Exploring careers in philanthropy

  • Saturday, November 2, 2013

The growing number of nonprofit organizations and other philanthropic groups has made opportunities for careers in philanthropy more plentiful. PHOTO BY METRO CREATIVE

The growing number of nonprofit organizations and other philanthropic groups has made opportunities for careers in philanthropy more plentiful. Those with professional business experience or even students right out of college often find opportunities within organizations geared to giving back.

According to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, there are more than 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the United States alone. These organizations need dedicated staff to run their operations, and employees of such nonprofits often find there are several advantages to working for charitable organizations.

• Happier work environments: Working in philanthropy means improving other people’s lives. Employees may be happy in their positions because they realize their work is part of a larger effort to help the less fortunate. The nonprofit sector will attract other like-minded people, and working alongside people with similar interests can make for a more enjoyable workplace environment.

• Diverse responsibilities: Nonprofit operations are generally smaller than many other companies, and employees often find themselves with diverse responsibilities and more direct access to management and other decision makers. People interested in dabbling in various parts of a business may find the often intimate nature of the nonprofit sector an ideal fit.

• Opportunities for travel: Some nonprofits offer the chance to work outside of the country. Nonprofit organizations who work across the globe may help build homes or schools in less developed countries or establish arts and education programs in countries where such opportunities are lacking. A job in the nonprofit sector may allow people to experience new cultures and opportunities that may never present themselves in the private sector.

• Growth opportunities: Wearing a variety of hats, as many nonprofit employees do on a regular basis, allows those working at nonprofit organizations to build their resumes in ways not available to men and women working at more structured companies.

People who work in the nonprofit sector often find that their careers are rewarding for a variety of reasons.

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