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serenityNOW's avatar

Ideas for getting work with a non-profit or grassroots organization, and getting paid for it?

Asked by serenityNOW (3636points) July 31st, 2015

Okay, so I was walking out of work on a break and I just realized, my job is simply **not** for me! I don’t enjoy the work, the company and beyond that, I think it’s a somewhat sleazy organization. I just wrapped up a design project for a volunteer organization, and I realized with some direction and creativity I created some artwork that will be beneficial to those who see it, and it made me feel good to help out. I’d like to continue doing work like that, but I also need to make a living. I know this is a little vague, and I can expound more on the topic later, but does anyone have a clue where I should start looking? (My first step will be to enquire with the organization I helped, but beyond that, I’m at a loss.)

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8 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What are your talents and what do you bring to the table to help a non-profit achieve it’s aims? You could freelance to a bunch of different ones and charge for your services, or one could hire you as an employee if you help them with their aims. They’re allowed to have a payroll.

serenityNOW's avatar

After lots of ups-and-downs, I’ve basically become a Print Designer. I still do some Web Design, but more for the sake of paying bills than having any real passion for it. I should mention as well that I am not looking for an insane income, just some money to cover my bills and actually save up some cash so I can move. I have no purpose right now – I’m just drifting, and I think I’m having an Existential Crisis to boot. Might as well pitch in what I can, while I can.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I just went and looked at two of the non-profits in this building. 14 Documents and two three ring notebooks full of publication, so there is a demand for your skills. If you free lanced you might have to look for some other business till you got your reputation built up with the non- profits.

zenvelo's avatar

My girlfriend has been working for non-profits for some time now. But she is a social worker and with an interest in programs for people with developmental challenges run by non-profits.

As a designer, your skills are beneficial to a non-profit but not part of their mission. So perhaps you could reach out to non-profits an doffer your services on a project by project basis. Build a portfolio that shows what you can offer.

Here2_4's avatar

While I can see your desire to change your occupation is real, and also your desire to do good things. I don’t believe you should try to combine the two. Seek employment you can enjoy, or at least better tolerate, but don’t try to narrow your search with extra details. As you seek better employment, find ways you can volunteer your services, as @zenvelo said, in the development of a better portfolio.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Nailing down a paid position with one of these orgs usually requires a commitment far beyond anything asked of a person in the private sector. Having a skill/trade/profession valuable to the non-profit is imperative, but it’s just a start.

Do your research, find the org with a mission that fits you, then volunteer your services. If there is further education required that can make you even more valuable to them, do it. When a paid position requiring your skill set opens up—these are usually in supervisory or management levels—apply for it. You are a known quantity to them due to your volunteer work and should be on the candidate short list if you meet the criteria. Then again, paid positions often require advanced degrees, don’t pay very well, and therefore most people remain volunteers satisfied with knowing that they are contributing to an endeavor and an organization that they believe in.

serenityNOW's avatar

Thanks everyone for your responses. I just want to do something beneficial to the world while still paying the bills.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Doing just about anything in medicine should fill the bill. And it usually pays well.

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