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    Nonprofit Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

    Believing in your employer’s mission is important, but it’s not all you need to be happy at work. Use your nonprofit resume to get a job with the full package. Here’s how.

    Bart Turczynski
    Bart Turczynski
    Career Expert
    Nonprofit Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

    You want to do something worthwhile—

    But fuzzy feelings and self-satisfaction don’t pay the bills.

    Get the nonprofit job of your dreams by showing that you’re the employee of their dreams.

    How?

    By writing one of the best nonprofit resumes they’ve ever seen.

    In this guide you'll learn:

    • A nonprofit resume example better than nine out of ten.
    • How to write nonprofit job descriptions for your resume.
    • How to create a nonprofit resume that stands out.
    • Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a nonprofit job.

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    Changing careers? Need a resume for a particular nonprofit job or a more general guide? Check these out for a start:

    Nonprofit Resume Sample to Help You Along

    Morgan Bradshaw

    Executive Director

    Personal Info

    Phone: 719-942-8496

    E-mail: morgan.bradshaw@reslab.com

    linkedin.com/in/morganqbradshaw

    Summary

    Dedicated executive director with 5+ years’ experience managing nonprofits. Seeking an opportunity to extend Mace Fair’s reach while broadening its support-services. At the Midwest Animal Welfare Alliance, leveraged $9+ million in revenue and created a partnership worth $350,000 a year while increasing capacity by 15%.

    Experience 

    Executive Director

    Midwest Animal Welfare Alliance

    2017–present

    • Oversaw the consultation and implementation of 11 sets of livestock-handling best practices.
    • Spearheaded a range of organizational changes worth over $9,000,000.
    • Negotiated new fundraising partnership with Sly Media, slated to bring in $350,000 p.a.
    • Directed the design and construction of a shelter capable of housing 450+ domestic animals.

    Program Manager

    Thompson’s Addiction Support Center

    2015–2017

    • Organized the Center’s most successful community outreach program to date.
    • Led the onboarding of 12 new staff at the Center’s secondary offices.
    • Co-developed new protocols that have kept referred in-patient relapse rates down 14%.
    • Saved up 100 labor hours per month by streamlining reporting and feedback processes.

    Education 

    MBA, Colorado State University

    2011–2013

    • Pursued passion for business ethics and social responsibility.
    • Worked closely with the nonprofit Macy’s Group for final consultation project.

    Accolades

    • Recognized at the Colorado Nonprofit Summit for Outstanding Contribution, 2019
    • Awarded the Paws/Play Highest Tier Contributor Prize, 2018

    Languages

    • Ukrainian – Advanced
    • Spanish – Intermediate

    Key Skills

    • Budgeting
    • Communication
    • Decision making
    • Delegation
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Negotiating
    • Persuasion
    • Problem solving
    • Project management

    Here’s how to write something just as good as the executive director resume nonprofit example above:

    1. Start With the Right Nonprofit Resume Format

    More and more people are looking for work in non-profit organizations.

    Trading in some extra income for a clear conscience.

    Here’s how you lose:

    Write a resume that’s cramped, cluttered, and off-putting.

    When winning is easy:

    Make your resume layout neat, tidy, and a pleasure to read through, again and again:

    Nonprofit Resume Format

    One last thing. Don’t add an address to your resume. Your email address, telephone number, and LinkedIn profile will suffice.

    2. Craft a Winning Nonprofit Resume Objective or Summary

    Don’t want to be another ho-hum candidate lost in the crowd?

    Condensing your entire nonprofit career down to 3–4 sentences is easier than you think.

    Got experience?

    Start with a resume summary statement

    Here’s how:

    1. One adjective (efficient, reliable, highly motivated)
    2. Job title (program manager, consultant, development coordinator)
    3. Years of experience (4+, 5+)
    4. How you’ll help (what you can achieve for the nonprofit)
    5. Most relevant and impressive 2–3 achievements (put numbers to everything you can)

    Have a look at these nonprofit resume examples:

    Nonprofit Resume Summary Example

    Good Example
    Dedicated executive director with 5+ years’ experience managing nonprofits. Seeking an opportunity to extend Mace Fair’s reach while broadening its support-services. At the Midwest Animal Welfare Alliance, leveraged $9+ million in revenue and created a partnership worth $350,000 a year while increasing capacity by 15%.
    Bad Example
    Dedicated, reliable executive director with 5+ years’ experience. At the Midwest Animal Welfare Alliance, was responsible for budgetary decisions, negotiating new partnerships, and increasing capacity. Seeking new opportunities and challenges.

