Interested in pursuing a non-profit fellowship?
If you decide that you want to pursue a non-profit fellowship, learn more about the selection criteria for admissions, timeline and more in the Non-Profit Fellowships section of this website.
Considering a Non-Profit CareerNonprofit organizations provide great opportunities to make a difference in communities locally or internationally, while gaining valuable skills and experience. Non-profit does not mean non-paid, but the primary focus of the organization is to serve a mission, not shareholders. At the core of each organization, there is a mission they are seeking to reach, be it environmental, community service or educational, to name a few.
There are several ways to be involved:
|Volunteer||All non-profits rely on volunteers for daily operations, special events and fundraising assistance. Time commitments can vary from a one-time to even a weekly commitment. It can be a great way to explore interests and issues and gain hands-on experience.|
|Staff Member||There are plenty of paid positions in non-profit organizations. As with any organization, there are operations, direct services, finances, marketing, and organization-specific positions. In addition, some non-profits have development offices that hire grant writers, fundraisers, and event planners.|
|Board Member||Non-profits are run by boards of directors that meet on a regular basis to support the organization's mission and operations. Serving on a board is a volunteer position, and can be a great way to understand the inner workings of an organization.|
Choice of major
Non-profit organizations cover a wide range of interests, missions, and issues.
Successfully running non-profits requires a variety of skills from marketing and communications to financial management and program development. To be a solid candidate to work in a non-profit, your community engagement activities and leadership skills are essential. Major in what interests you, and get involved beyond the classroom as well.
Valued Skills in Non-Profit Careers
Getting hired in a non-profit organization is dependent upon two things: soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are the intangible essentials--passion and commitment. Hard skills are tangible skill sets (see below for a sampling). Bottom line: do you care about the organization's mission and does your experience demonstrate your commitment and interest?
A Sampling of "Hard Skills" Useful for Working in a Non-Profit Organization
- Grant writing
- Oral/Verbal and Written Communication
- Program Development/Management
- Training and Facilitation
- Fundraising and Development
- Event Planning
- Budget Preparation and Management
Exploring Non-Profit CareersHere are a few web resources to assist your exploration:
- Non-profit books available in the Career Services Resource Library
- UVM Career Connection--connect with alumni working in non-profits
- Catamount Job Link (and see our search tips for finding non-profit jobs)
Preparing for a Non-Profit Career
- Create a personal mission statement (see our calendar of events for personal mission statement workshops and other nonprofit events)
- Volunteer! Here are some of our favorite volunteer resources:
- UVM Department of Student Life, Leadership and Civic Engagement Programs
- UVM Volunteers in Action
- United Way of Chittenden County, Volunteer Database
- Career Services' Guiding Questions for Students Considering Volunteering Abroad
- UVM Office of Community-University Partnerships & Service-Learning
- Meet with a Counselor
- Explore our blog series, "Doing Good, Doing Well"
- Join LinkedIn and search for groups focused on non-profit careers, including job boards and networking groups. (Curious about how to manage your online media presence? See our blog posts about social media.)
- YES! Magazine
- The Right Livelihood Award
- How to be a Non-Profit Rockstar
- Non-profit Millennial Blogger Alliance
- The Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-Time Job Seekers
Resources and Next Steps
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:
Nonprofit Job Search Links
Curious about working in the non-profit sector? These are some great web resources. Many of these sites have resources in multiple types of opportunities, so be sure to investigate them thoroughly
- The Vermont Community Foundation
- Sustainable Food Jobs
- Nonprofit Millennial Blogger Alliance
- The New Service
- University of California, Berkeley
- See our Fellowships Page for more fellowship options and information.
Volunteering and Service Programs
- NonProfit Career Network
- Peace Corps
- United Way of Chittenden County Volunteer Database
- Council on International Educational Exchange
- International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership
- International Volunteering Guide from the UVM Career Center
- International Volunteerism Resource Center
- World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Last modified September 24 2013 10:48 AM