Nonprofit Careers: Options, Job Titles, and Descriptions

Female volunteer boxing canned food for food drive in warehouse
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A nonprofit organization is one that uses its surplus revenue to further its goals. It typically serves the general public through its mission, which might be working to improve education, promote women’s rights or the arts, or provide specialized healthcare.

Being familiar with job titles is important both during a job search and while building your career.

You may find that skills you’ve honed while working in the for-profit sector can pave the way for a transition to a nonprofit organization, or vice versa.

It’s helpful to review a list of nonprofit job titles when you are job searching online, to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. It’s also useful to review your job title with your employer to make sure your duties match your job description.

Nonprofit Career Options

Because nonprofit work can be found in various broadly defined fields, there are many nonprofit job titles. There are entry-level through management jobs available in the sector, and many people spend their entire career working for nonprofit organizations.

Salaries in the Nonprofit Sector

If you’re contemplating a career in the nonprofits, you might be expecting to earn less than your counterparts in for-profit industries. However, the data is mixed about whether working for nonprofits means taking a pay cut.

Surveys have shown that some workers in nonprofit jobs are willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for doing work that is more meaningful to them.

This is most notable in jobs that have a direct equivalent at for-profit companies. For example, PayScale data shows that marketing managers at nonprofits earn 17.8% less than those at for-profit employers.

On the other hand, a Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that some nonprofit workers—service workers in particular—enjoy a pay premium for working at nonprofits.

So, does it pay to work for a nonprofit? The short answer is that it depends. Your job title, duties, and employer are obviously big factors in determining your compensation. To get the salary you deserve, it’s important to research compensation before you negotiate—and to know what’s important to you.  

Most Common Nonprofit Job Titles

Most nonprofit enterprises are organized similarly to regular for-profit companies. For example, both kinds of organizations will typically have management positions like executive directors, as well as jobs in accounting/bookkeeping, human resources, and media/technology.

However, there are other jobs that are unique to the nonprofit sector, but which can generally be categorized into the existing typical corporate divisions.

Outreach Coordinator Jobs

For example, the outreach coordinator in a nonprofit promotes the mission of the organization among the local community. They might organize events, recruit volunteers, or arrange other projects to get the community excited about and invested in the enterprise.

Development Jobs

Jobs in development might attend to fundraising planning, securing financial support, creating special events for donors, and running other projects to ensure the organization meets its annual goals. 

Grant Writer Jobs

A grant writer works with the development director, completing applications for funding (typically applications to foundations, the government, or a trust) to make sure the nonprofit achieves its annual financial goals. In a standard corporate job chart, all these positions would fall under the marketing/public relations category.

For more information on each job title, check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Nonprofit Job Titles List


In any organization, there need to be people expert in organizing and executing office duties, interacting with the clients, and attending to the everyday operation of the enterprise.

  • Aides Supervisor
  • Community Service Project Coordinator
  • Compliance Coordinator
  • Financial Aid Representative
  • Member Records Administrator
  • Member Services Representative
  • Membership Assistant

Health and Human Services

Many nonprofits are concerned with the physical and mental welfare of their clients and need employees with a variety of skills in specialized areas like abuse, addiction, and life counseling for adults and youth.

  • Associate Pastor
  • Case Manager
  • Chaplain
  • Chemical Dependency Counselor
  • Child Care Worker
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Child Support Case Officer
  • Childbirth Educator
  • Counselor
  • Hospice Supervisor
  • Housing Coordinator
  • Housing Counselor
  • Human Services Worker
  • Juvenile Counselor
  • Living Skills Advisor
  • Managed Care Coordinator
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Minister
  • Pastor
  • Policy Analyst
  • Residential Living Assistant
  • Social Worker

Human Resources

In a nonprofit, people with human resources skills can put their experience to use in a variety of ways from being the point person on building skilled teams to tackle a community project to recruiting and organizing volunteers to assist with daily tasks.

  • Event Team Recruiter
  • Job Developer
  • Labor Union Organizer
  • Team Leader
  • Volunteer Coordinator


Management in the nonprofit sector takes many different forms, from overseeing entire national or regional efforts to guiding the direction of one crucial element of the organization’s goals. Nonprofits often draw from the corporate world for the most senior executive positions, as well as from candidates who have risen through the nonprofit route.

  • Administrator for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Advocacy Director
  • Business Office Supervisor
  • Campaign Manager
  • Chemical Dependency Director
  • Chief Association Executive
  • Community Health Director
  • Community Relations Director
  • Compliance Director
  • Corporate Giving Director
  • Corporate Giving Manager
  • Critical Care Director
  • Development Director
  • Development Manager
  • Director of Family Shelter
  • Director of Major Gifts
  • Director of Special Initiatives
  • Donor Relations Manager
  • Executive Director of Nonprofit
  • Financial Aid Director
  • Foundation Director
  • Fundraising Manager
  • Grant Proposal Manager
  • Housing Program Manager
  • Major Gift Director
  • Member Certification Manager
  • Member Services Director
  • Planned Gift Director
  • Planned Giving Director
  • Planning Manager
  • Program Director
  • Program Manager
  • Program Officer for Foundation
  • Project Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Recreational Therapy Director
  • Social Services Director
  • Social Work Manager
  • Special Events Director
  • Support Services Director
  • Teen Center Director
  • Volunteer Director
  • Volunteer Manager
  • Volunteer Services Director


People with marketing and fundraising skills are sought after in the nonprofit sector to keep the organization and its goals sustainable and viewed positively in the public eye. Grant writers with excellent writing skills and the ability to seek out funding are always in high demand as well.

  • Community Organizer
  • Community Outreach Advocate
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Community Outreach Specialist
  • Coordinator of Planned Giving
  • Development Assistant
  • Development Associate
  • Development Coordinator
  • Development Officer
  • Fundraiser
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Grant Administrator
  • Grant/Contracts Specialist
  • Grant Coordinator
  • Grant Writer
  • Grassroots Organizer
  • Lobbyist
  • Marketing Associate
  • Nonprofit Fundraiser
  • Online Activist
  • Program Assistant
  • Program Associate
  • Program Coordinator
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Special Events Coordinator