    The first summary quantifies its achievements and generally focuses on what the candidate can do for the nonprofit.

    The second summary

    Not so much.

    It’s vague, focused on responsibilities (not achievements), and all about what the candidate wants.

    Short on nonprofit experience?

    Write a resume objective statement instead.

    Focus on achievements from other kinds of jobs and even non-work contexts, like college.

    Non-Profit Resume Objective Example

    Good Example
    Dedicated executive director with 2+ years’ experience managing corporate entities. Seeking an opportunity to extend Mace Fair’s reach while broadening its support-services. At Geofferson and Spoole, onboarded 11 managers and negotiated contracts worth over $23 million.
    Bad Example
    No experience working for a nonprofit, but have plenty of corporate management experience (2 years total). Looking forward to the challenges associated with working towards something other than profit.

    Who would you hire?

    You’d be in the small and frankly mistaken minority if you chose the second nonprofit resume objective above.

    It’s the first one that talks to relevant skills and keeps things grounded in facts and figures.

    Having trouble writing a good resume profile?

    There’s an easy fix:

    Come back and write it last.

    Expert Hint: Give your ATS resume an extra kick by mentioning the organization to which you’re applying by name.

    3. Write Perfect Nonprofit Job Descriptions and Skills Sections

    Make no mistake—

    Competition for the most attractive nonprofit jobs can be as fierce as that for any corporate opening.

    Your resume work experience section is what’s going to get your foot in the door.

    Show what you can do by showing what you’ve done—

    How to write a job description for a nonprofit job:

    1. Read and re-read the job ad.
    2. Take note of the skills and duties mentioned in it.
    3. Think of times you’ve used those skills to nail your duties.
    4. Create resume bullets, each with a specific, quantified example.

    Here’s a couple nonprofit resume examples to give you a better idea:

    Nonprofit Resume—Sample Job Descriptions

    Good Example

    Executive Director

    Midwest Animal Welfare Alliance

    2017–present

    • Oversaw the consultation and implementation of 11 sets of livestock-handling best practices.
    • Spearheaded a range of organizational changes worth over $9,000,000.
    • Negotiated new fundraising partnership with Sly Media, slated to bring in $350,000 p.a.
    • Directed the design and construction of a shelter capable of housing 450+ domestic animals.

    Program Manager

    Thompson’s Addiction Support Center

    2015–2017

    • Organized the Center’s most successful community outreach program to date.
    • Led the onboarding of 12 new staff at the Center’s secondary offices.
    • Co-developed new protocols that have kept referred in-patient relapse rates down 14%.
    • Saved up 100 labor hours per month by streamlining reporting and feedback processes.
    Bad Example

    Executive Director

    Midwest Animal Welfare Alliance

    2017–present

    • Signed off on livestock-handling best practices.
    • Led a range of organizational changes.
    • Negotiated new fundraising partnership with Sly Media.

    Program Manager

    Thompson’s Addiction Support Center

    2015–2017

    • Responsible for organizing onboarding of managers.
    • Co-developed new protocols for in-patient care.
    • Worked on reporting and feedback processes.

    The second one’s not bad—

    Too bad “not bad” doesn’t cut it.

    Both make use of resume power verbs, but the first one does it better.

    It also deals in hard facts backed up by numbers, in resume achievements.

    Expert Hint: Do you worry about resume job gaps shorter than 9 months? Don’t. They’re not gaps, it just means you were out of work.

    There’s another thing you’ll need:

    No nonprofit resume is complete with a list of good resume skills.

    Virtually every job in the corporate world has its counterpart in the non-profit space.

    That’s a lot of different skill sets, whether they’re practiced from shiny foyer reception to dazzling penthouse or dilapidated front room to fire-hazard copy/break/powwow room.

