As opposed to government (public sector) and business (private or for-profit sector), the education and nonprofit career community in the United States and abroad is comprised of organizations that are principally driven by a social mission, and do not make a profit from the work that they do. These organizations are also commonly known as NGOs (non-governmental organizations).
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Heather Robertson-Devine ’99 received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with majors in International Relations and Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies. Ms. Robertson-Devine is currently a part-time teacher and entrepreneur. As CEO of Books del Sur, Ms. Robertson-Devine’s company imports high-quality, authentic, children’s’ literature from Latin America. In this video, she shares information about her background as an educator, how she found her way to international publishing, and how she defined her personal brand.
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City Year is wholly focused on fighting the national dropout crisis. We have committed to leverage the talent, energy and idealism of corps members to serve as tutors, mentors and role models in schools to help students stay on track – and get back on track – to graduate.
Over one-third of nonprofits believe the following five areas will experience the most job growth in the coming year: fundraising/development; direct services; education/community outreach; program management/support; and marketing/communications/public relations20016 NEP Survey
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Exploring Service in Science introduces first-year science students to the world of public service from the perspective of both the university and its community partners, using classroom activities and direct experiences. Service opportunities include science outreach, sustainability, and public health. Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to access the network of service providers in the region to pursue more in-depth volunteer or community-based learning opportunities. Involves approximately 1 hour per week of public service.
The internship program is designed to provide students with opportunities for learning and working in organizations in ways that connect their coursework in gender and women’s studies to specific issues in community settings.
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Definition and Additional resources for Nonprofits
The nonprofit sector is comprised of organizations working towards bettering or addressing a certain issue and/or need as defined by each organization’s mission statement. The Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University has conducted research on nonprofits and developed the following list of characteristics for nonprofit organizations:
• Institutionalized to some extent;
• Institutionally separate from government;
• Non-profit-distributing (not returning profits generated to their owners or directors);
• Self-governing (able to control their own activities); and
• Voluntary (non-compulsory and involving some meaningful degree of voluntary participation)
• Not all nonprofits are charities.
Types of nonprofits
In the United States, as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) there are three main types of nonprofit organizations (note: there are 29 types of organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c). Each type of organization is exempt from certain taxes because of the contributions it makes to the community.
- 501(c)(3) – The majority of nonprofits are in this category. They must show broad public support. Donations are tax-deductible; Common examples include private foundations and charitable nonprofits. Research them on sites such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar
- 501(c)(4) – They perform advocacy/lobbying work, ostensibly designed to promote social welfare causes (e.g., AARP). These groups are allowed to to participate in politics, so long as politics do not become their primary focus; meaning they must spend less than 50 percent of their money on politics. Donations to these orgs is not tax-deductible
- 501(c)(6) – This includes professional and trade associations, chambers of commerce, trade boards, real estate boards, and even NFL teams (so long as they don’t generate a profit for their members). Donations to these groups is not tax-deductible.
Understanding Nonprofit Job Titles
Common corporate or
government job titles
Accountant Advocate Administrative Assistant Board Administrator CEO Community Manager Event planner Community Organizer Manager Development/Fundraising Marketing/Communications Grant Writer President Outreach Coordinator Programmer/web developer Program Coordinator Researcher Program Director Teacher Volunteer Manager
Working Internationally for Nonprofits
Maybe you have dreams of working overseas for a nonprofit, or non-governmental organization (NGO). Unless you are able to volunteer right after graduating, finding actual paid employment with these types of organizations is difficult – unless you’ve planned ahead and/or have friends or relatives who can give you a helping hand. Resources available to you at UW-Madison, while you are still a student:
- Explore and plan a semester abroad to gain new international perspectives through the UW-Madison International Division’s study abroad, or international internship programs
- Explore Wisconsin Idea Fellowships which provide funding to undergraduate student projects working towards solving a challenge identified along with local or global community partner
- Make an appointment to meet with our Campus Peace Corps Representative to learn how service in the Peace Corps can boost your future career goals
- International organizations seek candidates that have proficiency in languages other than English. Explore your options and learn about ways to develop your language skills at Languages at UW-Madison
- Investigate if you can volunteer within a Wisconsin-based organization that supports projects in the developing world
- Join a student org focused on international development issues such as WUD Global Connections
- Apply to the State Department’s Virtual Student Foreign Service program which allows you to intern all over the world without ever leaving Madison
- Read this blog post entitled: To the graduate who wants to work in international affairs
L&S Career Services handouts:
- Devex, an international development website, there are some key areas that individuals should focus on to make/keep themselves relevant for international development work
- United Nations Volunteers
- United Nations Career Portal
- The United Nations Young Professionals Programme
- NATO Internship Programme
- World Wide Helpers
- Volunteer Service Overseas
- Jobs at the World Bank
- DevNet Jobs
- Aid Workers
- What’s the Best Way to Break Into the Non-Profit Sector (from Idealist)