To find a worthy job in the nonprofit world, it's not enough to pick up the newspaper or visit just any job search site.
Most people who are new to nonprofits do not understand the field, how nonprofit work is different from for-profit work, or where to look for robust information about one of the most significant sources for employment today. According to a report from Johns Hopkins University, nonprofits in the U.S. employed 12.3 million workers as of 2016, representing 10.2% of the total workforce.
Although finding nonprofit jobs still takes old-fashioned "boots on the ground," today's online job search websites make it easy to find leads to jobs across the country.
Fortunately, there is an abundance of sites where you can not only find nonprofit positions but also learn about charitable work in general. Here are our favorite nonprofit-specific places to find job openings and information.
Idealist has it all! Jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, and some of the best career content you can find. Idealist is especially useful for career changers, say from a for-profit job to a nonprofit one.
Idealist also hosts career fairs in many cities. Sign up for email alerts for nonprofit jobs locally, nationally, and internationally.
Idealist serves thousands of nonprofits, so there are thousands of postings. Be sure to search by country if you want to see international postings. There is also a Spanish language version of the site.
You can also search by virtually any parameter from location to type of organization or cause.
The career section at the Chronicle of Philanthropy is particularly useful if you are interested in fundraising. But there are many types of jobs here, from starter positions to executive directors. You may have to subscribe to the Chronicle to access the job listings.
But, if you are planning to make nonprofit a long-term career, you'd be wise to subscribe to the Chronicle. It is the place to keep up on the field. Imagine how much more valuable you'll seem when you know about the latest issues and news in the nonprofit world.
The Foundation Center (part of Candid) keeps tabs on philanthropy across the globe. It is renowned for databases on every kind of grant, grant giver, and who has given to whom and for what. Want to look smart when you apply for a nonprofit job? Get familiar with this organization. It is the place to go to research foundations, with an online database and collections in libraries around the US.
But for job seeking, check out the Center's Philanthropy News Digest Jobs Board. It's not a big database, but worth keeping an eye on. Jobs are from foundations and nonprofit organizations. The database includes many types of positions, not just in grant seeking.
The National Council of Nonprofits has got to be one of the most useful places for nonprofit career seekers.
The National Council brings together local councils across the country. There is one in your state. Get acquainted with it. There is a map on the National Council's website where you can find your local council and how to contact it.
The Career Center at the National Council draws job postings from all the local councils, so it is an excellent compilation for job seekers.
The NonProfit Times, another great place to keep up with the nonprofit world, offers its Career Center.
Try out this national job board where you can post a resume, sign up for job alerts, and peruse lots of career-oriented content.
The client list of Koya Leadership Partners is a who's who of cutting-edge nonprofits. These are high impact, entrepreneurial organizations out to solve the toughest issues in the most innovative ways.
Its Current Searches page has job openings. The number of jobs isn't large, but very select and enticing.
A long-time consulting firm to nonprofits, the Bridgespan Group receives many of its job listings from its high-flying client list. Job openings range from coordinator to CEO to board positions.
You can browse the national listings, set up alerts, and, at the same time, keep up with the trends in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and strategies.
Longing to work abroad? The Devex job board looks like the best place to explore development positions around the world.
There are a couple of things I find appealing about this website and job board. First, Devex is a great place to learn about working for good causes around the world.
International Development (that's the term used for this type of work) can seem strange and unfamiliar to those coming to it for the first time. Devex contains a ton of content that helps with that orientation.
Second, Devex has a presence in the U.S. plus two locations abroad. The jobs advertised range from international NGOs based in the U.S. to postings from overseas. There is a good mix of domestic (U.S.) postings, government postings (for instance, USAID), and international postings from large charities with a global footprint (Oxfam for example),
As a visitor to Devex, you can look at job postings and even apply to some, but there is a paid upgrade that provides more extensive career services.
Nonprofiit Jobs in the UK, Canada, and Australia
Here are three sites for readers in the UK, Canada, and Australia, or people who would love to move there and work there!
Great browsing for UK nonprofit jobs. This site comes from Third Sector Magazine. Free to browse and use.
CharityVillage is more than a job search site. It has a hub of information about charitable work, issues, and trends. There are webinars, articles, and a salary survey report.
At this comprehensive site, you can look for nonprofit jobs but also learn about volunteer opportunities, philanthropy, and how businesses work with the charitable sector.
The future of the nonprofit world lies with the next generation. That's why you might want to affiliate with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
YNPN is a networking organization for the younger generation of nonprofit leaders. There are YNPN chapters across the country with thousands of members.
YNPN conducts research on leadership issues, takes part in relevant conferences, and has alliances with many thought leaders. Several high profile foundations support YNPN.
Although YNPN is not a job site per se, we all know that networking is at the heart of career success. Find a chapter near you and prepare to make connections face-to-face.
Encore was explicitly built for Baby Boomers, many of whom are now approaching retirement.
Retirement is not on the minds of many Boomers. They want a second act, preferably to do some social good. They may volunteer or find a job in a nonprofit organization.
But some wish to start their own nonprofits or become social entrepreneurs. Encore helps make all of this possible, through connections with programs that train older adults for the nonprofit world, competitions that stimulate interest in finding a social need and then filling it, and information about volunteer opportunities of all kinds.
The crowning achievement of Encore has been the annual Encore Prize. The award goes to several people over the age of 60 who use their experience and passion for social good. Each honoree receives cash to further their idea and access to a multitude of resources.
If you are a Baby Boomer, you will find abundant encouragement, ideas, networking opportunities, and job/career possibilities at the Encore site.
Tips for Finding a Nonprofit Job
One terrific way to get your foot in the door of a nonprofit organization is to volunteer. A Deloitte study found 82% of corporate hiring officers are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience, and 85% may be willing to overlook other resume shortcomings when a job applicant includes volunteer work on a resume.
Browse the sites to see which appeal to you. Then get on their email lists so you can receive newsletters and alerts. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as well. Some of these sites have excellent resources to help you learn more about job hunting in general and nonprofit work specifically.
You can also learn about the nonprofit world and what it does by reading some of the print and online publications from a number of organizations. Many have free resources that could help you develop a base of knowledge.