    Use the following as inspiration, but always tailor your list to the job ad at hand.

    Aim for a good balance (not necessarily 50/50) of hard and soft skills.

    Skills for a Nonprofit Resume

    Hard skills:

    • Accounting skills (e.g. Preparing P&L Statements)
    • Controlling skills (e.g. Reporting)
    • Customer service skills (e.g. Selling)
    • Computer skills (e.g. MS Office Suite)
    • Finance skills (e.g. Forecasting)
    • HR skills (e.g. Recruitment)
    • IT skills (e.g. Database management)
    • Management skills (e.g. Motivation)
    • Marketing skills (e.g. Pitching)
    • Office skills (e.g. Spreadsheets)
    • Project management skills (e.g. Gantt charts)
    • Security skills (e.g. Monitoring)

    Soft skills:

    • Coordination
    • Communication
    • Critical thinking
    • Decision making
    • Flexibility
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Leadership
    • Organization
    • Problem solving
    • Teamwork
    • Time management

    Expert Hint: If the job ad mentions “collaboration skills”, use that phrase instead of “teamwork”. It’s called targeting a resume and helps pass the ATS scan.

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    4. Take Your Education from ‘Meh’ to aReason to Hire You

    List just the bare essentials:

    Degree, school, dates attended.

    Include an expected graduation date if you’re still at it.

    Add bullets that point to key skills.

    This nonprofit resume example shows how:

    Nonprofit Resume Sample Education Section

    Good Example

    Education 

    MBA, Colorado State University

    2011–2013

    • Pursued passion for business ethics and social responsibility.
    • Worked closely with the nonprofit Macy’s Group for final consultation project.

    Short on work experience? 

    Expand your education section to cover more ground:

    Include projects, classes, relevant coursework, and accomplishments that demonstrate the right nonprofit skills for your line of work.

    Extra Hint: Scholarships belong on a resume, too. Simply include an extra section and give it an appropriate heading, e.g “Awards”.

    6. Upgrade Your Nonprofit Resume With Added Sections

    Skills, experience, and education are fine, but—

    There’s more to your nonprofit chops than that.

    Add one or two extra sections to fill in the picture:

    Check these out, for example:

    Nonprofit Resume Examples—Extra Sections

    Good Example

    Accolades

    • Recognized at the Colorado Nonprofit Summit for Outstanding Contribution, 2019
    • Awarded the Paws/Play Highest Tier Contributor Prize, 2018

    Languages

    • Ukrainian – Advanced
    • Spanish – Intermediate
    Bad Example

    Hobbies

    • Golf
    • Wine tasting

    Languages

    • Ukrainian
    • Spanish 

    It had one job to do—

    Keep it relevant. That’s the golden rule.

    Hobbies are fine, but make sure they clearly relate to the job ad.

    One final step—and it’s a doozy.

    You’re going to need a nonprofit cover letter to go with that resume.

    Assume writing a cover letter is required unless you’ve been asked not to include one.

    Expert Hint: Email your resume directly to the hiring manager. You can find their contact details through the company’s website or LinkedIn.

    Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.

    CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

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    Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

    Key Points

    For a nonprofit resume that gets interviews:

    • Use the nonprofit resume template up above. It’s clear, efficient, and effective.
    • Put nonprofit achievementsin your summary, work history, education, and other sections to show you’re who they’re looking for.
    • Pick the right nonprofit skills. Study the job ad to find out what the most desirable skills for this particular job are.
    • Write a nonprofit cover letter. Use it to showcase your achievements and demonstrate your passion for the role and the organization.

    Leave a comment below if you have something to add or any questions to ask. Getting a good nonprofit resume together is a step in the direction of a more meaningful work life. Let us know how you go!

    About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

    At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

    Bart Turczynski

    Bart Turczynski’s career advice and commentary have been published by Glassdoor, The Chicago Tribune, Workopolis, The Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard, and CareerBuilder, among others. Bart’s mission is to promote the best, data-informed, and up-to-date career advice through numerous online communities and publications. Bart’s lifelong passion for politics and a strong background in psychology make all the advice he publishes unique and supported by detailed research.

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