EARLY CAREER ADVICE: Careers in the Non-Profit Sector – Part 1

Published: January 15, 2013


Volunteering for a non-profit organization is usually the first step towards working fo one. Marie-France Coallier/PNG

In my earlier posts I discussed the importance of current high school and university students obtaining work experience to assist students and their parents in identifying early on where the in-demand careers are, as well as the skills required to be successful in those careers.

I know there are educators and parents that might feel that the goal of educational institutions should not be to train students like robots for “corporation” jobs where the only goal is to maximize profits.

Some students are more interested in making a positive difference in people’s lives and in the community. That’s great and we need more people like that in our society. These students should consider careers in the non-profit sector.

Non-profit is defined as a corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive. A vast number of organizations qualify for non-profit status under the various definitions. Non-profit organizations include churches, soup kitchens, charities, political associations, sports leagues, Colleges and Universities, hospitals, and museums.

The non-profit sector is an enormous contributor to the economy and employs a large number of people in North America:

• 1.2 million people perform paid work for close to 69,000 non-profit organizations in Canada. This translates into more than 7 per cent of the overall Canadian workforce.

• In the United States, non-profits employed 13.5 million individuals, or approximately 10 per cent of the country’s workforce.

The non-profit sector is uniquely positioned to offer a range of careers that are engaging and rewarding but it is not for the faint of heart or for people who simply want to “do good”. Non-profits must satisfy at least two customer groups: their donors, the users of their services, and sometimes other stakeholders as well.

Funding seems to be a key concern for many people working in the social services sector. Non-profits such as the Salvation Army, United Way, and the Red Cross rely on donations from several sources to continue operations. From the research I have come across, funding from government sources has been declining over the years so they have to rely more on private donors who continue to pressure non-profits to account for and improve results. Some non-profits call it “measurable impact”.

In a tough economy non-profits will continue to compete with other non-profits for funding and donations. They will be forced to make tough choices in order to balance budgets which could be by reducing program services, laying off staff, and relying more on volunteers. This at a time demand for their services will continue to increase.

Non-profits need skilled people to do more with less resources in a rapidly changing external environment. They need high caliber people who are comfortable with innovation and continuous improvement, the ones who frequently ask themselves and their organizations if there is a way to deliver services that are better, faster, and cheaper.

In order to qualify for jobs in the non-profit sector current high school and university students should start by volunteering with non-profits that they are interested in and even apply for part-time jobs if they are available. I recommend enrolling in high school work experience or university co-op programs to gain work experience. Remember that many skills students learn during their work experience terms in private and public sectors are transferable to the non-profit sector.

Pavi Toor is a Human Resources Manager and operates the site www.careersafterschool.com. He can be reached at pavi@careersafterschool.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Violent Vancouver muggings

Violent street mugging in Burnaby brings light sentences to two of the perpetrators

A third suspect who has never been arrested held knife to victim’s throat KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A man convicted in a violent street mugging…
Continue Reading »

security-CBSA-Transit Police-death

Migrant group asks Transit Police not to share info with CBSA

THE CANADIAN PRESS A B.C. group is calling on Transit police to stop sharing all information about migrants with the Canada Border Services Agency. Transit…
Continue Reading »


IHIT takes case after body found in SUV in Surrey City Centre area

VANCOUVER DESI The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is at the scene where a deceased male was discovered in Surrey’s City Centre area Friday morning….
Continue Reading »


Canadian gets seven years in Nepal jail for child molestation: report

THE CANADIAN PRESS A media report says a Canadian man has been sentenced to seven years in jail in Nepal for molesting a nine-year-old boy…
Continue Reading »

Canadian universities attracting kids, especially girls, to sciences

@ By Liam Casey THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Groups of students huddle around desks at a university campus as the instructor gives out a…
Continue Reading »

Canadian universities attracting kids, especially girls, to sciences

@ By Liam Casey THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Groups of students huddle around desks at a university campus as the instructor gives out a…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »


U.S. mom with 2 kids celebrates one-month birthdays of rare identical triplet boys (with photos)

COREY WILLIAMS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming…
Continue Reading »

File photo: An Indian Muslim bride, her hands decorated with henna, attends a mass wedding organized by a social service organization in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Groom dumped by bride-to-be for a wedding guest accuses her of drugging him before ceremony

VANCOUVER DESI A 25-year-old Indian groom who was dumped by his bride-to-be for a wedding guest after he suffered an alleged seizure has accused his…
Continue Reading »


Vancouver woman sues hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury for sexual assault

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver woman is claiming the leader of one of B.C.’s largest yoga chains repeatedly sexually assaulted and coerced her over…
Continue Reading »

murder plot-Pakistan-love triangle

U.S. man convicted of setting up fatal shooting of Pakistani wife while walking with young son

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A man was convicted Thursday of setting up the fatal shooting of his Pakistan-born wife while the couple was…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest

Katrina Kaif -bikini blouse

Gallery: Bollywood babes pair hot bikini blouses with sarees

VANCOUVER DESI When it comes to sinful fashion mingled with grace, elegance and beauty, no one can beat Bollywood actresses and their style sense. Check…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood film review

Dum Laga Ke Haisha: So real and heart-warming, it smells like life

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”; Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pedneker; Written and Directed by Sharat Katariya; Rating: ****(4 stars) It’s very…
Continue Reading »

Katti Batti

Bollywood actors Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan are having fun on the sets of Katti Batti

IANS Mumbai – Actor Imran Khan is having a “positive experience” filming “Katti Batti”, thanks to his “wonderful co-star” Kangana Ranaut and “great director” Nikhil…
Continue Reading »