The Best Online Degrees For Those Interested In Non-Profit Work

Published on: April 21, 2023

When choosing a degree or considering career options, it is common for students to look at occupations that can earn them the best income. However, this causes many to overlook non-profit jobs or organizations because their purpose is often misunderstood. Working for a non-profit organization does not mean working for free, or the business is not sustainable. Here’s some information on what non-profit organizations are, what they do, and the best degrees for working in this field.

What Are Non-profit Organizations or Institutions?

Non-profits work towards the goal of providing a benefit to society instead of selling a product or service to make a profit. Some work towards solving problems locally, while others are geared towards national or global issues. The money generated by non-profits is not kept but instead used to continue funding the programs or services they provide. This makes them exempt from state and federal taxes. While the money generated by non-profits is reinvested in their operational work, this is done after paying for operating costs, such as staff salaries. 

Do Non-profit Employees Get Paid?

While it is common for non-profits to make use of volunteers, they do have paid staff as well. In addition, non-profits are also subject to the same wage laws as other companies, which means they must offer fair compensation for paid employees. However, it is common for non-profits to provide fixed wages or salaries instead of incentive-based pay. Salaries in non-profits depend on factors such as the nature of the organization, its size, and your role in it.

What Are The Benefits of Choosing a Non-profit Career Path?

People who choose to work for non-profit organizations are generally motivated by the opportunity to help or assist a cause they feel passionate about instead of financial gain. However, some non-profits also offer additional benefits to employees, such as flexible hours, educational opportunities, and professional development support. In addition, non-profits often offer competitive healthcare, retirement benefits, and tuition reimbursement.

What Are The Skills And Traits That Are Suitable For Non-profit Work?

There’s more to working for non-profits than being willing to help others. Here are some of the most common skills and traits that are useful for non-profit work.

Communication: As with any job, communication is vital in the non-profit sector. Good communication skills help avoid confusion and convey your message, which is essential when dealing with donors, governments, or the public. Working in a non-profit often also requires public speaking skills to convince others to support your cause and contribute.

Persistence: Non-profit work is not easy, and often getting initiatives or projects off the ground requires a lot of grants and donations. However, these are often rejected, and persistence is a necessary trait to have to keep going. 

Passion: When working for a non-profit, being passionate about its goals and mission is crucial. If not, it is easy to become discouraged or demotivated if goals are not met.

Problem-Solving: Good problem-solving skills are vital in non-profit work as there are often a lot of unexpected issues that can crop up. Thinking on your feet and adapting to change can help you cope better in this industry.

Flexibility: Working in the non-profit sector can often mean doing tasks that fall outside your job description if the need arises. This requires some flexibility and a willingness to move outside of your comfort zone for the greater good of the organization and its goals.

What Are The Best Online Degrees For Non-Profit Work?

Bachelor of Education in Social Studies - An online Bachelor of Education in Social Studies degree is a great choice for students who want to focus on non-profits specializing in education. In addition to opening up career paths as a teacher, this degree can help students to educate others about the importance of learning and school programs. In addition, the knowledge and skills gained from this type of degree can be helpful in non-profit roles such as education outreach coordinator, education program leader, camp program director, and much more.

Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Promotion - An online Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Promotion degree is perfect for students with a passion for the health and well-being of others. This degree covers topics such as disease processes and prevention as well as research, education, and communication techniques for implementing or promoting health programs. All of these are very important to health-related non-profits and can open up career opportunities in healthcare administration, public health, nutrition, and other non-profit fields. 

Master of Science in Non-profit Management and Leadership - Those who want to take on leadership roles in the non-profit sector can benefit from an online Master of Science in Non-profit Management and Leadership degree. This degree teaches valuable skills, such as applying ethical solutions and legal guidelines and practices in non-profit organizations. Students will also be able to evaluate the performance of these organizations’ governing boards, staff, volunteers, and programs and apply the best practices for budgeting, financial management, strategic planning, and more. 

Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership - Many non-profits focus on arts and culture as they foster creativity and allow people to express themselves while strengthening communities. For these reasons, an online Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership is a good educational choice for students who want to work in the non-profit sector. Like other organizations, non-profits also make use of visual media to convey their message and capture public attention. In addition, a degree in this field can help teach others, organize arts and culture-related events, and become an advocate. Some online degrees also enable students to choose non-profit management as one of their electives. 


The non-profit sector is not suitable for everyone, but students who want more out of their career than just financial gain will appreciate what it has to offer. The industry gives people an opportunity to really make a difference, take on a variety of responsibilities and gain a lot of experience in the process.

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