Six Reasons to Work for a Non-Profit Organization

This is a guest article by Flexo from Consumerism Commentary. Flexo is currently on a ten-day, ten-venue tour.

“It ain’t the money.”

I started my career out of college working for a non-profit organization involved with the arts. Yes, after graduation, I took myself and my thousands of dollars of student loan debt and walked away, at least temporarily, from the career my education and certification would have otherwise directed me: teaching. I wasn’t exactly clued into personal finance at the time, so I made some mistakes with my money and my life decisions.

Although I ended up leaving my non-profit aspirations behind after years of mismanaging my finances, I would be in a better position to return now. I’m a fan of the benefits that non-profits provide for communities and for their employees, and working for a non-profit can be a great starting point for any career — or life.

The one drawback is, of course, they don’t typically pay well. But even that can be interpreted as an advantage.

1. Non-profits force you to focus on your personal finances. I failed at this until reality kicked in, but a job at the lowest end of the salary scale should make you consciously consider your money situation. This is an opportunity to be forced into several good habits that, while even if abandoned when cash flow improves in the future, will continue to underlie your philosophy and relationship with money.

Low income will force you to learn budgeting techniques as well as to track your expenses. You will discover how to live on less money than your friends.

2. You will learn the meaning of hard work. While there are some exceptions, most non-profit organizations do not have the resources to comfortable achieve their missions. A lack of resources like capital and staff requires everyone to pitch in more. In my experience with the non-profit where I worked, even with hundreds of un-paid volunteers, the organization’s staff of ten worked 80 to 100 hours a week during some parts of the year.

3. You will broaden your skills with multiple responsibilities. In addition to long hours, you may find that your responsibilities include more than just one function. In my ten-person office, we each had multiple responsibilities simply because there weren’t enough people for everyone to be a “specialist.”

For example, my primary function was to run an educational program for 30,000 high school students across hundreds of high schools, but I also maintained the organization’s frequently-updated website, manned the customer service telephone line for the teachers we supported, provided hardware and software technical support to the other staff, functioned as a network administrator, planned and managed events, shuttled volunteers from airports to event sites, and designed our operations-related databases.

4. Meet talented and passionate people. While working for a non-profit, you will have the opportunity to surround yourself with some of the most amazing people you will ever know. One way of improving yourself is to seek the company of people who are the best in the world. Get to know the people who sit on the organization’s Board of Directors because they share the same goals and often bridge the gap to the for-profit world.

5. Doing what you love will keep you motivated. If you love your job, it won’t feel like work. That will be a great benefit when you will be spending most of your waking life for the benefit of the non-profit. If you align your occupation with something you are passionate about, your performance on the job will be better than if you were to work in a corporation without passion.

6. You can change the world. For a corporation, particularly a public company beholden to shareholders, your job always boils down to increasing the company’s bottom line. There is little personal reward in that goal, so corporations make up for this by offering salaries, bonuses, stock options, and a slate of other benefits. In a non-profit organization, you are also “paid” by the satisfaction of doing something good for the world’s benefit, whether it is saving lives, reducing poverty, making education affordable, bringing enrichment opportunities to children, or some other worthy cause.

Working for a non-profit organization isn’t for everyone, but it also isn’t only for the rich who have little need to build wealth for their family. You can have a comfortable and rewarding life, and you can build wealth, by working for a non-profit.

57 Responses to Six Reasons to Work for a Non-Profit Organization
  1. Priya Kapoor
    January 27, 2010 | 7:49 am

    Are there any non-profits that you would recommend people to try out? :)

  2. SimplyForties
    January 27, 2010 | 8:00 am

    A non-profit for whom I recently started volunteering offered me a full-time job. The job will not exist for another 6-12 months but they have asked me to consider taking it. I’m pondering it. Living in North Carolina appeals to me, and I believe in what these people are doing. The timeline also works for me. In my “real” life I work as a virtual paralegal and, I could keep my paralegal clients and use that money to supplement the less-than-ideal salary that these people would be able to pay Unfortunately, that would mean that I’d be working a full-time job for the non-profit and then still have to work evenings and weekends to pay the bills. I’d have to really love the non-profit to be willing to do that. In my new life I’ve learned that I really value my free time and if I make this move I’ll have a lot less of it. It’s a tough decision and I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

    I applaud everyone who works for a non-profit but I also understand why it’s not for everyone. No matter how dedicated, or financially careful, there is such a thing as not enough.

