Graduate Careers: 5 Reasons To Work In A Nonprofit

Graduate Careers: 5 Reasons To Work In A Nonprofit

With a variety of opportunities available, choosing a career upon graduating can seem like an overwhelming decision. Many graduates know they want to make an impact, but have not considered a career within a nonprofit organisation. The nonprofit sector is sometimes known as the third or forgotten sector and many people, including graduates, do not think of it as a viable career option. It is often thought of as unfunded, unstaffed and underappreciated.

Therefore, why should a graduate consider working for a nonprofit?


1. Making a difference

Nonprofit organisations’ create a direct social impact. As a graduate, you will be working towards fulfilling your organisations’ mission and making a difference within society. You have the opportunity to contribute to solving social issues such as the housing crisis, inflation or the war in Ukraine. This will provide a great sense of purpose in your career, particularly when seeing the direct results of your organisations’ work.


2. Varied workload

Many nonprofit organisations have an “all hands on deck” approach, due to their smaller size. Oftentimes, you have the opportunity to try a range of tasks and gain experience in different areas within your organisation. This is fantastic practical experience, particularly straight after college when many graduates only have academic experience. This exposure could lead to gaining insight into different areas within your organisation, expanding your experience and improving your knowledge.


3. Growth opportunities

With this varied workload, employees in the nonprofit sector can gain experience in a range of areas. Gaining experience in a short space of time makes your ability to grow within the organisation more achievable. From our 15 graduates in 2021, a large majority were promoted to more senior positions within their organisation upon completion of their graduate programme.

4. Small team

The majority of Irish nonprofits are small to medium sized organisations. A benefit of being a graduate in a smaller organisation is that you gain exposure to senior members of staff more regularly than in larger organisations. This exposure leads to more learning opportunities from sector leaders. Another benefit of working as part of a small team is that oftentimes, there is a positive work-life balance as people, including staff, are at the centre of the organisation.


5. Job Opportunities

The nonprofit sector is a vital sector in Ireland, made up of 33,000 organisations, 170,000+ employees, 300,000+ volunteers and brings in an income of €14.2 billion per year. In fact, the sector employs more people than either the Agri-food or hospitality sectors. Therefore, there are a variety of organisations you could work for, from fundraising, advocacy, accounting, building surveying, housing and more. For Purpose graduates have an array of academic backgrounds. The most important aspect they share in common is their interest in pursuing a career with impact and helping to address social issues in Ireland.

Here are some of the organisations you can work with at For Purpose:

  • Tuath Housing Association
  • Foroige
  • Co-operative Housing Ireland
  • Epilepsy Ireland
  • Jigsaw
  • Aiséirí


About For Purpose Graduate Programme

For Purpose assists nonprofit organisations attract, mentor and develop the future leaders of the nonprofit sector. The programme connects nonprofit and charity organisations with talented graduates who are searching for purpose in their careers and the opportunity to make an impact on civil society.

Contact Us

If you would like more information, contact our Head of For Purpose, Rhonda Wynne, at