How to Ensure You’re a Top-Notch Nonprofit Candidate

Two people shaking hands at a job interview.

How to Ensure You’re a Top-Notch Nonprofit Candidate


So, you’re ready to join an organization with a core mission that strives to do good in the world. Or, perhaps you’ve found yourself in a position that fits perfectly within a nonprofitAs you begin or continue your job search, we’ve put together our favorite tips that will equip and ready you to be a stand-out mission matched candidate! Grab your pen and paper, take a few notes and read on to learn how to ensure you are a top-notch nonprofit candidate.  


Have the right tools

Your resume and cover letter should be the shiniest tools in your toolbox. They should be proofed for grammar and spelling as well as specifically catered to speak directly to the mission of the nonprofit you are hoping to work with. More than having the exact experience that a nonprofit may be asking for in the job description, they will want to see that you are align with their values and mission and are willing to jump in. To learn more about what makes a fantastic nonprofit resume, read these tips.


Regardless of what you do in your 9-5 time, volunteering with an organization can help your job search in numerous ways. Volunteering gives you the ability to connect and network with others- at the organization and within your community, grows your skillset and gives you amazing references as well as experience to add to your resume as a nonprofit candidate.   

Do your research

Understanding the heartbeat of a specific nonprofit will speak volumes as you engage or interview. If you’ve found and applied for an opening at a nonprofit, make sure you research the ins and outs of the organization. Does it align with your values? Do you get excited about the work that the organization is doing in and for the community? Do you have personal connections to the mission? All these are important to communicate within the interviewing process.  


Above all, what all nonprofits are looking for in an ideal candidate are the following:  

Mission-Matched Employees

 Do you align, agree and champion the mission of the nonprofit? If this mission doesn’t match your values, don’t waste both your or the foundation’s time. A cornerstone of nonprofits is their mission, which promotes social welfare as well as improves the lives of individuals and communities they encounter, so they are looking for employee that will be enthusiastic evangelists for that mission. 

Hard Work

Many nonprofits are constantly busy and need hard workers on their team who are willing to dive in with both hands- regardless of how large or small the task may be. Many nonprofits seek to respond to the deeply rooted systemic challenges that may require navigating bureaucracy, raising funds and providing emotional support. 

Growth and Development

Due to the multi-faceted nature of nonprofits, they provide tremendous opportunities for an employee’s growth and development. This may include refining your skills in policy and grant writing, fundraising, relationship building, project management and organizational development. Additionally, imay mean stepping into leadership positions in a small organization or learning a new skill set as the client or organizational needs change 

Agility and adaptability

When you work for a nonprofit, it requires collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including volunteers, other employees, donors, community partners and the clients your organization may serve. Additionally, working with a nonprofit may also require engagement with various systems and agencies, including legal, educational or medical institutions. When working with these systems, businesses and individuals, you’ll need to have great communication, problem-solving and interpersonal skills 


If you are ready to begin your job search, apply with Scion Nonprofit today! With over 16 years of experience connecting candidates to nonprofits across the nation, we are your trusted partners. Scion’s recruiters have deep connections to the right people, so you can be confident your resume will get to the right hands. Let us walk alongside you as you begin this exciting search!