Why I Worked For A Non-Profit
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why I Worked For A Non-Profit

Hint: It's not about the money.

Why I Worked For A Non-Profit

Non-profits are remarkable companies. As a young job-seeker, I'm often staring up at the top of big, formidable for-profit corporations, and wondering how I'll be able to convince one of their recruiters that I can support their bottom line. For most companies, that's the end goal - making as much money as possible to stay in business, keep shareholders, impress investors, and - guess what - make more money.

Okay, don't get me wrong - I don't think desiring profit is really a bad thing. However, this summer I learned that there are other goals that companies could have, that are far bigger than any bottom line.

I have just finished a seven month internship with The Fresh Air Fund, a New York City-based non-profit organization. Their mission is to provide children living in low-income communities with the chance to get away from hot, noisy New York City streets and enjoy free summer experiences in the countryside. Fresh Air pairs the city children that sign up with a volunteer host family from somewhere along the East Coast for a one or two week stay - and it's completely free for the child.

As an intern in the Communications Department, I got to conduct interviews with people on all sides of the experience. Through them, I've seen how the benefits of this summer program go all around - the city children get to experience a different kind of lifestyle, and their host families get to see their own communities in a whole new way! Some commonplace activity to them (going fishing, swimming, seeing the stars at night) suddenly seems really cool again when bringing a small child who's never experienced it before.

As a non-profit, The Fresh Air Fund makes no money from conducting these summer experiences. Like so many other non-profits, it is entirely supported by the kindness of private, individual donors who believe in the organization and its mission. The dozens of non-profits in your own community, right up to big ones like The Make-a-Wish Foundation, can do all of their good work because generous people support them.

Working with a non-profit will not make you rich - at least, not financially. But it can definitely make you rich in other ways. Non-profits don't tend to be in excess of full-time staff, so as an intern, you get to do so much good work that is really beneficial to the organization - no coffee runs or lunch pick-ups here! You also can really get to know the rest of the staff and learn about their experiences in the great big world. During my time, I learned so much about what it means to be a PR professional - none of which I could have gotten in the safety and comfort of a university classroom.

I also got to meet the children, hear their stories, and see how far a summer or two outside of the city could take them. With a little help from Fresh Air, these children learn to believe in themselves, and move on to study great things and then do great things in their adult lives. I had the honor of telling their stories and sharing them with more of the world.

If you've never worked for a non-profit before, even if the field isn't in your future career plans, I strongly suggest, in fact, I dare you to give it a try, just once. It doesn't have to be an official position or even an internship like mine - just volunteering in your local neighborhood non-profit will teach you a lot and greatly enhance your perspective.

My dream team! I miss them already :)
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments