Nonprofit Jobs on the Rise

If you haven’t previously considered working for a nonprofit organization, you might be interested to know that as of a month or so ago, that sector was adding jobs while others were shedding them like mad. It’s true that there’s often a noticeable gap between salaries in the for-profit and nonprofit arenas, but sometimes other factors can help offset that. In any case, it could be a good idea to check out the nonprofit sector during your current or next job search. Ideally, you might be able to find opportunities in an area that you’re really passionate about–such as making the environment cleaner, safer and so on.

In an article published on October 18, 2011, “Top Sites for Nonprofit Jobs,” author Michelle Rafter noted that “from 2009 to 2010, jobs at U.S. nonprofits grew 8.8 percent, according to an annual report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality….When it comes to jobs, the biggest nonprofits fared best, with organizations of 1,000 or more workers showing a 16.7 percent increase in employment in 2010….” Rafter lists the top 10 sites as follows: Bridgestar; CharityChannel; Commongood Careers; Encore Careers; Idealist; LinkedIn; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; NonprofitJobseeker.com; Philanthropy News Digest; CraigConnect.

Searching online for nonprofit jobs can, of course, be done in a number of ways. For instance, you can use Indeed.com or other job aggregators to help identify opportunities, and there are also job boards devoted to the nonprofit sector, including opportunityknocks.org, which is described as a national online job site, HR resource and career development destination focused exclusively on the nonprofit community. According to the Opportunity Knocks website, “nearly 300,000 job seekers use OpportunityKnocks.org. These highly educated and experienced individuals range from current nonprofit professionals and graduates to transitioning corporate professionals who are looking for jobs that change the world.”

If you have the time and can afford to, one option is to volunteer for a nonprofit that you think you might like to be associated with on a more formal basis. That experience can give you a real-world view of how the organization operates and help you decide whether it’s the right place for you. It can also connect you with influencers inside the organization who could become advocates for you if/when you decide to pursue that as a career move.

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