  3. Flexo
    January 27, 2010 | 8:59 am

    Priya: You can probably try out some non-profits by volunteering, and I’m sure there’s something in New York that matches your interests. I’m a fan of the The New York Philharmonic. I know they need volunteers at least in the summer for their free Concerts in the Parks.

    SimplyForties: That’s a tough decision. That’s the kind of sacrifice that people have to decide whether they can make. Let us know what you decide!

  4. Kim: Blogging for Change
    January 27, 2010 | 11:40 am

    I agree with everything you’ve said. I have worked for a nonprofit for 14 years (and counting!) Could I have made more money somewhere else? Probably. But I had to consider how much that money would be worth to me. Having a job that I love and helping people at the same time is priceless.

    As for point #1, my nonprofit happens to be focused on personal finance, so I’ve had no choice but to learn budgeting techniques!

  5. Barb
    January 27, 2010 | 11:55 am

    Two of my three jobs have been at non-profits and maybe it’s because I work in the DC area, home to a LOT of associations, I’ve found the pay to be competitive. Size among non-profits also varies wildly (I’ve worked for two decent-sized nonprofits [around 100 employees each]), but working at one helped me to learn ALL aspects of my profession (publishing)–something I wouldn’t have gotten at a for-profit publisher.

  6. Financial Samurai
    January 27, 2010 | 10:47 pm

    I really like the idea and the ideals of a non profit organization. Maybe I’ll join one day after I retire. Thanks for sharing your thought Flexo!

  7. SAM
    February 2, 2010 | 11:33 am

    You forgot an important one!

    Non-profits often make up for what they lack in salary with great benefits – flexible work schedules, good health insurance or retirement plans, lots of vacation, etc…

  8. Flexo
    February 13, 2010 | 6:37 am

    Hi SAM,

    Unfortunately, I’ve often found the opposite — the benefits, like the salary, are often lacking. When I worked for a non-profit, our hours were often 7 am to 7 pm plus weekends. We had no retirement plan. I think I was able to take one week of vacation a year. And I expect that experience is more typical of the smaller non-profits.

  9. Financial Samurai
    February 13, 2010 | 8:23 am

    Yikes, that’s a shame Flexo. I may have to try and help in a different way later in my career life then.

  10. Dung
    April 22, 2011 | 9:22 am

    I admire those who work in non governmental organizations and would like to work like them.

  11. This Really Grinds my Gear
    January 20, 2012 | 7:12 pm

    Excellent items from you, man. I have take note your stuff prior to and you are simply extremely fantastic. I really like what you have got right here, certainly like what you’re saying and the best way through which you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. That is actually a great site.

  12. marayh
    May 27, 2012 | 12:07 pm

    Hi! (to whoever is doing this)Just a coulpe of points:e2€œBetter than any non-profit handoutse2€9d (could have stayed a non-profit and have done the same things much better by using the profits to advance the mission instead of pocketing them).e2€œextremely modest capitalisme2€9d (wouldne2€™t be so sure about thate2€a6 e2€“ how do we know much they profit if they refuse to disclose their profits? e2€“ and the long term business model that they claim not to havee2€a6 appears to be *quite* capitalistice2€a6).Good luck with everything and take care!Delia

  13. arlington virtual office
    May 2, 2013 | 9:17 am

    Hello everyone, it’s my first go to see at this website, and paragraph is really fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these types of articles or reviews.

