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HESBURGH LIBRARIES  >  Library Guides

Career Resources — Nonprofit

Industry Overview

Nearly 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the US generate almost $1.5 trillion in spending per year and employ about one in 10 American workers or 13.5 million people, making it the third largest labor force behind retail, trade and manufacturing. And, these are only the U.S. nonprofits. Usually defined by what it is not, this sector definitely has a bottom line and focuses on utilizing every donation, grant dollar, and government funding wisely to achieve a mission that serves society. Careers in the nonprofit sector, in many cases, parallel those in the for-profit sector and require the same professionalism, intensity in internship and job search strategy, and top-level skills and qualifications. Most amazing about the nonprofit sector is the breadth and variety of industries inside the sector:  Arts, culture, and humanities; Education and research; Environmental and animals; Health services; Human services; International and foreign affairs; Public and societal benefit; Religion; Mutual/Membership Benefit (professional societies and associations, fraternal societies, and pension and retirement funds); and unclassified. Nonprofit organizations often recruits on a “just-in-time” basis. Many agencies do not attend career fairs or travel to college campuses, but they do have internships (rarely paid) and real, paid jobs!