“The nonprofit sector is more dynamic than most people think. Explore these myths and see the sector in a new way.
Myth #1. “Only rich kids need apply.”
Or: “No one makes any money in the nonprofit sector.”
The truth: Most nonprofits rely on paid staff in addition to volunteers.
The term “nonprofit” does not mean that nonprofit professionals do not earn a salary. “Nonprofit” refers to the 501(c) tax code in the United States. Nongovernmental organization, or NGO, and “charity” are the common terms used outside the US.
Revenues generated by nonprofit organizations go back into programs that serve the organizations’ mission. There are no stockholders receiving annual financial dividends, and employees do not receive a bonus at the end of a good year. According to Independent Sector, $670 billion are earned by nonprofit organizations annually, and one in twelve Americans work in the nonprofit sector.
Myth #2. “Business rejects apply.”
Or: “The nonprofit sector is for people who could not make it in the business world.”
The truth: Nonprofit organizations are full of intelligent people with a passion for their work (many with graduate degrees and years of experience in the sector).
Many people switch between the nonprofit, government, and private sectors during their careers. Each line of work presents its own set of challenges, but there are many talented people in all three sectors.
Business people are often surprised to learn how difficult it is to make the transition into the nonprofit sector, which has different, often rigorous standards of success.”
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