Have you ever worked out at the YMCA? Walked in a 5K to raise money for breast cancer? Viewed a painting at a museum? Donated blood to the Red Cross? If so, you’ve engaged with the world of nonprofits!
The nonprofit community is vast and encompasses industries ranging from healthcare and human services to international development. The professionals who work within this community hold vast responsibilities as well. They search for cures for diseases, fight to protect civil rights, create public art installations, and more. Needless to say, they do a lot. If you’re passionate about making a difference in the world, consider the following benefits of a job or internship with a nonprofit.
You get to focus on an issue of social impact and importance
Nonprofits have this name because they are not focused on making a profit. Of course, they need to earn money to operate. But, their overarching goal is not to grow financially. Their goals are directed toward making an impact. Take, for instance, the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This is a multinational organization that strives to support the families of sick children. Their location in Philadelphia provides housing, food, and emotional support for families of children being treated at local hospitals. They make an immense difference in the day-to-day lives of families struggling with childhood illness. Another example is the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). Located here in Boston, this organization supports foreign-born residents with healthcare, employment advice, English-language classes, and access to legal services. For staff at these two organizations, it can feel personally, as well as professionally fulfilling to know that the work they are engaged in is having a positive impact.
You get to work with a mission-driven team
Nonprofits attract staff who are highly motivated and passionate. Working with a team of professionals who are excited and dedicated to the organization’s mission is a regular feature of the nonprofit world. This kind of mission-driven team helps with the fatigue that can set in when you’re working to address difficult societal issues like hunger, poverty, housing insecurity, and environmental degradation. It can also bring people closer together, knowing that there is a common thread connecting everyone.
You get to collaborate across departments
One of the benefits of everyone working towards the same goal is that it naturally produces collaboration. This is especially true for smaller nonprofits. With fewer hands to help, there is a higher likelihood to engage in cross-team collaboration. For younger professionals, this opportunity to interact with colleagues in different areas can be a valuable tool in career exploration and networking.
If you’re curious to learn more about what the world of nonprofits has to offer, consider making an appointment with a career counselor, checking out our resource list, or looking into the Yawkey Nonprofit Internship Program.