Three Reasons You Should Work for a Nonprofit

The nonprofit sector is growing faster than ever before. It’s no secret that nonprofits play an indispensable role in today’s society, but they can often be poorly understood and underappreciated. Here are three reasons why working for a nonprofit may be one of the best things you could do for yourself and for your community.

1) The People

Passion. The people in that work in the realm of nonprofits are truly some of the most driven and passionate human beings you will encounter. They are not only in pursuit of their paycheck, but rather they are striving to fulfill a mission and be a part of something far larger than themselves.

Shapeshifting & Hat Modeling. Sadly, this is a metaphor, but if anyone was likely to shapeshift or model hats, it would be nonprofit staff. The reason I say this is because they are constantly doing jobs that fall into a number of categories that in the corporate world would cross paths with several departments. Nonprofits may have hundreds of employees or one dedicated staff person, but either way, the work that comes with the title is far more in depth and involves many different jobs (hence the wearing of many hats). Sometimes this can be a hectic way of life, but the experience you gain is priceless!nonprofit4-(1).jpg

2) The Network

Connections. There is a sense of community among nonprofits, especially when there is a focus on partnerships and collaboration, which is essential to a nonprofit’s sustainability. Nonprofit resource centers like the Alliance for Better Nonprofits can serve as a medium for communication among its members as a professional network and a support team. Nonprofits uphold and embody the sentiment that “it takes a village,” and they understand that the contributions of each stakeholder in the nonprofit are invaluable and vital to the cause.

3) The Perks

Company Limos & Endless High-End Swag. Okay, so it’s highly unlikely that as a nonprofit employee you would ride in a limo to work every day and regularly receive lavish gifts, but who cares about all that junk anyways? The single greatest perk of working for a nonprofit is loving your job. Though stressful at times, nonprofits tend to have a more relaxed work culture than high-intensity corporate jobs. There is also something to be gained from nonprofit work that is irreplaceable: perspective. A jammed copier on a Thursday afternoon may be earth-shattering news for some, but those who work for nonprofits may have a more realistic perspective on what defines a true catastrophe.

Nonprofit work is certainly no piece of cake, but when it comes down to it, this is a workforce filled with people who love what they do and are striving every day to make a lasting impression on the world around them. Are you interested in getting involved with nonprofits but not quite sure how to start? Go to the ABN Member Directory to see a list of nonprofits in East Tennessee, many of which could always use a helping hand! You can also check out the ABN Career Center for part-time and full-time nonprofit job openings in the upper East Tennessee region. Networking is always a great way to meet other like-minded people, and ABN has some great networking opportunities coming up for nonprofit staff.

Now go forth and change the world!

388 Leah Pedro is a senior at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she majors in Spanish and minors in Business and Political Science.