Craving a career that's about more than just a paycheck? Look no further than the nonprofit sector. Here, your passions and principles don't just fuel your work—they become it. And with opportunities ranging from arts and education to public health and social services, there's a gig that fits every personality like a glove.

Here are six of the best nonprofit career paths to help with your career planning.

1: Fundraiser

Fundraisers play a crucial role in maintaining the financial health of a non-profit. They are responsible for planning and running events or campaigns to raise funds and other donations for the organization. The role is a combination of marketing, event planning and financial management. Fundraisers must come up with campaigns that raise public awareness of the cause to potential contributors, and convert that awareness to financial support.

If you're an outgoing people-person, possess excellent communication and networking skills, and enjoy working with the public to raise funds for a good cause—this could be your dream role.

In terms of personality fit:

  • Persuading individuals, following the Holland Code model, are naturally inclined towards careers in fundraising. Their inherent networking skills, along with a persuasive attitude and a tendency to take initiatives, make them effective in inspiring others and convincing them to contribute to a cause.
  • Organizing types, as per the Holland Code, are also well-suited for fundraising roles. Their love for detail, planning and coordination align perfectly with the demands of a fundraising job.
  • On the Typefinder, ENFJs and ENFPs, with their idealism, creativity and ability to inspire people, are well-suited to careers in nonprofit fundraising. The ESTP's charm and unfaltering salesmanship can also be helpful for direct fundraising initiatives – they can and will sell you anything!

2: Event Coordinator

Event coordinators play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth execution of diverse events, ranging from charity galas to community outreach programs. They're in charge of overseeing all facets of event planning, from securing venues, managing budgets and coordinating with vendors to executing the event on the day itself.

This role requires creative problem-solving skills, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to handle pressure — after all, they're tasked with ensuring every event proceeds without a hitch. It's a fast-paced role that may require working outside traditional office hours, but it can also be incredibly rewarding, bringing tangible results to the organization's mission.

In terms of personality fit:

  • Individuals with an Organizing preference in the Holland Code could find success and fulfillment in this role.
  • ISTJs and ISFJs, known for their practicality and dependability, are often drawn to the systematic planning and execution that event coordination entails.
  • ESFJs are also a good fit thanks to their natural ability to connect with people and strong organizational skills. If there's a type who can plan an event, it's them!

3: Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer coordinators play an important role in any non-profit organization. Their primary responsibilities include recruiting, training, supervising and coordinating the organization's volunteers.

The role requires strong interpersonal and organizational skills to work with a diverse group of individuals. The coordinator must also be able to inspire and motivate others while being sensitive to their needs.

In terms of personality fit:

  • The Holland Codes Helping or Social type is well-suited for this role. Their natural ability to work with and understand people makes them perfect candidates when dealing with volunteers from all walks of life.
  • The Typefinder's INFJ, ISFJ, ESFJ and ENFJ personality types could excel in this role because of their strong sense of empathy, excellent people skills, and organizational abilities. They can also quickly identify the needs of the organization and develop strategies to improve the volunteer program.

4: Publication and Communications

If you're creative and have good writing chops, you might consider a career as a publication specialist. You'll be responsible for writing and designing promotional materials like brochures, newsletters, posters, and items for direct mail. Since you might need to collaborate with marketers, designers and other writers, you must be a team player.

Publication specialists in non-profits also manage the organization's communications with various stakeholders. This could involve maintaining the organization's website, managing its social media profiles, and creating press releases or other public-facing communications. They may also be tasked with writing reports and other important documents.

In terms of personality fit:

  • Creating (Artistic) individuals under the Holland Code might find this role quite appealing. Their creative minds, along with exceptional written communication skills, make them perfect candidates for such a role where generating engaging content is a mainstay.
  • From the Typefinder, INFJ and INFP types, with their strong creative and empathetic skills, are often drawn to a career in writing and communications. ENFPs, ENFJ and ENTP also have the ability to understand and communicate complex ideas in creative, engaging ways.

5: Grant Manager

Grant managers are responsible for researching, writing and submitting proposals to foundations, corporations and government agencies in order to secure funding for the organization. They must have a clear understanding of the organization's goals and objectives, as well as the ability to articulate these in a compelling way within grant proposals. Excellent research skills are essential to identify potential sources of funding and to understand the requirements of different grant-giving bodies.

In addition to writing, grant writers often handle the submission process and follow-up, including producing progress reports for secured grants. This role requires meticulous attention to detail, strong organizational abilities, and the capacity to meet strict deadlines.

In terms of personality fit:

  • Thinking (Investigating) individuals, following the Holland Code model, are naturally aligned with the research-intensive aspects of a grant writer's role. Their analytical mindset and keen attention to detail make them effective in understanding the intricacies of grant proposals.
  • INTJs and INTPs, as per the Typefinder, bring to the table a strong analytical mindset, coupled with a deep understanding of the goals of the organization, which they can articulate compellingly in their writing.

Starting your nonprofit career planning journey

Wherever you are in the career planning process, career aptitude tests can be a valuable tool. These highly specific personality assessments can provide insight into your work-related preferences, strengths and skills, aligning them with potential roles that best suit your personality type. A good test will highlight fields where you are likely to thrive and feel satisfied, making your choice easier and more grounded.

We offer several career tests that are specifically designed to guide you towards the most fulfilling career options within the nonprofit sector. Our in-depth Career Personality Profiler measures key personality factors on the Holland Code and Big Five systems and directs you to career interest areas that match your personality's strengths and values. And the Typefinder for Career Planning uses Myers and Briggs' theory of 16 personality types, combined with the Holland Code system of career typing, to accurately measure the personality traits and interests that point to your ideal career path. 

Take one test or both for a holistic view of your career compatibility – and you'll be well on your way to finding the right nonprofit career for you.

Truity was founded in 2012 to bring you helpful information and assessments to help you understand yourself and use your strengths. We are based in San Francisco, CA.