Written by Joanne Sacco

7 reasons why you should consider a ‘not-for-profit’ role as your next career move

Have you ever considered working for a ‘not-for-profit’ (NFP)?
Chances are you haven’t given the idea much thought, but for IT professionals, working for a NFP is becoming an increasingly attractive option.
While it is commonly (and sometimes wrongly) perceived that NFP don’t always offer life changing salaries, the perks and benefits you’ll encounter are guaranteed to enrich your life more than dollars can. Below are a few of our favourite benefits of working for an NFP.
But first, what exactly is a not-for-profit?
According to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, “Generally, a not-for-profit is an organisation that does not operate for the profit, personal gain or other benefit of particular people.”

1. The opportunity to be a tech influencer

The not-for-profit industry is wide and varied. Depending on the industry, these organisations can have a range of technical readiness and capability.
Jumping on board with a technically advanced NFP means you’ll get the chance to work with software in its early stages of development, which is both exciting and a great way to expand your skills. You’ll have the chance to challenge yourself and develop transferrable skills for the future. Should you choose a not-for-profit that is early in its technical transformation journey, you’ll have a great opportunity to be a change leader. You’ll have the chance use creativity and innovation to drive results for the business. Help them understand how tech can transform their organisation and ensure more money gets to people in need in the process.

2. It’s extremely rewarding

Slogging it out to fatten the big boss’s bottom line may be fine, but most of us would be more motivated by intrinsic measures, such as working for a cause that matters. If that’s you, the NFP sector is a rewarding choice.
Finite can help you find a role that suits your particular passions, or supports your belief system. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded by the valuable impact your work makes each day. Cancer research, the environment, helping children in developing countries or Indigenous Australians. The list goes on and on.

3. You’ll enjoy a greater sense of job security

Unlike other businesses, not-for-profit organisations are generally not impacted by the economic climate, meaning you’ll enjoy a greater sense of job security in times of economic turbulence.
Why? Because not-for-profits are:

  • Typically in industries where demand is consistent not cyclical, such as medical research or environmental conservation.
  • Generally underpinned by Government funding and subsidies.
  • Cover industries that are continuously on social and political agendas.

4. There are tax benefits

Australian taxation laws provide tax concessions for not-for-profit organisations. Most notably, an exemption for Fringe Benefits Tax. This means NFP employers are able to pay their employees a proportion of their wages as a reimbursement of personal expenses and no income tax is payable on this money.
For you as an employee, this means that this portion of your salary is tax free, resulting in more of your hard-earned money going straight into your pocket. You may choose to package a range of items, such as your mortgage, rent, school tuition fees, private health insurance, personal loan repayments, or even everyday living expenses including groceries, clothing and utility bills.

5. Expand ALL your skills, not just the tech ones

The fluid nature of a not-for-profit means you’ll learn plenty about projects you normally wouldn’t, plus upskill in areas many other techies don’t – especially soft-skills. Working for a NFP will help build your creativity, adaptability, emotional control, communication and collaboration skills. Not only is this great for your professional development, it also looks amazing on your resume.

6. Flex your creativity

Working in a corporate environment can be quite rigid, often requiring you to work ‘by the book’. While there are still rules and regulations in the NFP industry, it’s likely you’ll have to stretch your dollars as far as they go. This encourages you to stretch your creative muscles too. You’ll need to come up with innovative tech solutions that help your organisation reach more people, and this almost always calls for a new approach.

7. You’re valued

The large majority of those who work at NFPs say the same thing – they feel valued. In a recent US-based study to uncover the 50 best non-profits to work for, employees consistently said the following were the key reasons why they worked at a not-for-profit:

  1. I feel valued
  2. I have confidence in the leadership
  3. Most days, I feel I have made progress at work
  4. I can trust my organisation
  5. Employees have fun at work
  6. This organisation provides as much ongoing training as I need

Perhaps it’s time to think about your career trajectory and what a not-for-profit can do for you (and you for them!)?
Finite works with several NFPs supporting their tech recruiting needs. If you would be interested in working for a not-for-profit, please get in contact today to find out more.
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