Finding the Perfect Nonprofit Job
Updated: Jun 9
Finding the perfect job in the nonprofit sector can be overwhelming. The nonprofit sector is vast and has various career pathways that offer different opportunities to get involved with. If you are among those considering a nonprofit job, here are a few tips to help you in your job search.
1. Volunteer first to make sure the organization’s mission aligns with your own
Volunteering before working at an organization full time will help you understand the goals and values of the nonprofit you are trying to work for. It can be difficult to work for a mission-based organization when you aren’t fully committed to doing the work or serving the community.
2. Look for internships and other learning experiences
Don’t be intimidated to work in an environment that is new to you! Many nonprofit organizations offer internships for professionals to learn and develop the skills they will need to support them in their positions. You can also participate in nonprofit events like workshops or webinars. This is a great way to connect with other professionals already in the nonprofit sector and develop skills that will help you in your future career. The Nonprofit Learning Lab offers several online workshops related to topics in the nonprofit sector. You can find more information on this page.
3. Attend donor functions and participate in nonprofit events to increase your visibility among key decision-makers
Networking at donor functions will connect you with professionals that can help you understand the position you are applying for. It will also help connect you to individuals you may be able to collaborate with in the future. Always come to networking events prepared with questions to ask other professionals such as, “Why do you enjoy working for the organization?” or “Is there anyone else in your network you think I should meet?” This will help you understand the organization from a different perspective as well as expand your networking circle before you apply to a position in the organization.
4. Connect through social media channels to find organizations that work towards your cause
Professionals can get a good sense of the organization’s environment and values based on the posts the organization shares on its social media channels. Researching a nonprofit organization via their social media will give you a good idea of what type of work they do and how they engage with their community.
5. Find your passion and what fuels you to work for a cause or mission
Burn-out is real amongst professionals working in the nonprofit sector. You can avoid this by finding organizations that match your own personal values and passions. If all goes well, working shouldn’t feel like work!
6. Utilize nonprofit job boards and other professional resources
Sometimes the most difficult part of the job-hunting process is understanding where to start! The Nonprofit Learning Lab offers a comprehensive list of local and national online nonprofit job boards and resources that have been curated from organizations around the country.
Looking for additional free nonprofit resources? Check out our free nonprofit resources page here