Inside Non Profit Manager Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Non-Profit Manager: "The best part about the job is the satisfaction I receive from working with the community. It is one of the few vocations where employees can frequently go home knowing that their efforts directly help to better the community and improve peoples' lives. The pay is low, the hours can be odd, and, although there is no pressure on me from upper management, there is a great deal of stress because there is a strong sense of responsibility when working to better the community." (2011)

Manager Of Public Programs: "The highlight of the job is working with talented musicians, scholars, teaching artists, etc. in order to develop meaningful programs. It's exciting to develop new ideas and bring them to fruition. I also enjoy interacting with the public. The absolute worst part of the job is the paperwork! For every musician I book I need to write a new contract, submit paperwork for their payment, manage my budget and track attendance. Administrative tasks like these are very boring! Also, I work for a non-profit and don't earn much money." (2010)

Director Of Development: "The best part of my job is meeting so many people who have so many different professions. It's a learning experience to hear what people do, knowing all too often that you could never do that kind of work yourself. (A nurse in intensive care, working with people with severe disabilities, etc.) I can't really say there is a worst part to my job except for the long hours or occasional weekend work. There are times, sadly, when you can't leave your work at the office." (2010)

Career Background

Non-Profit Manager

  Job Tasks
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  How to Prepare for the Job
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Career Tips

"Need To Be Emotionally Invested...
Go into the job not expecting to earn money. Understand that the job requires a good deal of effort and a strong emotional connection to your cause. You must believe in your cause in order for people to buy into your endeavor and donate or volunteer. With passion, the job is very rewarding, but without passion, the job is excessively stressful. The job requires creativity and the ability to connect with people. The ability to understand poverty culture is vital." (Non-Profit Manager; 2011)

"Consider Negotiation AFTER You Get An Offer...
1. Many people are cautious about inquiring about a salary. Once an offer has been made, do not be afraid to negotiate a higher salary. If the museum will not increase the salary, ask for more paid time off (vacation and sick time) and an increased contribution to your 403-b (retirement plan) 2. Take advantage of the 403-b. When you are young, old age seem like another life. However you will grow old and want to retire. Since you cannot depend on Social Security itís important to begin saving for your retirement early in your career 3. Have fun!" (Manager Of Public Programs; 2010)

"Seek Out Chances To Volunteer...
1. Develop strong technical skills, especially in database management and the use of Excel, and investigate the software that is used by non-profits. 2. Volunteer or intern at several non-profits: schools, museums, hospitals, the symphony, etc. and talk to development professionals. 3. Take courses in communications and marketing and read as many professional journals as possible. Scout development information on-line and volunteer for special events so you can learn how to organize and run them." (Director Of Development; 2010)