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
Editor-in-Chief
Nonprofit Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

Abstract: Nonprofits (also known as non-profit organizations) are organizations that commit any excess revenues they generate to their mission rather than paying them out to owners and investors. The purpose of your nonprofit resume is to show nonprofit recruiters that you’re exactly what they need.

There’s this stereotype when it comes to nonprofits—

 

OK—when it comes to people who work for nonprofits.

 

But that’s not you:

 

Sure, 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:

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

 

Save hours of work and get a resume like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 18+ resume templates and download your resume now.

 

nonprofit resume templates

 

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What users say about ResumeLab:

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your resume.”
Patrick

I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work!
Dylan 

My previous resume was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful!
George

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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: Get your resume past ATSs 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.

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

 

create your resume now

 

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Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

 

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 builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

create your cover letter now

 

CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

 

Want to try a different look? There’s 18 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!

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Bart Turczynski
Editor-in-chief at Zety since 2016. His career advice and commentary has been published by the Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor, among others. With a strong passion for statistics and a background in psychology, Bart makes sure all the advice published on Zety is data-driven.

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