• Lee

    Being a Volunteer Manager in a nonprofit I can absolutely relate. When I tell people I am a Volunteer Manager the most common response is “that is cool, what do you do to get paid”. Thanks for the great article. I have seen the myth about nonprofits affect both employment of professionals and also the ability to recruit highly skilled volunteers. I write a little bit about it in my blog entry “[LINK=http://leepetergeorge.blogspot.com/2012/04/business-model.html]Business Model”[/LINK]

  • Malia

    As a recent grad, my concern with non profits was not the fact that I believed I wouldn’t be paid, but rather in the fact that in this economy, non profits are less secure in their funding, therefore jeopardizing job security. The effort a recent grad has to invest in their search for a job would all be in vain if in upon arriving in their new position they find that it is possible for the NPO to go under. I believe that is why so many recent grads (at least in my field) turn to government positions if possible.

  • CJ

    Malia,
    It is unfortunate that you have adopted this perception of non-profit organizations. As someone that has been laid-off from positions in the private and non-profit sector, I can assure you, no position with any entity is more solvent or secure than the other. I believe it still boils down to perception. NPs are perceived to be fighting on the verge of sustainability even when our economy is robust. Yes, there are countless stories of NPs receiving fewer donations and corporate gifts, but that is nothing compared to the 6 plus million private sector jobs lost during the most recent recession.

    Yes, NPs may not be able to provide the starting salaries that (if one is so lucky) are offered in the private sector, but NPs are fertile ground to gain and enhance some incredibly marketable skills while one actively anticipates landing a private sector position. The beauty is that if you or other recent graduates do decide to dip into the NP pool, you just may fall in love with social good as a career and decide to stay (and executive and even management level NP employees can command some sweet salaries) 🙂

  • Jerome Fontana

    I am working for 14 years at the International Committee of the Red Cross. I can think of no other job that would give me such an interesting job, decent salary, worldwide traveling opportunities (I have lived in 9 different countries), and still have a normal family life (I have three children). Cheers, Jerome

  • Kait

    This is a fantastic article! So true! I am a recent college grad who aspired to work in nonprofits since I was 18 and people never understood why. Now I work in fundraising and social media for a nonprofit and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I also make a respectable salary, more than many of my friends and recent grads. People need to consider it. You feel good and you work directly where the real change is happening.

  • archana rao

    Having worked with the Development Sector…i wud truly not pause if given another chance. The trend setting in any sector happens with trendsetters like you.

    The world needs PROFESSIONALS in every spheres..and this is the need of the hour…and NPO needs it more.

    Most corporate houses hv their own Foundations….this makes it pertinent that their activities invite equivalent staff members who will develop the SO CALLED …OTHER SIDE OF THE COMPANY
    .
    so that the LISTING ON THE NYSE OR EVEN THE NATIONAL STOCK EXCHANGE IS VALUED….

  • CA Nonprofit Worker

    This post might be simplifying the issue just a bit. I’m a college grad who proudly works for a nonprofit, but in the 2 years I’ve been here, I’ve seen our organization inch ever closer to the brink of financial ruin. As much as I love my work and believe with my heart that what I do is important, I dream of finding another position that will pay me enough to fix my car or even (imagine!) buy one that’s less than 15 years old.

    Maybe more recent college grads, saddled as they are with massive debt loads, are just more concerned with finding a job that will still exist a year, or five, down the road.

  • CJ

    Jerome, it is so warming to hear that you have been able to carve out a successful career in the NPO world! More success stories such as yours need to be shared to recent graduates and career changers like crazy!

  • Leslie Shernofsky

    Hi Lee,

    You might think about switching the words in your title around to Manager of Volunteers. 🙂

  • United Way of the National Capital Area

    We are so happy you’re explaining the career opportunities available in nonprofits to upcoming grads, thank you and great article!

  • Arti

    Great Read! Thank you for providing wonderful insights into career opportunities in non profit management.

  • Barbara Saunders

    I have worked in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. What I could not find in the nonprofit sector: a healthy independent contributor track. Though I enjoy and excel at project management, I do not want to manage people. So I returned to the private sector, where I have been both a creative and an analyst with no direct reports and no responsibility to provide administrative support for anyone.

  • Rachel

    Thank you so much for this post. I find more and more that I really want to work in the Non-Profit sector after I graduate next year and I’ve been feeling really discouraged recently by people claiming that you can’t make any money in that kind of career or saying that would be a good past-time. This article really cleared some things up.