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4 Careers in Nonprofit

May 1, 2018

You professionals smile while applauding a colleague.

The average annual employment for nonprofit organizations increased 8.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, according to a 2016 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Approximately 10 percent of total U.S. employment is represented by nonprofits.

A majority of nonprofits are concentrated in specific areas. Three sectors captured 90 percent of all nonprofit employment in 2012: health care and social assistance (68 percent), educational services (16 percent) and other services (7 percent). Health care nonprofits include all community health centers, roughly 60 percent of community hospitals, nearly 30 percent of nursing homes and about 17 percent of home health care agencies.

The following section explores some common careers in nonprofit organizations.

Nonprofit Careers

Why Work at a Nonprofit?

Individuals who choose nonprofit work will experience a different environment.

The biggest difference is that there’s a different bottom line. In business, the ultimate goal is to make a profit. For nonprofits, the goal is to have a positive effect in the world. And staff members are generally expected to share that perspective, which can sometimes translate into longer hours and pitching in wherever you’re needed to help advance the mission. But staff members often derive an enormous sense of personal fulfillment from their work (particularly if the organization is well-run and getting results).

U.S. News & World Report

The ultimate goal of nonprofit work can, for some people, make it worth the possibility of longer hours. Whether in a hospital, church or soup kitchen, nonprofit employees have the opportunity to enhance people’s lives and share the love of Christ in a way that may not be possible in other types of organizations.

1.    Fundraiser

Fundraisers research, identify and contact prospective donors and then help organize events and campaigns to raise money for the organization. They also train volunteers in fundraising procedures and practices, evaluate past and current fundraising efforts and ensure that legal reporting requirements are satisfied. These professionals can specialize in certain aspects of fundraising, such as annual campaigns, capital campaigns, major gifts and planned giving.

The median annual wage for fundraisers is $54,130, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment is projected to grow 15 percent by 2026.

2.    Marketing Manager

Marketing managers generate interest in products or services by planning promotional campaigns. They may be involved in market research, negotiating marketing contracts, hiring staff and overseeing campaigns across radio, television, print, online media and billboards.

The median annual wage for marketing managers is $131,180, according to the BLS. Employment is projected to grow 10 percent by 2026.

3.    Fundraising Manager

Fundraising managers oversee campaigns that produce donations for the organization. They manage progress toward fundraising goals, devise and carry out fundraising strategies, plan events, meet with important donors, apply to grants and oversee staff.

The median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers is $107,320, according to the BLS. Employment is projected to grow 10 percent by 2026.

4.    Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers oversee social service programs and community organizations. They manage workers who provide social services to the public, manage administrative aspects of programs, plan and manage outreach activities, write proposals for funding and work with community members to identify necessary programs and services.

The median annual wage for social and community service managers is $64,680, according to the BLS. Employment is projected to grow 18 percent by 2026.

Pursuing Advanced Roles in Nonprofit Organizations

Grace College’s online nonprofit management degree equips students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in marketing communication, applying technology, creating and training staff, raising funds and improving efficiency within an organization. Rooted in Christian servant leadership, the program helps graduates apply faith to careers in nonprofit management.

This accelerated program can be completed in two years. It takes place in a fully online learning environment, allowing students the flexibility to complete coursework alongside personal and work responsibilities.