Why Work for a Nonprofit Organization?

by Laura Ingrim

There are approximately 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States alone! In fact, the nonprofit sector currently employs more than 10% of the total workforce in the US. So why are people choosing to work at a nonprofit?

Well, I am a great person to ask, as I have worked for 4 of them! From teaching to being a volunteer coordinator, I have found a lot of value and job satisfaction in working for a cause. So here is my list of why you should consider working for a nonprofit:

  1. There are so many options! First, let’s define a nonprofit organization. The Independent Sector defines a nonprofit as a tax-exempt organization that benefits the broad public interest. There are a ton of different types of nonprofits, from schools to soup kitchens, advocacy groups to churches, and more! Some are small, local endeavors with a handful of employees. Others are large, national organizations. There are nonprofits who have been serving the community for hundreds of years; others were founded within the last year. With so many different organizations to choose from, there is a good chance you can find one that is a fit for you.
  2. You are working for a cause you believe in. I know every day that my work matters, namely because I am helping Wilkinson Center serve our clients on their pathways to success. Working for a nonprofit is a great way to make a cause you are passionate about into a career.
  3. You get the chance to wear a lot of hats. In every nonprofit I have worked for, there is an “all-hands on deck” approach to getting the job done. Because of that, you often get the chance to try new skills and “flex” outside of your job description. Rarely are two days the same at a nonprofit!
  4. It’s a great job for networking. There are generally lots of opportunities to network at nonprofits. From working with corporate partners or volunteers to hobnobbing with donors at fundraising events, you would be surprised at the awesome connections you can make in the community. And don’t forget your Board! Board Members are often heavy hitters in the philanthropic community, and a good relationship with your Board can lead to future opportunities both within your organization and beyond.
  5. You work alongside like-minded people. In general, people choose to work at nonprofits because they support the organization’s mission. This means that you are surrounded by a group of people who are as passionate about changing the world as you are! Having that basic common ground makes a huge difference in interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution. Plus, in my experience, you come out of working at a nonprofit with life-long friendships and professional connections.

Whether you are a recent graduate or looking for a career shift, a job in the nonprofit sector offers a lot of rewarding experiences. If you are interested in working for Wilkinson Center, we are hiring! Please visit our “Join Our Team” page for more information on our open positions: https://www.thewilkinsoncenter.org/get-involved/careers/