s one of the most commonly asked job search questions out there: “Why should I choose a nonprofit job?” The general perception among a lot of people is that nonprofit work pays very little and requires more work than it’s worth.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
While there’s no question that nonprofits demand a lot from their employees, most of them pay just as much as for-profit jobs. A quick glance at some statistics in The NonProfit Times´ Salary and Benefits Reports will confirm that you can make very respectable salaries working in the sector. In fact, the average salary for fundraisers in 2011 was $75,595.
Now that we’ve established that money will not be an issue it’s time to move on to another aspect of nonprofit jobs, one that really makes them unique. We live in a country that is placing more and more emphasis on giving back, so the idea of getting paid working for a cause you are passionate for can be very appealing. Being passionate about your work is a great way to reduce burn-out, which in turn will reduce your stress.
Not every nonprofit job you apply to will be great. The truth of the matter is that, like any profession, there will be some less than quality jobs out there. That’s why it’s helpful to know the characteristics of great nonprofit employers. The following are some that are shared by the organizations listed in The NonProfit Times ‘ 2012 Best Nonprofits to Work For:
- An open and transparent culture;
- Employees have confidence in organizational leadership;
- Employees feel they have a stake in the goals of the organization;
- An environment that fosters a sense of mutual respect;
- A work environment that is challenging but fun;
- Enough opportunities to relax and socialize with other employees;
- An emphasis on advancing employees’ skills; and,
- New ideas are encouraged.
We highly recommend you do enough research before applying to a nonprofit to make sure it meets these characteristics. A good place to start would be the organization’s social media pages, as these tend to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the culture of the organization.
Are you convinced that a nonprofit job is right for you? We have plenty of nonprofit jobs listed in our career center, so check it out and see if the right opportunity is out there for you.