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Make a Profit in a Non-profit World

June 10, 2010

By Meghan Oakley, originally published in Jobs for Change

It is the time of my year when I spend a good amount of time coaching AmeriCorps*VISTA members in the job hunt process for their life after AmeriCorps. It can be a daunting task. Not only are outgoing AmeriCorps members wondering what they want to do with their life, they are also struggling with questions about the non-profit sector in general… Are there jobs that I can financially afford to take? How much does a human service worker make in Albuquerque?

My favorite resource to recommend? Making a Difference: A Guide to Personal Profit in a Non-profit World. This 62-page guide for people new to the non-profit sector was published by Idealist.org and the National Endownment for Financial Education. It covers everything that people new to the non-profit sector need to know: handling student loans, compensation in the non-profit sector, credit, budgeting, spending, and saving for retirement.

My favorite section? pg. 21 gives a helpful chart on non-profit salary averages, depending on organization size, region, and the position. Salaries and compensation is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of the non-profit sector. In a world where information is scarce on what non-profit salaries are in different fields and places, this guide will give you a leg-up in leaping into your first non-profit job.

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