We won’t deny it – working for a nonprofit organization is hard. Limited funding, endless hours of work that so often goes unrecognized, number crunching, task juggling and fundraising. While Metafile is not a nonprofit, we work closely with the organizations who work day and night to accomplish their missions and see the blood, sweat and tears that nonprofiteers put into their work. This, and many other blog posts out in cyberspace, probably make you wonder why anyone would ever choose to work for a nonprofit.
Joan Garry of Because Nonprofits are Messy compiled 12 reasons why “nonprofit work is a gift,” and we couldn’t agree more. Here’s the breakdown:
- “You learn how to maneuver and manipulate difficult people with big egos and get them to do what you want (i.e. good stuff).”
- You become a teacher, explaining the importance and the magnitude of your organization’s mission.
- You find those long-lost diplomacy skills that you hone through communication with different types of people with different agendas.
- “You learn what separates really classy centerpieces from really tacky ones.” Yep.
- You get to work with people every day who are as passionate as you are.
- “If you ever work for a gay nonprofit, you learn that gay people may be bullied, harassed, unprotected by federal employment discrimination and have a higher incidence of suicide than any population but that they are the funniest people ever. (And they will make sure you never wear anything tacky to a major donor fundraiser.)”
- Many of the people you meet have incredible stories and backgrounds, from clients to your staff and beyond.
- If you’re on the board of directors, you realize how humbling it is to be in a leadership position with others. “You arrive thinking you might be the smartest person in the room. And then you realize you’re not. And instead of being irritated, you are just simply impressed.”
- You learn the stories behind the people you work with and see them as more than just employees.
- “Even if you find that nonprofit staff or board work is not for you, you can look back and say without hesitation that you devoted your time and energy to something that really and truly mattered. A life without this is simply not a life well led.”
- “People watch. And they listen.” When you’re passionate about the work you do, you tell others and it inspires them to go out and make a difference in their communities and the world.
We know you probably don't need us to tell you that the work you do matters, but sometimes a reminder is exactly the pick-me-up you need. Know that your work matters, and that we appreciate the hours you put in to make our communities and our world a better place to live in!