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What is the typical amount of compensation at a mid-level nonprofit job?

Hello, I am interested in understanding more about working in or for nonprofits. #nonprofits #non-profit #non-profit-organization-management #non-profits

Hello! Although I am uncertain about long term compensation for nonprofit work, I am a college student who just completed a semester-long internship for a nonprofit organization. That internship provided a $600 stipend for a semester of work that included weekly leadership team meetings, weekly individual meetings with the program manager, and various tasks on my own time including administrative work, event organization, and marketing/outreach. I also completed some tasks related to that internship in the summer before the semester began. You could apply for an internship with a nonprofit organization and/or shadowing experience either during college or before you decide to attend (aka during a gap year) to gain a better understanding of the field if you'd like. Sabina B.

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Kate’s Answer

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Hi Jessica,

Great question - it's always good to think about salary as part of your career plans! The salary for a mid-level position in the nonprofit space varies based on your geographic area and the type of position (fundraising, programs, accounting, etc.). I recommend you check out this salary survey by a Boston-based nonprofit: http://tsne.org/salary-data. You can search by position or view their full report as a PDF. The salaries listed here are on the higher end due to the cost of living in MA, but it's a good point of reference. Also, this could give you an idea of some different types of jobs that might be of interest to you.

Finally, be sure to take a salary negotiation class if you get a chance, like the ones offered through the AAUW: https://salary.aauw.org/. This will help you figure out how to negotiate based on the range for a position!

Good luck!


Kate recommends the following next steps:

Take a salary negotiation class, if you can find one near you
Look over the salary survey from TSNE MissionWorks

Every nonprofit is different. A mid-level nonprofit job in Seattle isn't going to pay the same as a mid-level nonprofit job in Louisville. A mid-level nonprofit job at an animal shelter isn't going to pay the same as a mid-level nonprofit job at a metropolitan museum. I find that nonprofits in New England pay better than nonprofits on the West Coast, because for-profit companies back East are more willing to give to nonprofits, and give substantially and regularly, than companies on the West Coast. Jayne Cravens

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Megan’s Answer

Great question Jessica!

As other people have mentioned it totally depends on where you work in terms of geographically and also the nonprofit that you work for. If it is a national organization with many branches they’ll usually have more financial strength than a local small nonprofit. I would say on average in New York (excluding downstate) it would be around 40-50k. However, one added benefit of the nonprofit Industry is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

My coworkers and I have all sorts of degrees, none of which are directly related to nonprofits. One went for journalism, another communications, but both did an internship with us and were hired for fundraising. I think with nonprofits it’s not so much about your education but who you are as an individual and your work ethic.

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Jan’s Answer

Hi Jessica. Erin and Namita make great points. Often the salary is based on whether you are a direct service provider or in organizational management. The best path for me to follow turned out to be in organization management and I eventually worked my way to an national executive level position in a very large, nation-wide non-profit. I was responsible for operations in 13 states, including compliance and organizational support. At that point, I made about $100k/year. I felt it was comparable to any similar position in the for profit sector. But the path to that point included a lot of work and learning at the local service delivery level. I am seeing a trend (fortunately) that recognizes the value of professionals in the non profit sector - we should not be expected to be “indentured servants” yet we should be expected to be good stewards. I hope you will find your path in serving others. It is a rewarding profession.

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Namita’s Answer

Working for a non-profit is a rewarding experience. There are many opportunities; it will depend on your area of interest. Salary range is middle of 40k. Few colleges are offering a business degree in non-profit management.