While unemployment continues to creep downward, there are still many folks out there looking for good, fulfilling work. If you are one of those folks the founder of the Torossian Family Foundation, Ronn Torossian, suggests considering a career in the nonprofit sector.
According to the NonProfit Times, the number of workers employed at 501(c)(3) organizations climbed to 11.4 million, which accounts for more than ten percent of all private sector jobs. Better still, those employees earned a combined $532 BILLION, yes, with a “B.” That number accounts for nearly ten percent of all wages.
It may not be surprising that the highest concentration of nonprofit workers were in the Washington DC area, followed closely by New York. But you might be shocked to hear that Rhode Island came in number three in states employing nonprofit workers.
The bottom three were Nevada, Texas, and Alabama. While there is certainly a need in these states, particularly Texas, being one of the three largest states, size wasn’t the biggest deciding factor in the number of nonprofit jobs.
When looking for a job with a nonprofit organization, there are several things you should look for.
A healthy administration
We all know how tight most nonprofits have to keep their administrative costs, but that’s not always a sure sign of administrative success. Some of the most vibrant and impactful charities have higher administrative costs. Not because they are irresponsible, but because they have a lot that needs to get done. Much work requires many hands, which, in turn, leads to more opportunity.
A growth trajectory
A word of caution here. Don’t just look for a charity that has grown exponentially in a short period of time. Look for solid, long-term growth. You don’t want to hitch your hopes and dreams to a flash in the pan.
Before applying with any charity, check out the leadership. How long have they been in the industry? What’s their background? How else are they connected to the community? If you find any red flags move on. Don’t buy someone else’s trouble.
A complimentary cause
Just because you are working for a “cause,” doesn’t mean you will automatically leap out of bed every morning, excited just to be alive. You need to find a cause you can truly champion and an organization you respect. When you work for a nonprofit, you need to be proud of the work they do. You need to be able to go home every day happy to have been part of something you feel strongly about. Not just something “special.”