  14. raspberry ketone report
    May 18, 2013 | 9:54 am

    Terrific work! This is the kind of information that are meant to be shared across the net.
    Disgrace on Google for not positioning this submit higher!
    Come on over and seek advice from my web site .
    Thank you =)

  15. Second, it is being used in the treatment of various serious medical conditions.

    Or, does human life get underway 14 to 15 days after embryonic development.
    The type of text books used in anatomy courses are said to
    account for whether many students do well or fail.

    June 7, 2013 | 7:17 am

    Hi, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was funny. Keep on posting!

  17. Nuetrim Weight Loss Review
    July 17, 2013 | 11:15 pm

    Aw, this was a very good post. Taking a few minutes and actual
    effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  18. Dft.Ba
    July 20, 2013 | 4:01 am

    If you desire to improve your knowledge only keep visiting this website and
    be updated with the hottest gossip posted here.

  19. Xterme Antler Reviews
    July 23, 2013 | 9:07 am

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it
    ;) I will revisit yet again since i have book-marked it.

    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be
    rich and continue to help other people.

  20. Orlando SEO Companies
    July 24, 2013 | 5:59 am

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth
    comment. I believe that you ought to publish
    more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks don’t discuss such issues. To the next! All the best!!

  21. elder care
    July 31, 2013 | 5:35 am

    I am in fact thankful to the holder of this web page who
    has shared this wonderful post at here.

  22. 1285 Muscle Supplement
    October 17, 2013 | 8:13 pm

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It
    really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back
    and help others like you aided me.

  23. jual sepatu boots pria
    November 10, 2013 | 10:02 am

    Very enlightening i hope that other individuals have a excellent knowledge from this blog post like i do. Maybe you will certainly discover a few other idea by going to jual sepatu boots pria murah

  24. create blog
    December 15, 2013 | 11:56 am

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, but before finish I am reading
    this enormous piece of writing to improve my experience.

  25. all for Christ
    December 17, 2013 | 11:34 am

    I have been offered a position for a non-profit. Never thought I would be doing that, not even on the radar and now I feel called. I am on my 11th year in education. I finished my masters 3 years ago in educational administration. I still owe on student loans. Does anybody know if there is help for someone working for a non-profit in regards to loans?

  26. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as
    long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog is in the exact
    same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely
    benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks a lot!

    April 24, 2014 | 9:51 pm

    It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info.
    I’m satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us.

    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Online Pharmacy
    May 14, 2014 | 6:38 pm

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert
    that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  29. Scot
    June 16, 2014 | 4:32 pm

    Pre-requisite events are also quite helpful in this regard.
    The wireless devices being used are portable, and usually wi-fi enabled.
    Without the familiarity of technology and what it does, our students will be lost in the business world.

  30. certainly like your website but you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I will definitely come back again.

  31. term life insurance rating
    August 7, 2014 | 2:49 am

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article.
    Thank you for providing this information.

  32. vitamin b12
    August 20, 2014 | 5:38 pm

    I got this web site from my buddy who told me on the topic of this website and at the moment this time I am visiting this website
    and reading very informative articles at this place.

  33. where to buy green coffee beans
    August 24, 2014 | 12:28 pm

    After checking out a number of the blog posts on your website,
    I really appreciate your way of writing a blog.

    I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking
    back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know what you think.

    September 5, 2014 | 5:37 am

    I know this website presents quality depending articles and
    additional stuff, is there any other web page which gives such data in quality?

  35. t90 xplode canada
    September 10, 2014 | 12:43 pm

    I got this web site from my buddy who informed me on the topic of this
    website and at the moment this time I am browsing this web site and reading
    very informative articles here.

  36. best testosterone booster and estrogen blocker
    September 17, 2014 | 6:38 am

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d
    figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading
    links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa?
    My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could
    greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

    September 21, 2014 | 3:00 am

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve you guys to blogroll.

  38. product review
    September 22, 2014 | 4:38 pm

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.

    Please let me know. Thanks

  39. raising testosterone in men
    October 3, 2014 | 7:59 am

    Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days.
    I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  40. Rental Homes Newport Beach CA
    October 5, 2014 | 12:20 pm

    Hi there! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.

