6 reasons why you should work for a nonprofit 

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Drake JMC alum Mark Fetterhoff, right, works for the National Association for Area Agencies on Aging, which provides services to older Americans and advocates on their behalf.

By Jade Sells

Let’s be clear. Nonprofit does not mean no profit for employees. A nonprofit organization is a public service establishment that is working to improve the common good of society and collects no profit. The bottom line for nonprofits is a positive influence, rather than a profit. 

There are over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. All of these organizations offer the same kinds of jobs that for-profit businesses do and there are several unique benefits nonprofit organizations offer their employees. Here are a few. 

1. Personal fulfillment

As we met with two employees of nonprofit organizations today, they described a kind of personal fulfillment that you just can’t get at a for-profit. They decribe success stories from the people they are advocating for and how fulfilling it was to see their impact on society. Which is evidence of a successful nonprofit. 

2. Wide range of experience 

These same employees also explain that nonprofits are often understaffed, which requires everyone to pick up the slack. There are not always set departments who have been assigned all responsibilities that need to be done. So, if something needs to be done, someone has to do it and sometimes that someone is you. It seems unorganized but often gives you an upper hand to get more experience in a variety of areas. 

3. Invested co-workers

Co-workers will gripe and groan of being overworked and underpaid, just like anywhere else. However, they joined the organization’s team, usually, for a good reason and with a shared vision. They usually have a passion for what they are advocating for, which makes the overworked and underpaid aspects of the job slightly easier. This passion is usually shared among the team, which usually makes for a good time.

4. Plenty of advancement opportunities

Because nonprofits are often understaffed, there is real opportunity to shine and make your presence known at the organization. In return for your hard work, the organization will usually offer you advancement opportunities. 

5. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program offers borrowers forgiveness of the remaining balance of a variety of loans. Federal Student Aid explains that the borrower must have paid 120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments made after Oct. 2007, under a qualifying repayment plan, while being a full-time employee of a qualifying organization.  Federal, local, and state governements, along with a variety of nonprofit organizations are considered ‘qualfying organizations’.

6. Better PTO benefits 

To compensate for your hard work, nonprofits often offer more competitive PTO benefits. This may include  sick and vacation days. It might also include a larger overall bank of PTO.  

Nonprofit jobs are often hard to fill because they are not always the first employment opportunity people think of. They can also be unappealing  to a recent grad who has a pile of student loans that won’t pay themselves. On the other hand, nonprofits offer a variety of benefits that for-profit business do not. Nonprofit employment is definitely something you should explore and consider as your next career move. 

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One thought on “6 reasons why you should work for a nonprofit 

  1. This is some great information on non-profit. I’m a recent grad student looking to get into PR for the non-profit sector and need to know a little bit more about what I’m getting into. Thanks for talking a little bit about the loan forgiveness programs, it helps me stay motivated to stay in non-profit.

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