Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Looking for a nonprofit job? Common questions answered

In this post I will answer three common questions about getting a job in the nonprofit sector.

Do I need a graduate degree to move up the ranks in a nonprofit?

I believe an advanced degree in nonprofit management will provide you with the well-rounded preparation and training that you need to manage a nonprofit organization. The majority of nonprofit management graduate degree programs offers courses in Financial Management, Fundraising, Board Management, Advocacy, and Organizational Development as well as requires hands on projects within local nonprofit organizations.

In my post, “Don’t listen to them, you should go to grad school” I explain the importance of pursuing a graduate degree and provide specific examples about how earning a graduate degree accelerates ones career. For example, I recently surveyed alumni from the Nonprofit Leadership and Management masters degree program at the University of San Diego and found that over 89.1% had a career change as a result of attending the program. So if earning a graduate degree doesn’t get you promoted, it will certainly help you find a better job in another organization.

What salary can I expect in the nonprofit sector compared to a similar job in the for-profit sector?

It depends on the industry. In the research report, Employment in Americas Charities shows that in the hospital, educational services, nursing and residential care, museums, historical sites and social assistance industries that nonprofit workers made more than their for-profit counterparts. For example, hospital workers in nonprofits made on average $752 per week, while for profit hospital workers made on average $706 per week.

What are the best resources for finding a job in the nonprofit sector?

I recently stumbled across a blog post that attempted to list all the nonprofit job sites on the web. That list is exciting but also overwhelming so I’ll tell you my favorite nonprofit job sites.

Check out the national nonprofit job sites, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and Local nonprofit jobs may available that are not posted on these national sites so check out your local nonprofit state association, they should know where to find the local nonprofit job postings. The National Council on Nonprofits website lists all the nonprofit state associations.

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