“Wait, but… if it’s a nonprofit, how do you make any money?”
As a nonprofit employee, I get a lot of questions about my work. And while there are plenty of differences between nonprofit work and for-profit work, there are also a lot of similarities!
You get paid, just like any other job.
Okay, maybe not any other job—typically the pay is less than it would be at corporate jobs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living in squalor!
When I started at my current job, they actually matched my salary from my previous gig. So don’t assume that working for a nonprofit means you’ll be making less money!
Do I get jealous of people who get giant raises and Christmas bonuses? Absolutely. But my work salary enables me to make ends meet, and then some.
You need to make your budget (of money and time!) go farther.
You as an employee will be paid. Your department on the other hand… typically has a pretty meager budget.
At some for-profit companies, there’s money to throw at fun things like singalong videos and swag for employees. At a nonprofit that’s… less likely. You need to make your department’s budget go farther because there’s way less of it to come by.
And this isn’t limited to your financial budget! Nonprofits often hire fewer employees (because of those financial restrictions), so you need to make your time go farther, too. I currently have enough work that three of me could fill 40 hours a week just fine, but there’s only one of me to go around, so I have to get creative with my time and really prioritize my projects!
Your coworkers are energized by your movement.
That being said, one thing that I love about working for a nonprofit is the people.
You can only get *so* excited about selling paper, or working for someone else’s family business. Can those things be exciting? Sure. But chances are you’ll have an easier time getting excited about your work when you’re at a nonprofit organization.
Instead of a product, you have a mission. And everyone who works with you believes in that mission! (You likely wouldn’t work there if you didn’t.) This commonality gives the office culture a much different vibe than Corporate America.
Is working for a nonprofit organization challenging? At times, yes! But it’s also an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.