    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours take a lot of work?
    I am brand new to running a blog but I do write in my diary everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips
    for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  41. Funny app
    October 5, 2014 | 3:21 pm

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.

    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  42. Barbra
    October 6, 2014 | 4:57 pm

    Hey there would you mind letring me know which hosting company you’re working
    with? I’veloaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog
    loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good hosting
    provider at a honest price? Kudos, I appreciate it!

  43. Bible verses
    October 14, 2014 | 1:28 pm

    What i don’t understood is in fact how you’re no longer
    really much more smartly-preferred than you might be now.
    You’re so intelligent. You recognize therefore significantly
    in relation to this topic, produced me for my part imagine it from so many various angles.

    Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested unless it is something to do
    with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs great. All
    the time maintain it up!

  44. Discover A lot more Here
    October 23, 2014 | 4:21 pm

    There is an easy way to protect your Samsung galaxy nexus,
    by getting a casing for your galaxy nexus, a wide variety of cases are offered
    to protect your phone. 1-inches and further biometrics, with 16 Megapixel camera
    and android 4. Besides, the ripping technology to cope with Muppets Most Wanted DVD has been improved by
    the company and there is no negative user feedback so far according
    to the Technical Support Team.

  45. bodybuilding & figure
    November 6, 2014 | 5:28 am

    Hello every one, here every one is sharing these
    kinds of experience, so it’s nice to read this blog, and I used
    to pay a quick visit this web site every day.

  46. Http://L.Sajib.Im/Hydroxatone_90_238664
    December 3, 2014 | 7:00 am

    Great blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult tto find good
    quality writing like yours nowadays. I honesztly appreciate
    inddividuals like you! Take care!!

  47. related website
    January 29, 2015 | 4:06 am

    I was looking for information on Social Networking and if anyone provides free Inbound Marketing Tools. I found this so I am sharing it here for you as it relates to MarketHive Review. See Thank you Tenny Andelman

  48. More Info
    February 3, 2015 | 4:39 pm

    It is such as you study my head! A person looks to figure out considerably about the following, as if you submitted the hem ebook there or something. I believe that you just could possibly make use of many Per-cent so that you can stress the material dwelling somewhat, nevertheless rather than that, that is superb blog. An excellent understand. Let me definitely be back Market Hive Review.

  49. Kinderfahrräder 12 zoll
    April 10, 2015 | 9:07 pm

    І savour, lead to ӏ diiscovered exactly what I used to
    be taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 ɗay lengthy hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  50. Elder Scrolls online beginners guide
    May 2, 2015 | 12:00 pm

    Naturally, experience can be earned by exploring the world, taking on quests and battling monsters
    to level up and earn points. The problems I have with the game aren’t the kind of thing you
    are going to see watching You – Tube videos of how the gameplay works or
    reading articles about what Zeni – Max put into the game.
    There are several ways to solve this puzzle, but
    here is one way to do it. The numbers on the side will
    let you know how many points (or rubies) to add to that skill.
    It is unlocked automatically at the beginning of the game.
    So pick your talents wisely to find the right build that works best for your playing style.
    So not only am I running around a city doing nothing more interesting than carrying messages
    that don’t need to be carried in the first place, I’m doing
    all this stuff for NPCs who are more annoying than engaging, and make me wonder why I would want to help them in the first place.
    Once you get comfortable with a particular weapon, you’ll learn where it shoots without even having
    to aim. Players were apparently earning more gold and experience points
    after being alleviated from vampirism and lycanthropy.
    Sit – Rep Pro makes enemy footsteps louder and friendly footsteps quieter and is unlocked by
    destroying 120 pieces of enemy equipment while using Sit – Rep.

  1. Best of Consumerism Commentary, January 2010
  2. Flexo On Tour and Best of December 2009
  3. real estate property for rent
  4. coffee drink
  5. purified Eyelash Stimulator
  6. gain muscle
  7. walk in tub
Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL