Not-for-Profit Enews Update: Tips for Transition into a Nonprofit Career

by Rebecca Jackson - Staff Accountant

April 24, 2014

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According to recent statistics, approximately 11% of the United States workforce is in the nonprofit sector. If you are seeking to make a new career resolution, one might consider a job in a nonprofit role. Working for a nonprofit organization could bring increased job satisfaction by providing intrinsic value to your everyday work.

There are a variety of different opportunities in nonprofit organizations to explore when beginning your job search. The broader not-for-profit sector involves arts, education, health and human services, operating and grantmaking foundations, and religious organizations. In order to be successful you should narrow your search to organizations that will complement your interests and skill set.

A recent online article by Lisa Brown Morton (Aol Jobs) offers four suggestions to help you make a successful transition to a career in the nonprofit sector:

1. Build relationships: There are many roles in nonprofit organizations, which might include working directly with the people your organization assists or prospective donors. Despite the role you will hold in your organization, you will need strong relationship-building skills to succeed in the nonprofit world. Compassion and listening are key components of every relationship, and are qualities nonprofit organizations seek in their employees.

2. Apply your corporate knowledge: Although corporations and nonprofit organizations have many differences, your prior experiences and knowledge gained in the corporate world can be useful tools in a nonprofit organization. Adapt the prior processes and perspectives from your corporate experience to your new role.

3. Be prepared to make some sacrifices: If you are making the transition into the nonprofit sector, you need to be aware that the pay earned at a nonprofit organization may not be equivalent to your former corporate salary. In addition to a career change, there may be some lifestyle changes that go with it. Salary ranges in nonprofit organizations vary based on the field of work and many organizations offer unique benefit packages and other initiatives in order to improve employee satisfaction. However, salary and benefits are not the sole incentive to work in the nonprofit sector. Many people feel that the meaningful work associated with many of these organizations is of higher value than a large paycheck.

4. Be prepared for job satisfaction: Many people who work in the nonprofit sector do so for the satisfaction they find in their work. Working with others toward the same mission allows you to see the impact your organization’s work has on the community. Nonprofit employees often derive much of their job satisfaction using their talents for a purposeful goal for which they are passionate about.

When considering a career in the nonprofit sector, keep in mind these tips to help you decide if such a job is right for you. You may just find enhanced job fulfillment by bringing satisfaction to others.


If you have any questions regarding the article above or any other issue affecting your not-for-profit organization please contact your Blue & Co. advisor or e-mail us at or call us at 800-717-BLUE.