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How to get started

How to get started

Start by thinking about whether there's a specific issue that you’re really passionate about – environment, children, corporate responsibility – and look for volunteering opportunities with nonprofits that focus on that issue area. Next map out your network and ask to be connected to people of interest and work to build relationships. Also try to seek out experience in a boardroom—as a staff member or board volunteer.

Skills and education

Skills: Can you check them all off?

  • Willing to take on responsibility
  • Ability to collaborate with different stakeholders and create cross-sector partnerships
  • Creativity to accomplish goals within a limited budget
  • Adaptability- nonprofits have fewer resources and employees, so employees will often be asked to perform multiple tasks.

Education: Do you need a degree for impact?

There are no required degrees to work in this field, but common degrees for the nonprofit sector include:

  • Social science
  • Liberal arts
  • Vocational training
  • Social work
  • Public health
  • Public policy
  • Nonprofit management
  • Business and accounting.

If you are considering pursuing graduate education, download Net Impact’s annual Guide to Business Schools for Social and Environmental Impact.

Current opportunities

The nonprofit sector is expected to continue to grow as the economy recovers and charitable giving rises. A Nonprofit HR report from 2015 stated that the nonprofit industry will create the most job openings in the areas of direct services, program management and support, fundraising and development.

There are a number of great nonprofit career sites worth exploring, including the Net Impact jobs and internships board.