Third and Fourth Sectors

The People Pages: Careers in Nonprofit Organizations

From The People Pages: Resources for Social Change (c) 2003 The Fruition Coalition

Much like for-profit companies, staffing in nonprofit organizations depends on the size, scope, and type of each organization.  While most nonprofits are small and community-based, many are international and ‘corporate’ in nature – and there is a full range in-between.  The number and type of jobs available in an individual organization depends on its capacity, service goals, and budget.

Because most nonprofits are subject to limited, restricted, and/or inconsistent funding, it is common for employees to wear multiple hats and work beyond defined job responsibilities.  The pay in nonprofits is also generally less than comparable work in the for-profit sector but it is becoming increasingly acceptable to show appreciation of employees’ hard work by remunerating them at market value.  Volunteers are integral to most nonprofits’ ability to achieve their missions, as they provide essential services at little cost to the organization (there are recruiting, training, supervising, and thanking costs involved).

The types of work available in nonprofit organizations are quite diverse.  There are career paths for program-related, administrative, and support workers.  Some fields relevant to nonprofits are:

Program-Related or Direct Service Fields

  •       Education
  •       Social Work
  •       Counseling
  •       Health Care
  •       The Arts
  •       Environmental
  •       History
  •       Library Science
  •       Community Organizing
  •       Clergy
  •       Athletics

Administrative Fields

  •       Executive Management
  •       Fundraising
  •       Finance
  •       Accounting
  •       Marketing
  •       Public Relations
  •       Human Resources
  •       Office Management

Support Fields

  •       Information Systems
  •       Web Design
  •       Graphic Design
  •       Research
  •       Maintenance
  •       Security
  •       Cooking
  •       Cleaning
  •       Reception and Secretarial

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