The nonprofit sector is comprised of organizations trying to create a better world. One of the most common reasons that people consider nonprofit work is because they want to make a meaningful, positive change in the lives of others. There is an amazing range of opportunities both domestically and internationally for innovative, passionate individuals with a vision. The National Council of Nonprofits is a valuable resource for everything nonprofit, including job listings by state, in addition to guidelines for initiating and managing a nonprofit organization.
One of the most comprehensive resources available is Idealist.org, providing “an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.”
Another useful online guide, Learn How to Become, will help you learn more about the importance of volunteer work, how to find volunteer opportunities, and how to transition from volunteering to a career in a nonprofit organization.
For links to NGOs, Interaction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) focused on the world’s poor and most vulnerable people.
Get paid for an unpaid internship! Check out the Funded Internships offered through Bowdoin.
Meg Springer advises students interested in working in the nonprofit sector.
Make an appointment with Meg by calling Career Planning at (207) 725-3717 or by submitting our online appointment request form.
Resources for Nonprofit Jobs, Internships & Volunteer Opportunities
Find a job, internship, or volunteer opportunity and start creating solutions to the social problems that face our world.
For international opportunities, Omprakash Foundation is a resource dedicated to empowering social transformation and education projects around the world.
Check out these helpful sites
Work for Good: Opportunity Knocks is a national online job site, HR resource, and career development destination focused exclusively on the nonprofit community. They are committed to lead and support efforts that help further nonprofit careers and promote a robust workforce that enables organizations to complete their missions.
Common Good Careers: A service of National Human Services Assembly and provides opportunities from the best organizations in the nonprofit human services sector.
Nonprofitjobs.org: Site where not-for-profit employers and management personnel can meet one another
The Nonprofit Jobs Cooperative: Collaboration of nonprofit management centers from across the United States. Its goal is to provide a one-stop source for job seekers to search for nonprofit jobs, and for employers to easily publish job opportunities within specific regions.
Career Builder Non-Profit: Search engine for jobs in the nonprofit sector. You can search by geographic location.
AmeriCorps: National network of hundreds of programs throughout the US. There are two programs that are managed nationally: AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps NCCC. Both agencies are committed to service, and both offer challenging and rewarding full-time opportunities. AmeriCorps members serve only in the US.
AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps: The Jewish Service Corps strengthens the Jewish community’s fight against the causes and effects of poverty in the United States. They do this by engaging participants in service and community building that inspires them to become lifelong agents for social change whose work for justice is rooted in and nourished by Jewish values. Participants in the service Corps program live out and deepen their commitments to social change and Jewish life through a year of full-time work at anti-poverty organizations in Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, DC. This work partners Corps members with service providers and residents in low income communities and equips Corps members and alumni to emerge as lifelong agents for social change, whose work for justice is rooted in and nourished by Jewish values. After participants complete this intensive year-long program, they can pursue: Action for a Just World, which provides a broad platform for long-term leadership in social change and Jewish life.
Catholic Volunteer Network: Catholic Volunteer Network, established in 1963, is a non-profit membership organization of 200 domestic and international volunteer and lay mission programs. Currently, more than 10,000 volunteers and lay missioners serve in these programs throughout the U.S. and in 108 other countries.
Explore Public Service Careers: A comprehensive guide on public service careers to help you explore the different types of career paths available; learn about employment opportunities, internships, and volunteer work; get insight from public service experts; and find a list of additional resources for navigating the public service sector.
Families USA: Families USA is a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Working at the national, state, and community levels, we have earned a national reputation as an effective voice for health care consumers for 25 years.
Green Corps: In 1992, U.S. PIRG, the Federation of State PIRGs, launched Green Corps as a graduate school for environmental organizers – with a difference. This program not only gave participants a solid academic grounding in their field of choice; it provided concrete field experience, established relationships between the participants and the major environmental organizations they hoped to serve in, and even paid participants to enable them to engage full-time in their chosen work.
Student Conservation Association: Provides hands on conservation service opportunities
Working in GLBT Advocacy Organizations: A number of national GLBT advocacy organizations offer excellent opportunities to get involved in issue-based work within sophisticated political and grass-roots organizations.
Forest Foundation: Offers placement in paid summer internship positions with a variety of nonprofit organizations. Current undergraduate students are eligible to apply; placement is based on student interests and the needs of participating organizations.
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network: (YNPN) is a national grassroots nonprofit organization that engages and supports future nonprofit leaders through professional development, networking, and social opportunities. Beginning in 1997 as a small gathering of peers in San Francisco, YNPN has since grown from word-of-mouth and local volunteer leadership teams, to a nearly 15,000-member network composed of five affiliate chapters, including San Francisco; New York City; Washington, DC; Chicago; Denver; and dozens of emerging chapters in other cities across the country.
Foundation for Sustainable Development: Partners with more than 200 community-based organizations throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America to support sustainable change. Its development model relies on active community participation to mobilize lasting solutions. While respecting local value systems, FSD partners with local leaders to build networks and collaborate on community-driven approaches to development issues.
