If you're contemplating making a career change from business management to something more altruistic, you might want to read a sample job description for a nonprofit director.
There are many different types of organizations that operate as nonprofits, so director jobs in this sector can vary widely. Often these positions combine management and fundraising, and typically pay a lot less than comparable jobs in the private sector. The lower pay means that the motivation to pursue a career in nonprofits has to involve a desire to help a community, or achieve a comparable goal that's less self-focused than what private-sector employees tend to embrace.
Nonprofit employers span a pretty wide range of subsectors, including many that have peers operating as for-profit companies. Nonprofits include:
- Educational concerns, ranging from K-12 schools through colleges and universities to specialized training organizations and continuing education programs
- Trade associations and workers' unions
- Some research institutions and think tanks
- Some hospitals and clinics, but not all of them
- Religious organizations, including houses of worship
- Charities and foundations
- Federal, state and local government, including fire departments, law enforcement and the judiciary system
- Orchestras, ballets, live theater venues and casts of performers
- Museums and some galleries
There's a great deal of variety in the nonprofit sector, so director jobs vary from one subsector to the next. It makes the most sense to look at sample job descriptions for nonprofit director in all of the different subsectors in order to get a feel for the different options available.
Sample Job Description for a Nonprofit Director
A nonprofit director job description might include:
- Directing the nonprofit organization in achieving its objectives in the community
- Creating or overseeing the creation of educational programs and community outreach services
- Creating or directing the creation of capital fundraising campaigns including soliciting donations from the public and courting interest from wealthy individual donors
- Writing grant proposals or managing those who do the writing
- Crafting annual budgets and allocating funds to different parts of the organization
- Coordinating the nonprofit organization's accounting systems and bookkeeping
- Running a volunteer program, either directly or by managing a volunteer coordinator who enlists people to donate their personal time to the organization
- Coordinating an internship program through outreach to college and university career offices and alumni networks
- Overseeing those who manage the nonprofit's facilities, including real estate, office equipment and furniture
- Creating and implementing a marketing plan for the nonprofit using a modest amount of resources
- Constantly looking for ways to maximize resource and achieve more while spending less
- Communicating about the nonprofit's activities with the nonprofit's board of directors and attend all board meetings
- Promote diversity within the nonprofit and as part of that exhibit a strong ability to communicate with people from a wide variety of backgrounds
- Either directly doing media outreach or managing a pubic relations manager who would compile press releases and communicate with members of the press about the nonprofit's accomplishments
- Doing work related to maintaining the nonprofit's tax exempt status, including responding to audit requests and working with accountants or lawyers for compliance purposes
Research the Jobs First
Given the significant difference in pay rates between the private sector and nonprofits, it's a really good idea to research nonprofit jobs before applying for opportunities. Reading a sample job description for a nonprofit director should be a part of your homework before you change careers.