Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

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MichelFoucault
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Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby MichelFoucault » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:03 am

My unemployment office directed me to some pretty descent websites for non for profit job listings. Some of these jobs sound really interesting despite the probably low pay. Does anyone know how competitive they are? One of them asks to list desire comp on resume doesn any know how to figure out whats the best thing to put. I'm young so i gues I'd be ok with as low as 35,000 per year if the job is interesting. But I dont know if thats too high and wouldnt want to have my resume dinged for asking too much.

leftofthedial
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby leftofthedial » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:17 am

Unless you're in a big big city, that's asking for too much. Way too much. Most places I know about in a midwestern city of around one million people start in the mid to upper twenties. That's with a degree. Also, if you speak about money a lot, you won't get hired. Don't talk about "packages" or any such nonsense. They are competitive. Do you have any volunteer experience? If not, volunteering at an organization is a good way to get a foot in the door.

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Panther7
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby Panther7 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:33 am

I work at a non-profit, and I think if i were to work year round i would make something like 21k. This is in a city of 100k pop.

Also, I didn't have a degree in social work, mine was in social sciences. I had to go through a LOT to convince them to hire me. It's not easy to get these types of jobs, you really have to want it. I remember telling them at one point "I don't care if you pay me minimum wage, as long as I can pay my bills I'm happy."

leftofthedial
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby leftofthedial » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:47 am

By the way...if a form asks for desired compensation, leave it blank. Or put "negotiable." I spent three years in non-profit work...you've got to want to do it, not just pad the cv.

PoliticalJunkie
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:52 am

Not sure what the motivation would be but my first job out of college was at a non-profit making 42K. Not exactly making big bucks, but for a non profit job that's not bad with a BA.

The salaries range. If you have some experience you can negotiate a higher salary (if you get past the interview and are selected).

However, now times are tough and you're not likely to get past the 30K range unless you have significant internships and work experience in college. However, despite the low salary, I would think non profit experience is a big plus for an app. Most law applicants are wet behind the ears and I would think you'd add value to any class with some real world experience.

Kretzy
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby Kretzy » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:59 am

I worked in a non-profit fellowship immediately following college. Made 20K, living in a major American city. Phenomenal experience, helped my writing and research ability, and gave me very good work experience on my application. I think it's a great idea, but don't expect 35K unless you're living in one of the largest cities in the country.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:13 pm

I work at a non-profit. Low pay is expected, and they are incredibly competitive. You would be surprised by the number of people who want to work for non-profits for the rest of their career (basically anyone who has a degree like social work which would otherwise put them in a government position).

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j.wellington
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby j.wellington » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:05 pm

You're painting with a very broad brush when you refer to "nonprofit organizations." Nonprofit is a legal designation an agency can obtain by meeting certain criteria, thus allowing it to achieve tax-exempt status. It is not a badge of altruism as many believe, and you should not assume that working for just any nonprofit is going to be a boon on your resume. (Your resume also shouldn't be your only motivator, but that's another discussion...)

Many nonprofits service very narrow fields of interest or even business interests, despite not making a profit themselves (i.e., think tanks, chambers of commerce, etc.). These orgs often have a more corporate structure and pay pretty decently; $35,000 is not an unreasonable starting salary. But don't expect it to be interesting. The truth is that you'll probably be doing the same mundane cubicle work you would in a corporate job under a nonprofit banner. Also don't act like you're doing the world a favor because you did fundraising on behalf of the Foundation for Northern New Jersey Prep School Gymnasiums.

If you want to work for a more service-oriented, community-based nonprofit, good for you. You'll be helping people who really need it, and I can tell you firsthand that you'll find it very enlightening and rewarding. But you should modify your expectations significantly. You will make a salary in the low $20Ks and can expect to work in an environment you're probably not used to. It will not be your typical office job. Because they pay so little, turnover in these organizations is common and can contribute to disorganization. You'll be dealing with people who have real problems that they didn't create, which can be both humbling and depressing. If you're going to go this route, you really do need to be in it for the right reasons. It will look nice on a resume, yes. But if that's your primary concern, you will burn out very quickly.

