Working for the Greater Good: Why Consider a Nonprofit Job?

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Since our founding in 1887, Malvern Bank has been a growing, profit-making financial institution. We have provided valuable banking and investing services to individuals and businesses along Philadelphia’s Main Line and, more recently, to clients in Delaware, northern New Jersey, and Palm Beach County, Fla.

So, why do we talk so much about nonprofits?

Malvern Bank believes it is important to be an involved, contributing, and supportive member in the communities we serve. While providing financial services is our core business, helping to build and strengthen our communities is critical to the success of Malvern Bank. Several of our employees are involved in nonprofit leadership positions in their communities.

 Also, Malvern Bank has created an exclusive product to benefit 501(c)(3) organizations, including independent schools and local nonprofits. With this Affinity Program, we aim to assist these organizations in meeting their financial goals and facing the challenges of fundraising together.

I want to take this space to talk about the value of nonprofits and to mention a couple of immediate employment opportunities with a local nonprofit Malvern Bank knows and values.

First, I’d like to address the value and benefits of working for a nonprofit. Ashley Brooks, a freelance writer for Collegis Education, a leading provider of managed technology services, recently wrote “Why Work for a Nonprofit.” According to Brooks’ article, not only do these workplaces often give back to individuals and communities in need, but they also rely on employees with savvy business skills to help them make the biggest impact.

Brooks lists five benefits of working for a nonprofit:

1. Your work can make a difference

One of the biggest potential draws to working for nonprofit organizations is the fact that you can use your skills to earn a living while still feeling like you’ve contributed to the greater good. According to Rick Cohen, spokesperson for the National Council of Nonprofits, “Nonprofits offer the opportunity to change the world or to help your neighbors in your local community, all while continuing to build your professional skills.” Whether you’re a fiscal genius or a marketing wizard, your skills can make a difference in the world when you put them to work at a nonprofit.

2. Your work will likely have more variety in responsibilities

In the traditional business world, employees are given a narrow set of tasks related to one area of business. Nonprofits, on the other hand, typically rely on a smaller team of people to handle the workload, resulting in more variety for employees.

“In a nonprofit, you may be handling operations budgets, events budgets, business plans for new services or offerings, and speaking to community organizations all on the same day,” said Jill Santopietro, a nonprofit and small business consultant.

3. Varied responsibilities can help with career advancement

By working for organizations that tend to have lean budgets and staff, you could potentially dive in to taking on important tasks early in your career — and that experience can be a huge plus. And don’t overlook the value of learning more about what you’re NOT suited for. Learning this may be a little painful, but potentially having a chance to try your hand at or assist with multiple types of work can help you put your plans for the future in focus.

4. You could be eligible for student loan forgiveness programs

Many of the business positions that nonprofit organizations need filled require a bachelor’s degree. If you’re afraid you can’t afford a degree program, remember that nonprofit careers can come with benefits — like student loan forgiveness — not accessible to those who choose the corporate path. Employees who have made at least 10 years’ worth of payments on their student loans and who work full-time for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit may be eligible to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If you meet all the necessary requirements, this program will forgive the remaining balance of your student loans.

5. Connected work environment

Private sector business careers often get a bad reputation for being a hamster wheel of tasks that feel cold, boring, or detached from the world. Work in the nonprofit sector, however, gives employees a sense of connection that comes from working together on a shared mission to do good.

Speaking from a personal level, I have found that working for a nonprofit is very fulfilling. It is a great way to assist individuals and families in need and to engage others to do the same.  As the Director of Community Development at Malvern Bank, I have been able to continue to serve our local communities.

If you are considering working for a nonprofit, there are several openings that may be of interest to you. Check out Indeed.com to learn about organizations that could benefit from your skills. Additionally, here are two immediate nonprofit jobs with the Housing Partnership of Chester County (HPCC), based in Downingtown:

  • Executive Director: The Executive Director is accountable for all operational activities of the HPCC. Provides leadership to the organization consistent with the vision and mission, laws and regulations, and sound business practices that result in a long-term profitable and sustainable entity. Develops, manages, and implements programs that support the Board-approved Strategic Plan.
  • Development Director: The Development Director implements the development plans, which includes individual giving, institutional giving, grant writing, and development office operations.

Candidates interested in both positions should e-mail their resumes to hpcc.info@verizon.net.

We’d like to hear about your experience in searching for a job in the nonprofit sector. Please e-mail me at pmclennan@mymalvernbank.com.

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Patricia McLennan is Senior Vice President and Director of Community Development for Malvern Bank and former CEO of Home of the Sparrow, a nonprofit that provides housing and supportive services to homeless and low-income women and their children.

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