So You Want to Work in Nonprofit?

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Do you want to do some good with your career? Consider work in a nonprofit! The concept might be appealing but daunting to many workers, conjuring images of long hours and low pay for the people running nonprofit organizations that seek to change the world. But if you think work in a nonprofit is all altruism and no personal gain, think again: nonprofit jobs actually tend to earn more than their counterparts at for-profit organizations.

Despite the popularity of the sector, which is founded in great benefits and an ethical brand, it is a great time to seek nonprofit work: due to the talent shortage, competition from high profile for-profit organizations, and entrepreneurial growth, nonprofit organizations are turning their attention towards attracting, retaining and developing talent. This can only be good news for individuals looking to make the move into the nonprofit sector: if you can express your value as key talent, you will be in the power seat and have good chances of finding a position that suits your needs and interests.

A career in nonprofit work isn’t only for privileged or unambitious people: the sector offers upward mobility, efficient workplaces and a variety of focuses in the same manner that for-profit companies do. Working for a nonprofit is a viable career move that affords you the opportunity to pursue a higher cause while providing you with a valuable stepping stone to a career in any sector. The main difference? Working in a nonprofit means you can be sure that the money you make is furthering a specific cause and improving society in a manner they see fit. Even better? Most successful major corporations have a nonprofit arm, so you can count on corporate stability with a nonprofit slant.

In case we have piqued your curiosity about working for a nonprofit, we have gathered some data to help you learn more.

Types of Positions for Nonprofit Workers

Think you want to work in nonprofit but are uncertain that you are the right fit? You may be in luck: nonprofit organizations need many of the same positions as for-profit companies. Here are the types of roles that might be transferable from the for-profit sector:

  • Senior Management
  • Programs and Service Delivery
  • Administration, Human Resources and Finance
  • Development and Fundraising
  • Communications

Top Regions for Working in Nonprofit

In case you might be ready to make your professional life more selfless, these are the US metro areas with the highest number of nonprofit organizations:

Metro Area Number of Organizations
New York-Newark-Jersey City 19,543
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 9,794
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria 8,230
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin 8,089
Boston-Cambridge-Newton 6,895
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 6,518
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington 6,009
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington 4,432
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 4,281
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 3,991

Highest Concentration of Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit work can be found in nearly every region, from volunteering to paid work. Of course, the highest number of nonprofit jobs can be found in the regions with the biggest populations, but some regions are riper for work in the sector. These are the U.S. cities with the highest concentration of nonprofit organizations per capita to help you start your search:

  • Barnstable Town, MA
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Missoula, MT
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Springfield, IL
  • Trenton, NJ
  • Bismarck, ND
  • Napa, CA
  • Madison, WI

If you think you’d like to step into a role that will help you change the world, sign up for Lensa to receive personalized job postings and start searching for jobs near you today.

Lensa has been collecting hiring trend data since 2015, tracking over 100 million job postings and 9 million users, and we’re ready to bring that information to you through Lensa Trends.
Blog post expiration date: Sep 1, 2020

Paige Richmond

Paige Richmond

Paige is a Silicon Valley native who has spent the last five years based in Budapest, Hungary. After finishing her M.A. in Medieval Studies, she spent three years producing leading global HR tech conferences and building their startup product, working closely with talent industry influencers and leading practitioners. She is now a full-time content and copywriting professional.

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