In recent presidential debates, the topic of unemployment came up quite a bit and for good reason. However, is the task of creating jobs limited to the public and private sector? What about the nonprofit sector? A Nonprofit is an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals and missions rather than using revenues for profits or dividends. Nonprofits usually have goals that are oriented towards public service and the well-being of a specific cause. But can organizations that do not make profits be sustainable? The answer thus far has been yes, to date there are roughly 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. If you’re unsure if you know about any nonprofits, I can assure you that you know at least one. Well-known nonprofits include Habitat for Humanity, Girls Scouts, Amnesty International, the NRA, and Red Cross.

According to CNN, the nonprofit sector employs about 1 in 10 Americans and has become the third largest labor force behind retail trade and manufacturing. In the past decade, the nonprofit sector has grown at an average rate of 2% while the for-profit sector has shrunk by about 0.6%. Some reasons for this may be that nonprofits are resilient, but also that unlike for profit organizations, nonprofits can be more flexible and also sustain some type of government funding. Nonprofits are great for all types of people with varying skills because like any other big corporation, nonprofits need managers, human resource professionals, graphic designers, educators, social workers, grant writers, volunteers, accountants, and many more positions, and more times than not nonprofits are looking for dedication and passion. With this variety of job positions, it is no wonder that nonprofits are able to employ so many people. A study conducted by John Hopkins University concluded that the reason why nonprofits have registered a higher employment rate is because these organizations are active in a variety of fields; this sector encompasses all fields ranging from health to education to the environment.

The lingering questions then must be, how do employees get paid? It is true that nonprofits don’t earn any money at the end of a fiscal year, but this is because this money is spent on the organization’s programs as well as its employees. Nonprofits gain funding in many ways such as federal and local grants, donations, foundation funding, fundraising events, and in some cases nonprofits create and sell a product such as the Livestrong bracelets. So if you are currently seeking employment, or know someone who is, maybe consider the endless list of nonprofits in the United States today. You can both gain networking, experience, skills you may not have considered before, and most important something you are happy to dedicate yourself to.