why do you want to work for a nonprofit organization

Working for a nonprofit organization is sometimes overlooked by job hunters and professionals looking to make a leap in their career, often due to hyperbolic beliefs. Nonprofits have NO budget! is one statement that I hear often. While it is true that many nonprofits are funded through government, the general public or private foundations, and that their budgets may be limited, there are benefits you will find working at nonprofit organizations that you won t find in many corporate offices. 1. You get the opportunity to wear different hats. At a nonprofit organization, you ll often find that departments are smaller and there is more room for you to work outside of your specific job description. For instance, if you currently work in marketing or work on community fundraising campaigns, but you also love to write, you could pitch the idea to your boss to start writing a blog for your organization. Not only will you be able to share the amazing impact of your nonprofit by creating and sharing success stories online, in newsletters and with relevant media contacts as press releases, you ll also be learning how to build a blog and create content. Nonprofit organizations are excellent places to widen your skillset and learn how to effectively pitch your ideas, all while contributing to your organization s cause. 2. Make a difference. No matter what subsector you decide to work in, you will have the chance to see the impact your work is making.


It is an incredibly humbling feeling to see the people you are truly working for everyday, whether they live onsite or attend your programs. Even having the chance to read their impact statements and testimonials, perhaps from other programs in the organization, is immensely rewarding. You ll head to work every morning with a renewed sense of meaning and motivation when you know you are helping to mould your organization into something even better. We feel happier when we believe our work is serving a greater purpose and we are facilitating positive results based on our jobs. Working in a nonprofit organization gives you the opportunity to make a difference and be part of creating a lasting impact. 3. Be treated like a person, not a number. Most nonprofit organizations are small teams and departments. This allows staff members to form bonds and work together. You will likely be able to build relationships with employees of all levels because smaller organizations usually have less hierarchy, which often means you re working with your colleagues and managers, not just for them. Working under a rigid hierarchy can make you feel limited in what you do, but working with your boss can establish greater transparency and trust. Adam Braun, founder of
has coined a new term for nonprofit organizations: for-purpose organizations.


And if you are one of the many Canadians today who are looking to work in an organization that fuels your passion and brings back meaning to your career, I urge you to do your research on the many nonprofit organizations and charities across Canada that are active change makers in their communities. Think about your interests and what industry you want to influence. Do you want to work for seniors? Children? Or maybe you d like to work at a women s shelter or other housing facilities? Evaluate your skills and align them to your interests, then find where there s a gap you can help fill. I think you ll find that working in the nonprofit sector allows you to reclaim fulfillment and impact in your career, and will help you develop your professional skillset. Nabeela Khan is a Communications Professional who currently works at the as a Web and Communications Officer. She graduated in 2015 with a degree in Communication Studies and Professional Writing. She enjoys writing, reading and discussing current events. I just need to get paid. I don t know. These are typical answers I hear when performing mock interviews with my clients and I ask, Why do you want to work for this organization? But while they may be honest, unfortunately they also probably aren t what the employer wants to hear.


Although it seems like it should be a simple question, for many people it is actually one that is very tricky to answer. To be fair, it s quite a loaded question. Is there really a right answer? The first thing to ask yourself when answering this question is: Why did I apply for this job? There must have been something about this particular job that made you think, at the very least, I can do this, and I wouldn t mind it. If not, that s a problem! Why did you apply to this job if you re not going to actually want to do it? I know that most people need a job because they have to pay bills, and that s completely understandable. But as someone who helps people find jobs every day, I want you to know that there is a job out there that you will enjoy and that will use your skills and strengths. If you are struggling to believe this, or if you re looking for help with finding the right job for you, I highly encourage meeting with someone who works in career services. The second thing to ask yourself is: What skills do I have that would make me good at this job? When you ve identified your strengths, try to think of examples where you put these strengths and skills into action. This is an important point for many interview questions think of these examples as your proof of what you are saying about yourself. Anyone can talk the talk, it s walking the walk that matters.


Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, do research on the organization. Showing that you ve taken the time to check out the employer's website, review news articles about them, and seek out statistics or other information about the industry can be very impressive to an employer. Try to find something you really connect with. Maybe it's their mission statement, the cause they are fighting for or a fantastic awareness campaign that really connected with you. Maybe it s that you ve been there as a client, donor or volunteer and had a great experience, or you heard from your friend that they are a great place to work. Whatever it is that you like about this organization tell them! They want employees who will be happy to work there, not ones that will speak ill of the company or be a bad ambassador for them. In summary, you'll want to practice a three-part answer to this question that includes: When you put all of these pieces together (your interest, your skills, and your research), you'll be able to create a very strong and convincing answer for the employer. Charity Leonard is an Employment Facilitator with, which provides free and inclusive employment services to youth ages 16 29. She is passionate about empowering youth to find their paths in life and recognize their value in the workforce.

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