I think I'm rambling now. Best of luck to you.

MichelFoucault
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby MichelFoucault » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:00 pm

Thanks all for the advice. The job postings that I found most interesting are the service oriented jobs. I certainly don't care to do it for the money, just didn't want to give away my services for less than I need to. I think I will follow the advice of putting negotiable. And I am certainly not doing it just for the CV padding. browsing through these opportunities was one of the first times I felt actually excited about the immediate prospects of employment.

I don't have any volunteer experience but I have a near perfect academic record from an average public uni and one year experience in finance. Will I likely need to gain volunteer experience before landing a job like this?

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Panther7
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby Panther7 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:42 pm

MichelFoucault wrote:I don't have any volunteer experience but I have a near perfect academic record from an average public uni and one year experience in finance. Will I likely need to gain volunteer experience before landing a job like this?


Probably, nobody in that kind of non-profit cares about grades or finance... what they care about is if you really care and are willing to do the work (because not many people are). Volunteering is the BEST way to get into an organization like this, as it shows you are committed to helping them out.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:45 pm

MichelFoucault wrote:Thanks all for the advice. The job postings that I found most interesting are the service oriented jobs. I certainly don't care to do it for the money, just didn't want to give away my services for less than I need to. I think I will follow the advice of putting negotiable. And I am certainly not doing it just for the CV padding. browsing through these opportunities was one of the first times I felt actually excited about the immediate prospects of employment.

I don't have any volunteer experience but I have a near perfect academic record from an average public uni and one year experience in finance. Will I likely need to gain volunteer experience before landing a job like this?

Not necessarily. If they are hiring for a position in which you can use your background in finance (or relate your experience to the job at hand in the interview) then you may be able to land the job. As I previously stated most nonprofits are fairly competitive, so you will need a bit of luck and determination. Volunteering wouldn't hurt you, but many times the jobs that volunteers do are not very substantiative and don't provide any useful experience which can be used in a paid position.

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j.wellington
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby j.wellington » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:13 pm

MichelFoucault wrote:Thanks all for the advice. The job postings that I found most interesting are the service oriented jobs. I certainly don't care to do it for the money, just didn't want to give away my services for less than I need to. I think I will follow the advice of putting negotiable. And I am certainly not doing it just for the CV padding. browsing through these opportunities was one of the first times I felt actually excited about the immediate prospects of employment.

I don't have any volunteer experience but I have a near perfect academic record from an average public uni and one year experience in finance. Will I likely need to gain volunteer experience before landing a job like this?


Like others have said, the most important thing from their standpoint is that you care. If you haven't volunteered and your experience is not directly relevant, you should be proactive in showing you want the job. Make it clear in your cover letter that you're looking to do something different and provide your reasons. In the meantime, if you're unemployed, starting a part-time volunteer thing now while you look for jobs couldn't hurt any.

MichelFoucault
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby MichelFoucault » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:38 am

ok ill start looking for interesting volunteer work to do while applying for jobs. can anyone suggest good websites to look for volunteering opportunities? Im currently using idealist.org and would like to know of any others that are good.

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Panther7
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Re: Gaining Experience for applicatioin: Non-Profit

Postby Panther7 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:31 am

MichelFoucault wrote:ok ill start looking for interesting volunteer work to do while applying for jobs. can anyone suggest good websites to look for volunteering opportunities? Im currently using idealist.org and would like to know of any others that are good.


think of a cause you care about, and find something that matches that.

my interest was economics and sociology, so i looked at things like tutoring for after school programs for poor kids, and ended up finding a job at a homeless shelter. it's probably better to seek these things out, send out a few emails asking related directors for suggestions for what might fit your interests.




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