Community Matters in Maine Fellowship Program (Sponsored by the McKeen Center): Provides students the opportunity to work and serve in the local community through a placement in a specific organization to address community issues while strengthening campus-community partnerships. Meant to capitalize on students’ interests, the fellowships allow allows students to explore work in the public sector while developing an understanding of issues at the local level – what they are and how to solve problems related to these issues by working with a broad spectrum of community leaders. The ten-week fellowship includes a $4,000 stipend, and fellows are eligible for on-campus housing.
Big Brothers Big Sisters: The oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the United States; their mission is to help children from 6-18 reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors.
Other interesting nonprofits involved in youth development and community:Aspire Public Schools
Building Educated Leaders for Life
Nonprofit Business & Finance
The mission of Commongood Careers is to enable innovative nonprofits to build strong organizations through the recruitment, retention, and development of outstanding talent. Almost all nonprofits struggle with attracting talented individuals to fill the vacancies in their organizations. Commongood Careers is an innovative search firm that works with social entrepreneurs to streamline the hiring process and secure talent at every level, from support staff through senior managers, and in every functional area (e.g. development, finance, communications, and management).
Some interesting nonprofits to take a look at in the realm of business and finance:
Calvert Social Investment Foundation
Community Reinvestment Fund
Nonprofit consultants work with social sector organizations, namely nonprofits and private foundations, to maximize their societal impact and realize their mission-based goals. NP consultants help these organizations fine-tune programmatic strategy, develop leadership and staff, and implement effective fundraising solutions (or, in the case of private foundations, improve grantmaking processes). In addition, nonprofit consultants are often retained to facilitate executive leadership transitions as well as organizational restructurings.
Firms offering nonprofit consulting services include:
The Bridgespan Group
Third Sector New England
New Sector Alliance
Schultz & Williams
The Whelan Group
Community Wealth Partners
Bain & Company
Corporate Philanthropy is the donation of money, resources, in-kind services, or volunteer time given by corporations to nonprofit organizations and charities in an effort to advance one or more social causes.A corporation’s internal giving department often handles direct giving programs, including employee matching and in-kind giving.To oversee and execute grantmaking activities, larger firms typically establish private foundations. These foundations derive grantmaking funds from the profits of the parent company and remain closely linked to this founding firm, but legally, corporate foundations retain independent legal status.
Major Corporate Foundations
According to Foundation Center, the some of the largest US-based corporate foundations ranked by total giving are:
Financial Parent Company
Wells Fargo Foundation
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation
The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Prudential Foundation
S. Bancorp Foundation
Retail Parent Company
The Wal-Mart Foundation
Working in a Corporate Foundation
Corporate foundations depend on a number of different positions to operate effectively, necessitating a wide-range of supporting jobs (adapted from Philanthropy New York):
Finance: Individuals working in the financial arm of a corporate foundation manage the organization’s investments, monitor accounting activities, maintain financial records, and prepare financial statements. Financial officers routinely collaborate with the foundation’s Treasurer, a Board member responsible for overseeing the fiscal management of the organization.
Grants Management: Grants management professionals track the foundation’s grants and compile reports assessing the societal impact and outcomes of their funding. This data ultimately helps inform the foundation’s programmatic approach.
Grant making: Program staff work to create a grant making portfolio that best addresses the mission and focus areas of the foundation. In this role, staff complete in-depth research on and site visits to potential grantee organizations, analyze proposals, systemize extensive applicant data, write reports and evaluations, review financial statements, and collaborate with their colleagues in making final grant decisions. Throughout the grant making process, program staff ensure that the foundation exercises programmatic, financial, and legal due diligence.
Communications: A foundation’s communications team handles the organization’s press releases, updates website content, prepares annual reports and newsletters, develops marketing materials, and manages social media.
Administration and Human Resources: Foundation staff working in administration or human resources execute daily administrative operations and manage the benefits, training, hiring, scheduling, and recruitment of employees.
Research: Some corporate foundations produce independent research on their current focus areas and issue priorities, which often materializes into formal reports.
Environmental Education Nonprofits
The mission of the Orion Society is to inform, inspire, and engage individuals and grassroots organizations in becoming a significant cultural force for healing nature and community. The Orion Grassroots Network lists jobs and connects groups working for positive social and environmental change across North America and beyond. The Orion Society’s magazine, Orion, is beautiful, inspiring, and thoughtful.
Learn more about career in Public Health by reading the Health In Depth Page
Recent Posts tagged Nonprofit
- Check Out Idealist for Opportunities in Nonprofit Are you interested in a career in the nonprofit sector? Idealist.org is a website dedicated to connecting those who wants to do good with opportunities for action.
- How Students Can Prepare for a Nonprofit Career Interested in a nonprofit career but not sure how to prepare? Read this article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy for some great real world advice. And then follow the advice and act on it!
- Summer Internships with the Bowdoin International Music Festival Do you love music and would like to spend your summer on campus? If the answer is yes don’t waste another minute and apply for an internship at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
- $15,000 Public Service Award for Seniors- Deadline Jan 17th! The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a $15,000 stipend to a graduating college senior to pursue public service anywhere in the world.
- Federal Agency of the Week: Millennium Challenge Corporation If you’ve ever felt a twinge of ethical unease at the gap between developed and underdeveloped nations and a desire to fix that, government work is one of the best ways to put your skills to use.
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