Overview of Nonprofits
The mission of nonprofit work is to serve, advocate or make positive change.
Get details on the salary and job security of these nonprofit careers:
Careers in Nonprofit
Check out these videos to learn about the typical workday and workplace in the nonprofit sector and get tips for success in this industry.
Get Career Ready for Nonprofits
Find out what it takes to land a career in nonprofit
Earn a Degree
To work in the nonprofit field, it is recommended you have a strong background in relationship building, fundraising, strategic planning, project management, and teamwork. Check the Mason Catalog for degree requirements.
Any major can lead to a nonprofit career, although a foundation in nonprofit studies can be helpful.
Some options at Mason include:
- Nonprofit Fellows Program
- Nonprofit Studies Minor
- Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution
- Integrative Studies
- Global Affairs
- Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) (with concentrations in Social Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and Human Rights)
Certifications like these can also increase your employment options in the nonprofit field:
- Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management
- Grant Professionals Certification
- Certified Grant Writer
- Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP)
Enroll in UNIV 421 (College to Grad School) to identify the advanced degree that will help you achieve your career goals and create the materials to apply.
Employers expect at least six to twelve months of related experience to be competitive for full-time positions. Gain experience while you are a student at Mason.
Here are the types of experiences most valued by nonprofit employers, and where to find them:
- Society for Nonprofits
- Nonprofit Career Network
- The Nonprofit Times Career Center
- Feminist Majority Foundation
Service Learning/Civic Engagement
Mason’s Social Action & Integrative Learning Office (SAIL) offers the following opportunities:
- Virtual Learning Community (VLC): Leadership through Community Engagement (Global Patriots VLC, Peacebuilding, Justice and Conflict Resolution VLC)
- Bonner Leadership Program
- Mason Service Corps
- Alternative Breaks
Enroll in UNIV 320 (Internship Readiness) to develop your internship goals and search strategies to pursue career-related experiences.
It is important for you to be able to clearly communicate the knowledge, skills and experiences you have gained in and outside of the classroom.
Below are top ways to showcase your qualifications to nonprofit employers:
In your cover letter, clearly express how your passion along with your knowledge, skills, and abilities align with the organization’s mission.
Enroll in UNIV 420 (College to Career) to develop your job search strategy, personal brand, networking skills, and more. Or, prepare for what's not in the job description - working effectively in teams, making the most of your benefits, and more by enrolling in UNIV 422 (Professional Skills Development).
Career ready Mason grads have gone on to work for nonprofit employers, such as:
Fellowship of Catholic University Students
The World Bank
American Red Cross
Wolf Trap Foundation
Join the nonprofit community
Get involved and grow your network while you're still a student. Your industry advisor can help you decide where to start.
Nonprofit Professional Associations
- National Council of Nonprofits
- Nonprofit Academic Centers Council
- Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Actions (ARNOVA)
- National Association of Nonprofit Professionals
- Alliance for Nonprofit Management
- Grant Professional Association
- Society for Nonprofits
- Association of Fundraising Professionals