Who Works for Nonprofit Organizations? (6-8)

6, 7, 8

Students will recognize different job opportunities available in the nonprofit sector and identify people in the community who have positions in nonprofit organizations.

PrintFour to Five Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify job opportunities in the nonprofit sector and specific community members with these positions.
  • decide whether a nonprofit organization provides a good or a service and if natural resources, human capital, or capital equipment are used in production.
  • Guest speakers from nonprofit organizations
  • Speaker Preparation (Attachment One)
  • Information about Nonprofit Opportunities (Attachment Two)
  • Résumé (Attachment Three)
  • Nonprofit Organizations and the Economy (Attachment Four)
  • Internet access to or student copies of "Jobs in the Nonprofit Sector" from www.learningtogive.org/materials/careers.asp
  • For Extension: Fabric, wallpaper, yarn, and other materials to help decorate a character
Learning to Give. "Careers in the Nonprofit Sector" /resources/careers.asp


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Have students form small groups. Assign each group to think about the different jobs available at local nonprofit organizations such as the local zoo, museum, Red Cross, Salvation Army, food bank, or theater companies. Have each group brainstorm and list possible job positions available at the nonprofit organization they were assigned.

  2. Day One: Discuss students' ideas from the anticipatory set.

  3. Have students remain in their groups for the next activity. Introduce or review the following economic terms:

  4. Good—completely manufactured products which are ready for sale and delivery to the marketplace

  5. Service—a facility supplying some public demand or useful labor that does not produce a tangible good

  6. Human Capital—the set of skills which an employee acquires on the job, through training and experience, and which increase that employee's value in the marketplace

  7. Capital Equipment—goods, such as machinery, used in the production of commodities; producer goods

  8. Natural Resource—resources occurring in nature that can be used to create wealth. Examples include oil, coal, water, and land.

  9. Explain that all businesses provide a good, a service, or both and that they are produced with natural resources, human capital, and/or capital equipment. Distribute Nonprofit Organizations and the Economy (see Attachment Four) to each student. Go over the directions. After students have completed the exercise, allow groups to discuss how nonprofit organizations relate to these economic terms as shown in their worksheets. This activity will help prepare students for the guest speakers.

  10. Day Two: Have two or three guest speakers talk to the class about working for a nonprofit organization. You may wish to use Speaker Preparation (see Attachment One) to prepare the speakers. Remind students to complete Information about Nonprofit Opportunities (see Attachment Two) with information from each speaker.

  11. Day Three: After the students have an understanding about the different job opportunities in a nonprofit organization, focus on one nonprofit organization for the following activity, e.g., a museum. Have students brainstorm all the possible jobs the museum provides for community members:

  12. Director: in charge of the museum

  13. Curator: collects and studies all the displays for exhibits

  14. Researcher: the expert, scientist or historian, who helps the curator

  15. Exhibit designer: creates attractive displays

  16. Conservator: cares for the artifacts, maintains air temperature and humidity, repairs damaged artifacts

  17. Preparator: assembles exhibits prepared by the designer

  18. Educator: looks for learning opportunities to develop educational programs for children and adults

  19. Collections manager: keeps track of all museum objects

  20. Public relations officer: promotes the museum

  21. Interpreter or docent: provides tours for the museum

  22. Custodial worker: maintains cleanliness of the facilities

  23. Secretary: manages museum office

  24. Day Four: Explain to the students that nonprofits other than museums have differentjob opportunities.

  25. Allow students to choose a nonprofit job to research or assign a job to each student. (An extensive list of jobs in the nonprofit sector can be found at www.learningtogive.org, Resources Room, Nonprofit Career Information, Careers in the Nonprofit Sector. This can be printed off for students or they can access it on the web if computers are available.)

  26. Hand out Résumé (see Attachment Three) to each student. Assign students to create a fictitious résumé for themselves for the nonprofit job they choose or have been assigned. Students will need to be inventive on some aspects of the résumé, such asprevious work experience.

  27. Students may need to do a little research to answer some of the questions on the résumé. The résumé should be completed with careful thought. Class discussion may help students, “What kind of prior work experience would be helpful for a certain position? What education would be helpful? Are there particular skills that would be needed?”

  28. Upon completion of the résumé, divide the class into groups and ask the students to share the information on their résumé.


Students will be assessed on the completion of the Résumé.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.10 Identify local people who have jobs in the civil society sector.
      2. Benchmark E.12 Describe goods and services and the economy.