Working in the nonprofit sector can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and it’s common to find middle and upper-class working Americans who decide to leave the corporate world — and all of the financial benefits it can provide — for a job at a nonprofit company. With over 1.53 million organizations classified as tax-exempt non-profits, it’s just as easy to find a great career at a nonprofit firm as it is finding a job at a for-profit company.
The problem is, however, that nonprofit jobs are all too often given unflattering stereotypes that make great candidates turn away.
So what are some of the most common misconceptions about jobs at nonprofit organizations? Let’s take a quick look:
- Myth 1: You won’t get paid as much if you work at a nonprofit.
Many people mistakenly believe this because nonprofit organizations need to do so much fundraising to cover basic costs (including salaries). In reality, the fact that nonprofits don’t retain extra money doesn’t have any bearing on what the average salary would be, especially compared to an equivalent job at a for-profit company.
- Myth 2: Nonprofit companies are full of hippies.
Okay, there are definitely some companies that fit this stereotype — but many nonprofits resemble big corporations more than anything else. In fact, in 2013 public charities claimed $1.74 trillion in total revenue and they account for over 9% of all the incomes paid to American workers.
- Myth 3: Nonprofit staffing companies will take any applicant they can find.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Staffing companies are incredibly beneficial for nonprofits because they exhibit so much scrutiny over candidates for nonprofit jobs. These staffing agencies are great for organizations that don’t have much extra money to spend on job recruiting, but want to find the most talented and driven employees possible.
So now the question isn’t about whether or not you’re suited for nonprofit jobs — the question is which nonprofit is the best fit for you?