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Careers in the Nonprofit Sector

Newsroom | From the Faculty Feb. 15, 2023
Dr. Heather Carpenter Image

With 1.9 million nonprofits that make up 10% of the US workforce, many job opportunities are available in the nonprofit sector. The nonprofit sector comprises ten different subsectors, which include:

  • Arts, Culture, and Humanities
  • Education
  • Environment and Animals
  • Health
  • Human Services
  • International, Foreign Affairs
  • Public, Societal Benefit
  • Religion-Related
  • Mutual/Membership Benefit
  • Unknown, Unclassified

Source: National Center for Charitable Statistics.

Citizens interact with and participate in nonprofits throughout their lives through preschools, hospitals, little leagues, PTAs, American Red Cross, scouting, membership clubs, churches, YMCAs, zoos, museums, and performing arts venues. 

There are many jobs within nonprofit organizations where YOU CAN get paid well! Some include accounting and finance jobs within nonprofit organizations, as nonprofits have their own financial rules for charitable contributions and investments. There are also program-related jobs within nonprofits, such as creating, managing, and evaluating programs. Many enjoy fundraising and development jobs, which involve raising money for nonprofits through grants or individuals. Or others pursue marketing and communications jobs, which help nonprofits promote their mission and greater good to the community.

Moreover, volunteer management jobs and administrative jobs help nonprofits achieve their missions. The most well-known job is as an Executive Director, which involves leading a nonprofit. Finally, there are jobs in foundations and grantmaking organizations that provide funds to other nonprofits.

In 2015 my co-author Tera Qualls and I wrote the Talent Development Platform: Putting People First in Nonprofit Organizations, a book focused on helping nonprofits retain their staff and volunteers through professional development. In the book, we included many nonprofit job titles and job descriptions.

The MS in Nonprofit Administration program at LSU online prepares students for ALL these jobs and helps individuals in these jobs accelerate their careers. We also have students in the program who are starting their nonprofits!

Nonprofit Job Sites

Work for Good


Council of Nonprofits


Nonprofit Career Information

The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to land a job that makes a difference

Idealist's Guide to Nonprofit Careers: For First-time Job Seekers

Idealist's Guide to Nonprofit Careers: For Sector Switchers

How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar

Change Your Career: Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit Workforce Statistics

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nonprofit Talent and Retention Survey

Wages in the Nonprofit Sector

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