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How to Get Into Nonprofit Management

If you're seeking a job where you can make a difference, it might be worth exploring a career in nonprofit management. Many nonprofits have paid staff. Working for a nonprofit can offer the best of both worlds as you get the benefit of giving back while earning a salary.

Nonprofit organizations offer a variety of jobs. You will find jobs specific to nonprofits, such as volunteer coordinator, community service manager, donor relationship manager and grant writer. Nonprofits also have departments common to all companies, such as in technology, accounting and human resources. People who work in these areas can transfer their skills to a similar job at a nonprofit.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. This data indicates a large playing field for job seekers considering nonprofits who can then identify organizations that appeal to them and need their skills.

What Are the Benefits of Working for a Nonprofit?

Some find working for a nonprofit more satisfying than working in a corporate or for-profit environment because they feel invested in the nonprofit's mission.

The NonProfit Times conducts a study every year to identify the best nonprofits to work for and the attributes that make them stand out. In "2018 NPT's Best Nonprofits to Work For," the top organizations offer flexibility and work-life balance. They also listen to and value their employees.

An organization may not profit from its activities, but some can pay a competitive salary. The salary range varies by sector and organization. Nonprofits tend to offer generous benefits that compare favorably with those offered in the private sector. Nonprofits might make up for lower pay by providing additional benefits.

In setting salaries, nonprofits face the challenge of finding a balance: While nonprofits can be penalized by the IRS for paying too much, they also run the risk of unfilled positions and higher turnover for paying too little. Regardless of the benefits, many employees of nonprofits find the work rewarding and meaningful.

Where Do I Start to Get a Job at a Nonprofit?

One way to start is by volunteering at an organization with a mission you support. Becoming involved provides you with opportunities to meet the staff, volunteers and board members. Talking to these individuals can provide insight into working for a nonprofit. Another option is to explore entry-level roles and work your way up.

You may be able to accelerate a career in the nonprofit world by enrolling in a master's degree program in nonprofit administration. This degree is also beneficial for nonprofit job seekers with established careers in the corporate world. Employees of private companies who work closely with nonprofits can benefit from a master's degree in nonprofit administration, too.

An MS in Nonprofit Administration program covers the various aspects of running a nonprofit. The curriculum includes tools to optimize resources and navigate the legal waters of nonprofit management.

If you're interested in working for a nonprofit, you can also earn the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential. In partnership with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, LSU Shreveport offers students in its online MS in Nonprofit Administration program the opportunity to earn the CNP credential.

Learn more about the LSU Shreveport online Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration program.

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The NonProfit Times: 2018 NPT Best Nonprofits to Work For

National Center for Charitable Statistics: Quick Facts About Nonprofits

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