Of all the little boxes on the standard W2 form, none of them show or express the sense of purpose you may have experienced in the previous year in the workplace. For many, the net income number is all the satisfaction they need. However, for others, no number in that box can be high enough to compensate for the hours that they spend at their desk. They require more meaning in their work.
Non-Profit Management May Be Right For You
Non-profit business is still the business. Non-profits have operations that result in a product, marketing to “sell” that product, customers to keep loyal, and accounting to ensure resources are making a positive impact. In many ways, it’s not much different from for-profit ventures, with the added dimension of needing to prove they are doing good in the world. Keeping it all in balance – and solvent – can be a real challenge.
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There are a Few Different Ways of Getting Started in Non-Profit Management:
Get For-Profit Work Experience
The world runs on money, and this includes the part of the world we call “non-profit.” Expertise in the world of profit and loss will accustom you to the demands and language of the world most non-profits depend on for funding. It will also help you gain valuable contacts for help in your eventual role. It is also an excellent idea to get involved with different types of management, such as safety management because you can gain skills in areas like that that will help you develop your career over a lifetime.
Volunteering, even at a low level, is the essential experience for the non-profit manager. It will give you a ground-level view of the volunteers and clients on which the organization depends. Before you start your non-profit management career, try getting volunteer experience in several different organizations.
Join a Board
The IRS demands 501(c)3 non-profits maintain active boards with bylaws and regular meetings. Most organizations keep an eye out for new members of the council. It’s a great opportunity to gain experience of the inner workings of non-profit governance. It also builds your resume and contacts.
Effective non-profit management demands ongoing education. It can come in the form of seminars, computer-based training, or even formal classes at a college or university. Some even pursue an online public administration degree to deepen their understanding and improve their résumés.
No matter which route you take, non-profit management offers rewards rich in meaning. Regarding job satisfaction, it will give back as much as you can give, even if that can’t be measured in a box on a W2.
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Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.