We’ve covered the rise of nonprofit organizations and how you take a slice of the market. We have gone into nonprofits to find out which job roles are required, along with their responsibilities. You have all the tools you need to get started!

Table of contents
  1. Nonprofit Typical Roles And Why They Are Important 
  2. Most Common Nonprofit Job Titles and What They Mean
  3. Common Goals And Challenges
  4. Implementing An All-In-One Nonprofit App
  5. Bottom Line On Nonprofit Job Titles & Where You Fit In

From fundraising donations to daily operations, find out which roles are behind running a nonprofit and their responsibilities. Bonus: learn about the tools nonprofits can use to ensure their goals are met! 

Nonprofit organizations (NPOs), also known as non-business entities, not-for-profit organizations, or nonprofit institutions, are usually set up to advocate for a cause. 

Even though the goals of a for-profit business and an NPO and NGO are to bring in as much revenue as possible, the way the money is allocated is very different! 

In a for-profit business, money usually goes to the owner and its employees. In an NGO or NPO, the money goes to the cause they are fundraising for. So, if the mission is education, then the educational center will receive all the money collected. 

Due to that, nonprofit organizations rely on external donations and investments to survive! Therefore, they operate publicly and are accountable to the following: 

  • Funders
  • Volunteers
  • Program recipients
  • The general public
  • Other stakeholders

For an NGO or NPO to raise funds successfully, it needs to build goodwill, trust, and reputation. By gaining the public’s trust, the NGO/NPO has a greater chance of meeting capital goals. 

Nonprofit Typical Roles And Why They Are Important 

Since most nonprofit enterprises are structured similar to a for-profit business, roles include management positions, executive directors, accounting/bookkeeping, human resources, marketing, IT, etc. 

Nevertheless, nonprofits also have positions that don’t apply to the general workforce! 

For example, an outreach coordinator is responsible for influencing the local community with the aspects of the project. However, their role doesn’t end there. They are also responsible for event planning, management, volunteer recruitment process, and other community relations activities are parts of their job responsibilities. 

Nonprofit job titles are based around the following:

  • Fundraising planning 
  • Securing financial support
  • Creating events for donors
  • Running projects to ensure the NGO/NPO meets its annual goals

NPO’s Development directors usually work closely with grant writers. Their main job is to complete funding applications and claims for donations. By doing so, they can secure the needed capital for the annual financial goals. In a standard corporate job, these positions would usually fall under the marketing/public relations category.

Hence, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself to ensure you are on the right path to employing the right roles and generating as much profit as possible. 

In addition, knowing all the job titles will make it easier to adapt from the commercial to the nonprofit sector. You will also understand which commercial skills you can utilize and use in your new role. If you’re starting your own non-profit organization, you will know which skills are needed.

But, there’s no need to stress! We’ve compiled a list of the most common nonprofit roles.

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Most Common Nonprofit Job Titles and What They Mean

If you are interested in building a career in a nonprofit, a role is almost always available. Since nonprofit projects come in many different forms, fields, and industries, nonprofit job titles are plentiful. Whether that’s entry-level, management, executive, or even owning your own nonprofit. 

Check out the full list below on the most common nonprofit job titles. 

Executive Positions/ Top Management

We all know that management is an important part of any business. However, for the nonprofit sector, management can vary from business to business. It can either be:

  • Supervising the entire national or local operation
  • Ensuring the company is moving in the right direction 

The senior executive positions in nonprofits usually come from previous positions in the corporate world.

Board Member

Board members are responsible for:

  • Overseeing the governance
  • Strategy
  • Relations with sponsors of your non-profit
  • Deal with financial decisions

By employing competent board members, you can dramatically boost the chances of a nonprofit to succeed.

Nonprofit Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO of a nonprofit organization is involved with multiple facets of the organization, similar to a CEO of a profit organization. Their role includes:

  • Daily operations management
  • Senior administrative staff supervision 
  • Public relations
  • Oversees and manages organization programs and projects
  • Annual budgeting for the board of directors and ensuring staff stick to the set budget
  • Fundraising
Nonprofit Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Nonprofit Chief financial officer (CFO) functions may vary a lot across different organizations. Their role is to make the best financial decisions for the company based on the allocated budget. Sometimes this role can be even harder than the normal corporate world, especially when you rely heavily on donations. 

Nonprofit Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Nonprofit Chief Operating Officer (COO) job description involves all aspects of organization management. The COO works closely with the Nonprofit Director and the Nonprofit Executive Director to create reports for the nonprofit board members. 

Nonprofit Director/Executive Director

A Nonprofit Executive Director has the same role as a Chief Executive Officer. Therefore, their main priority is to oversee all the work being carried out by all the departments. This role requires working closely with the board, and the departmental heads in order to ensure the whole operation is running smoothly and effectively.

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Advocacy Director

As the role’s title suggests, the nonprofit advocacy director’s responsibilities involve advocating for the interests of your organization. It requires pitching the idea to organizations or governmental bodies in the hopes of implementing changes to help achieve your nonprofit’s mission.

