Nonprofits: A Cause to Shine

Nonprofits: A Cause to Shine

At the peak of the 90’s tech boom, I moved to San Francisco as an eager 26-year-old. I was armed with a master’s degree in English and three years of experience as a creative director for a small broadcast company.  

Imagine my surprise when big tech wasn’t hiring my particular skill set. Broadcast companies were looking at candidates from large markets and creative jobs wanted experience in their specific fields. 

While I paid the bills working in a children’s clothing store, I dreamt of using my degree and experience in a lucrative, meaningful way. I sent resume after resume with no luck, until my sister called my attention to a job with a not-for-profit medical association. 

The position in public relations and called for someone with a strong background in broadcast communication and solid writing experience. I didn’t think I was qualified. Sure, I had some of the criteria, but public relations? Zero. 

Still, I took the leap and applied for the job. And that single decision laid the groundwork for my entire professional career. 

Nonprofits Put the PRO in Profession

Nonprofits and not-for-profits are pure gold for anyone starting out in their career. There is often an entrepreneurial spirit and sense of teamwork, as people brainstorm ideas to grow and promote the cause. There is also great room for growth and career development. 

For me, in particular, I’ve found that nonprofits provide a great opportunity to learn a wider range of skills, try on lots of different hats, and have greater input and impact on the organization. For example, when I joined the medical association, I had never written a press release or media brief. I hadn’t written a speech or recruited celebrity spokespeople. But by the end of my four years with the organization, I had these and several other skills to add to my resume. 

Fast forward 20 years and nonprofits are still the industry of choice for many people in my position — returning to the workforce after taking care of children, especially post-pandemic. Once again, skills, flexibility, and a strong work ethic are key qualities for nonprofits versus most corporations where “rising through the ranks” and no gaps in employment history are often prized. 

And as we find ourselves on the other side of COVID, our new world of work tells us that salary isn’t necessarily top-of-mind for today’s employee. In fact, new research from Unum shows that time is the new commodity.  

In fact, respondents answered that the top three work benefits they wanted were generous paid time off, flexible/remote work options, and paid family leave. 

If this is music to your ears, then a nonprofit may be the ideal choice for you. Many nonprofits and not-for-profits provide flexible hours, hybrid or remote work, offer generous paid time off, and have a wide array of key benefits.  

Its All About Connection

Lastly, nonprofits offer you an opportunity to work in a field that makes your soul sing. And this is critical to more employees than ever before. In fact, research from McKinsey found that 31 percent of the people they surveyed who had quit their jobs did so due to a lack of meaningful work. 

Conversely, Leading Edge surveyed 55 nonprofits that ranged in size from a few to a few hundred employees and found that 88 percent of respondents felt connected to their workplace and mission. 

A powerful mission. Today’s most coveted work perks. An opportunity to build your skill set and career. An exciting time and place to shine your brightest. 

This is the nonprofit world – a place where people can shine! 

by McKinley Marketing Partners