Benefits to Working for a Non-Profit

Carly Naaktgeboren
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When seeking a new job, a potential employee has to look at all the benefits and perks in comparison to other opportunities and see what would be best for them in the long run.  Obviously, a huge part of this is salary. So, if you find yourself looking at Non-profit Organization, you might wonder if they even pay employees at all. Can a business that’s sole function is to not make a profit provide compensation to their workers?  The answer is yes, and while the salary for non-profit workers varies as much as the market does, they do work hard to provide a good salary to their employees. If you do your research into the organization, you can feel out about how much a worker might make based on how much the non-profit brings in. Know that pay can ebb and flow based on how much extra income people have to donate to organizations.

While the salary for a non-profit worker might not be as high as someone’s in the private sector, there are other benefits to the work you could be doing.  Often times, non-profits try to beef up their other benefits to outweigh the lower pay scale, so that could mean more flexibility in your job, as well as extra vacation time.

Another large draw to the non-profit job market is that if you work for one, you can have your student loans forgiven.  It takes time and effort, but your federal student loans can be significantly decreased by choosing a job that is doing good for the people rather than making a profit.  This is through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. It means that as long as you make your monthly payments on your student loans for ten years while working at a non-profit, whatever federal loan balance is leftover after is forgiven.  This is a huge benefit for those who seek a permanent career in non-profit work, but maybe isn’t the most beneficial to those looking to wipe out their debt quickly.

And that leads to the biggest benefit of all when it comes to working for a non-profit organization: job fulfillment.  If you’re working for a cause you genuinely care about, it leads to higher satisfaction at work overall. You may be making less money, but you’re making a difference and while that may seem silly, people who are employed by non-profits are often much happier with the work they do over people who look at salary as the most important part of their job.  

So, it’s up to you.  Of course, there are benefits on both sides of the coin, you just have to weigh the pros and cons for your personally and see what is the best fit.  Working for non-profits is noble, often difficult work, but it can mean everything to the people you’re helping in the end and that could be the greatest benefit of all.



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @martha A. thanks for your comment. Yes, unfortunately that is one of the things that they don't mention. It's like being an independent contractor. The only way you can get unemployment is if you have been paying for unemployment insurance. Sorry - I know it's a hard lesson learned. Hopefully your story will help someone else out to be prepared when working for a non-profit.

  • martha A.
    martha A.

    If you lose your job, there aren't employment benefits one can collect until one find another job.

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