Advising & Career Services

Non-Profit Careers

Do you have a concern for quality of life and a commitment to the improvement of civil rights, homelessness, or the environment? Maybe the vast and growing non-profit sector, often referred to as the third or independent sector, offers the career for you!

More than 700,000 non-profit organizations employ over 10 million people in our country. If you're considering a career in non-profits, you should be aware of some important distinctions between non-profit and for-profit organizations.  

Here are the Top 10 Differences:

  1. The purpose of a non-profit company is to serve society rather than to make money, and at the end of the year any profits that do exist are returned to the programs the organization supports.
  2. Non-profits are tax-exempt.
  3. Volunteers make up a large portion of the non-profit "labor force."
  4. Non-profits depend on fundraising to survive, soliciting money from the general public, private companies, government, and foundations.
  5. Non-profits are required to have a board of directors made up of 3 or more volunteers who set policies, elect officers, and ensure the organization's mission is carried out.
  6. Decisions are not based on cost-effectiveness; they are based on relatedness to mission.
  7. A non-profit company measures its productivity not in dollars, but in how well it reaches its goals and fulfills its mission.
  8. Non-profit salaries are generally 15% -20% less than for-profit companies.
  9. The atmosphere in non-profits is usually more casual and relaxed, where most employees are passionate advocates of the same cause.
  10. Non-profits often provide more opportunities to be a "generalist," thus providing job experience in different areas and functions such as Administration, Development, Membership, Programming & Action, and Public Relations.

Use these web links to learn more:

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations may review Policies & Procedures.

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