7 Careers in Finance at Non-Profit Organizations

Many financial professionals have discovered that working in the non-profit sector provides them with a measure of satisfaction and enjoyment that they didn’t get previously when they were working for just a paycheck. Although the pay is less, jobs tend to be more secure in this sector in the long run, and those who work in the higher echelons of larger firms can still earn a respectable salary.

While many salaries may be lower, the benefits at many non-profit entities can rival those of the best private sector firms. Workplace rules at non-profit entities are also often less stringent than in the corporate sector; employees may not be required to wear suits and ties every day or adhere to rigid schedules.

  • Accountant. Although the actual work that is required for this position will be basically the same as for an accountant in the secular field, this is just as necessary in the non-profit sector as anywhere else.
  • Treasurer. This position comes available at larger non-profit institutions where enough funds are collected to require someone dedicated to dealing with them.
  • Loan Officer. There are non-profit institutions that make loans to people who qualify, such as the VA and various other fraternal organizations. These institutions often need experienced personnel to originate and process personal, vehicle, and mortgage loans.
  • Financial Aid Officer. Most educational institutions employ at least one of these officers to help current and prospective students obtain financing for their educations. This job tends to be a rather secure position, as a competent financial aid officer will help the employer by getting more students in the door.
  • Director of Fund Raising. This can be one of the most challenging positions in the non-profit sector. Those who are in charge of raising money for their employers often face a tall order, and they usually try to accomplish this by meeting with possible donors to woo them to make contributions as well as organize larger, more structured events and programs that are designed to bring money into the institution. This position will require the ability to effectively plan events and close sales and may also require a visionary ability to find new sources of funding.
  • Interns and Volunteers. If you are not concerned with making money in your nonprofit job or are still in school, consider volunteering to help an organization raise funds, or do low-level accounting work as an intern under the supervision of an accountant.
  • Venture Philanthropy. A new breed of venture capitalist and socially responsible lender has sprung up that seeks to make a profit from the non-profit sector. These companies seek to generate capital from loans and funding to borrowers and businesses in low-income districts where capital can be almost impossible to obtain from traditional sources like banks. This new breed of funding requires people to analyze and screen those who are asking for money and also process these transactions.

The Bottom Line

The non-profit sector offers a stable selection of jobs for those who seek other types of fulfillment from their jobs than just purely financial. Although these jobs don’t pay as much as those in corporate America, they do offer employees the chance to work for something they believe in and help their fellow citizens in various capacities.

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