Director of Philanthropy

The nonprofit director of philanthropy manages all of the organization’s charitable giving. This role helps execute the mission statement and guides the nonprofit to achieve its charitable goals.

The nonprofit director of philanthropy is responsible for budgeting, cultivating donors, developing outreach strategies, and other fundraising activities. 

Development Director 

A director of development’s daily responsibility includes:

  • Developing fundraising plans
  • Securing financial support
  • Running special events for donors
  • Helping the organization reach its annual goals 

This particular position is similar to that of a fundraising manager.

  • Major Gift Director
  • Planned Gift Director
  • Planned Giving Director
  • Member Services Director
  • Program Director
  • Program Officer for Foundation
  • Recreational Therapy Director
  • Social Services Director
  • Social Work Manager
  • Special Events Director
  • Support Services Director
  • Teen Center Director
  • Volunteer Director
  • Volunteer Services Director
co-workers in nonprofit positions
Photo by The Coach Space from Pexels

Nonprofit Administrative/Accounting Roles

In any organization, there have to be people who are experts at:

  • Organizing and executing office duties
  • Interacting with clients
  • Attending to the everyday operational matters 

At times, admin seems as though they are behind the scenes, but their work is critical and keeps the whole entity functioning.

Community Service/Nonprofit Project Coordinator

A nonprofit project coordinator is involved in managing and overseeing multiple projects. Also, it’s their job to set budgets and supervise budgets. As well as taking part in community outreach.

Nonprofit administrator

The nonprofit administrator job usually means working back to back with the nonprofit board members to keep them up-to-date with the latest developments, marketing, and PR efforts. This role might also require assisting the Director of Philanthropy with fundraising.

Nonprofit Aides Supervisor

Aides Supervisor for nonprofit usually reports directly to Assistant Director and/or Program Director.  The essential duties of this role include keeping an eye on the operations of the facility, supervising and training the Residential Aides staff members, facilitating team meetings, and serving as a liaison between all departments.

  • Compliance Coordinator
  • Financial Aid Representative
  • Member Records Administrator
  • Member Services Representative
  • Member Certification Manager
  • Membership Assistant
  • Program Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Volunteer Manager
  • Planning Manager

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Nonprofit Marketing/Communications Roles

Marketing and communication roles for nonprofit organizations are responsible for external outreach, promotion, lead generation, and building awareness among the target audiences. Whether that’s being donors, associations, investors, or volunteers.

Nonprofit Director/Vice President of Communications

The Director of Communication’s role is to put together a strategy that consists of online activities and the establishment’s yearly conference. The Vice President of Communications focuses on public relations and branding.

Community Outreach Coordinator

Even though community outreach roles exist at for-profit companies as well, community outreach coordinators are crucial when it comes to nonprofits. That’s because their main focus is to connect the organization to the general public. They achieve that by:

  • Organizing events
  • Recruiting volunteers
  • Entice the public to be enthusiastic about the project

A Community Outreach Coordinator works hard to build interest in the community and spread awareness.

Nonprofit communications manager

A nonprofit communications manager is similar to the Internal communications manager position. They work closely with the teams inside the organization to produce emails, social media, to generate interest in the organization. The difference between this role and the outreach role is that a communications manager uses internal information to spread the word. Whereas the outreach aims to get aid and such from people or companies outside the organization. 

Grant Proposal Manager/Grant Writer

The grant writers for nonprofits have a very important role in the organization. This is because the performance of a grant writer directly influences the amount of money collected. 

They are responsible for creating applications for funding. This includes the usual applications to foundations, trusts, or governments. Although the skill required for this position involves copywriting, the grant writer often works alongside the development director to create the content. They both ensure the nonprofit meet its yearly financial goals.

  • Administrator for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Advocacy Director
  • Business Office Supervisor
  • Campaign Manager
  • Chemical Dependency Director
  • Chief Association Executive
  • Community Health Director
  • Community Relations Director
  • Fundraiser
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Grant Administrator
  • Grant/Contracts Specialist
  • Grant Coordinator
  • Grassroots Organizer
  • Lobbyist
  • Marketing Associate
  • Nonprofit Fundraiser
  • Online Activist
  • Program Assistant
  • Program Associate
  • Program Coordinator
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Community Organizer
  • Community Outreach Advocate
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Community Outreach Specialist
  • Coordinator of Planned Giving
  • Compliance Director
  • Corporate Giving Director
  • Corporate Giving Manager
  • Critical Care Director
  • Development Director
  • Development Manager
  • Development Assistant
  • Development Associate
  • Development Coordinator
  • Development Officer
  • Director of Family Shelter
  • Director of Major Gifts
  • Director of Special Initiatives
  • Donor Relations Manager
  • Executive Director of Nonprofit
  • Financial Aid Director
  • Foundation Director
  • Fundraising Manager

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Nonprofit Health/Human Services Roles

Many nonprofits have to take care of their employees’ and volunteers’ physical and mental health. In addition, to their morale and wellbeing. Therefore, the employees chosen for this role need to specialize in abuse, addiction, and life counseling for adults and youth. 

