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10 Step Guide to Finding a Nonprofit Job!

10 Step Guide to Finding a Nonprofit Job!

Saunders M. /NonProfitPeople

Understanding the Nonprofit Sector

There is no shortage of nonprofit organizations in this country and part of your job search is going to be figuring out which fit is right for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2007, there were more than 1.64 million nonprofit organizations in the United States and the number is growing exponentially every year. In 1994, there were more than 1.1 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, employing about 5.4 million people, or 4.4 percent of all workers. By 2007, nonprofits employed 8.7 million workers, or 5.9 percent of all workers.

A nonprofit organization is defined as such because of the tax-exempt status it receives from the IRS. The most commonly seen exemption status is 501( c)(3) but there are others as well. This exemption means organizations do not have to pay the income taxes corporations do on revenues received from activities associated with their mission. In turn, any contributions made to the organization can be deducted from donors’ income when they calculate personal income tax. Eligibility is received by submitting a Form 990 every year. These forms are available for the public so if you are looking to find out more about an organization’s expenses, you can look these up on various charity evaluation sites.

Nonprofits exist to provide services to the public that business and government sectors do not address. Traditionally thought of as hospitals, universities, charitable and religious organizations, the structure of nonprofits is evolving and paving the road for more innovative systems. This is because new investors and for profit professionals are joining the sector and the lines between for and nonprofit are blurring as a result. With this change, organizations are seeking employees who have a variety of experiences and background. Really any experience can be applied to helping people so if you have not done nonprofit work before, do not let that discourage you from making the switch now.

While the structures may be changing, there are commonalities nonprofits share. Every nonprofit has a mission or purpose of action that focuses their work. Nonprofits commonly work for public benefit either by generating support for a cause or offering a direct service to the public that neither government or business sectors do. Also there is generally a governing board of volunteers who provide leadership and oversight to the organization’s programs and support.

Nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes so make sure to do proper research to find the one that is the best fit for you.

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