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By Claire Hegstrom
If you’ve been searching for a job that creates deeper purpose in your life, you may have been curious and peeked at opportunities available in the nonprofit and not-for-profit sectors. You may have even applied to a nonprofit job and didn’t even realize it! After all, there are over 1.5 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States, and sometimes it can be hard to spot the difference from a job description.
We’re diving into the difference between nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations, the behind-the-scenes perks of working for one, and debunking the myths that may be keeping you from taking the leap to apply.
Simply put, not-for-profit organizations do not earn profits for their owners. Instead, any money made by the company is used to run the organization—paying the utilities, rent, and their employees—and the rest is devoted to achieving the goals and objectives of the organization. For example, credit unions, like Alliant, are not-for-profit and return their profits to their members in high deposit rates and low loan rates. Unlike banks, which are for-profit organizations, the credit union makes money for the member, not from the member. A nonprofit is very similar in the ways they run their business and pay employees, but nonprofits also have the freedom to hire volunteer staff.
Because both types of organizations are tax-exempt from many different forms of taxes, they are also highly regulated by state and federal laws to ensure compliance with their specific regulations. Credit unions are regulated and protected by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) which provides insurance on members’ funds, much like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does for bank customers. Usually there are charity affiliations and other operational practices that both kinds of organizations comply with to keep their tax-exempt status.
If you talk to anyone outside the not-for-profit or nonprofit field you may hear fantasized thoughts about effortlessly saving the world, all in a day’s work. Or maybe you’ve been told that nonprofit jobs mean little pay and overstretched employees. Let’s debunk some of the most common myths.
Not-for-profit job descriptions are often overly humble about the incredible benefits they offer their workers. Whether you’re attracted to the renewed sense of purpose or flexibility in a new role, there are endless ways that not-for-profits offer competitive advantages.
Ready to be a part of the magic? Take a look at Alliant’s open positions to see if your renewed purpose is just around the corner.
Claire Hegstrom is an advocate of the credit union movement through and through. Passionate about financial education, she approaches money conversations from a candid and inclusive space focused on growth and awareness. As our credit union founding father, Ed Filene, once said, “Progress is the constant replacing of the best there is with something still better.” Claire hopes reading Money Mentor will help transform your life from the best to even better.
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