Candidates with human resources skills to:

  • Build skilled teams
  • Recruiting and organizing volunteers
  • Making sure everyone is taken care of and has everything in order to perform their daily duties.
Volunteer Coordinator

A volunteer coordinator manages the many moving parts of a volunteer force. The duty of a volunteer coordinator is hiring, recruiting, and placing volunteers. In addition to managing and training them.

Nonprofit Social Worker

Social workers for nonprofits usually serve as community builders or community organizers. They may work directly with individuals, conduct needs assessments, or assess needs on a larger scale. Also, they may be responsible for planning and administering programs.

Human Resources Officer

Human resources officers for nonprofits are very similar to those in regular companies. Hence, they are responsible for:

  • Hiring
  • Developing
  • Looking after volunteers
  • Employees, and other team members. 

This involves functions such as hiring, training, and monitoring performance. 

The main difference between HR for-profit companies and HR in nonprofits is that for-profit companies’ main goal is profits. Whereas the nonprofit’s aim is to be mission-driven. 

“An effective non-profit HR manager must try to get more out of the people he or she has,” wrote Peter F. Drucker in Managing the Non-Profit Organization

Another difference is the way that they need to engage and motivate staff. Since they are volunteers and most are not money-driven, it’s important for HR to boost morale

  • Child Care Worker
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Child Support Case Officer
  • Childbirth Educator
  • Counselor
  • Hospice Supervisor
  • Housing Coordinator
  • Housing Counselor
  • Human Services Worker
  • Juvenile Counselor
  • Living Skills Advisor
  • Managed Care Coordinator
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Minister
  • Pastor
  • Policy Analyst
  • Residential Living Assistant
  • Social Worker
  • Event Team Recruiter
  • Job Developer
  • Labor Union Organizer
  • Team Leader
nonprofit job bumping hands
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Common Goals And Challenges

After breaking down each role, it’s clear to see that running a nonprofit requires many different skills and roles to achieve its mission. 

It’s important to note that the purpose is to gain awareness and put the organization on the map. If the organization survives on donations only, then it’s even more crucial to spread the word as far as possible. 

Whether the company is a for-profit or nonprofit organization, the goals are always focused on the overall success of the organization. Therefore, the main challenges when building a nonprofit organization are somewhat similar to any organization. But here’s how it differs: 

  • Hire the best people – whether employees receive a salary or not is not the point. It’s vital that both volunteers and staff believe in what you are doing. 
  • Make sure they get all the needed training in order to perform well. Reports show that employees who didn’t receive the required training felt lost and are at a very high risk of leaving within one year.
  • Engage your people and boost morale in order to increase productivity and help them perform at the best level.
  • Have a solid employee retention strategy in place, because when good employees leave, it costs your organization a lot of money and time.
  • Empower employees and volunteers to reach and exceed the goals by creating an irresistible employee experience. Happy employees are the best performers!
  • Encourage teamwork and collaboration by asking for feedback and conducting surveys.
  • Stay on top of tasks and find a flexible and agile way to communicate with your teams and donors, send them immediate updates and always know people receive your message fully and in time.
  • Save time and money on the operational side by optimizing and automating the daily routine and recurring tasks.

Luckily, it is the 21st century and there are many modern tools and solutions that can help you do the above and more. 

Implementing An All-In-One Nonprofit App

A nonprofit organization has many moving parts to ensure it’s meeting its goals and sticking to the mission. It basically all boils down to using the right tools

An all-in-one app such as Connecteam can become your right-hand man, especially when it comes to overcoming the challenges we listed above. 

Apps like Connecteam offer critical features like:

  • Built-in chat – send 1:1 or group messages to keep everyone aligned 
  • Full search directory – easily find contacts (vendors, suppliers, volunteers, etc.) at a click with easy search 
  • Training – Upload courses, onboarding materials, surveys, and much more that are accessible anywhere, at any time (no more clunky binders!) 
  • Checklists and forms – paperless and automated process with information received in real-time (vehicle checklist, COVID declaration form, etc.)
  • Time Tracking – Employees can clock in and out  with a GPS timestamp or use the geofence feature. It’s also easy to export timesheets to Connecteam’s QuickBooks Online and Gusto integration for 100% accurate payroll.
  • Task Management – Easily manage single or team tasks in a click and while on the go

Streamline Daily Operations

Connecteam’s all-in-one app tracks employees and volunteers hours, provides painless onboarding, reports in minutes, and so much more.

Bottom Line On Nonprofit Job Titles & Where You Fit In

The nonprofit world has a lot of different job titles that make up the workforce. The skills needed to build and be successful in the nonprofit sector are very close to that or the commercial workforce. The main traits required are:

  • The ability to communicate with other people clearly and effectively
  • The ability to manage your time efficiently and keep up with the schedule
  • The ability to manage other people or be a good team player
  • Strong motivation and willingness to learn and progress

To achieve a win, adding an all-in-one app can make all the difference in achieving goals. An all-in-one app can drive your mission and help you achieve excellence. Your team will be connected, no matter where they are. You will be wondering how you ever managed without that extra tool. 

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