Non-Profit Vs. For-Profit: Which Career Path is Right for You?
Have you ever considered working for a non-profit? There is a big difference between for-profit and non-profit careers and many people find themselves gravitating toward the idea of helping others through their work. Before you decide, it is important to understand how they differ from one another. Here are some things to think about as you create your career path for the future.
What is for-profit?
It is pretty clear what for-profit refers to. This is any company that’s sole purpose is to earn money for the business. Almost all financial careers are going to fall into the for-profit category unless it is specifically designated otherwise. In the financial arena there are two common paths to a for-profit career:
- Independent consulting: You can be a financial planner as an independent contractor. In this case, you would be responsible for your own marketing and your own taxes.
- Working as an employee: You can work as a salaried or hourly employee for a company that provides financial services to their customers.
What is non-profit?
Here is where things get complicated. A non-profit company or organization is one that works with the purpose of bettering the community. In this case, the organization still focuses on making money, but only with the goal of balancing out the costs of conducting business. A not-for-profit doesn’t have owners in the same way that a for-profit business and for that reason there is no one to benefit from increased revenue: except the community.
The biggest difference for non-profits is that they are typically considered tax exempt. This means they do not have the same tax burdens as their for-profit counterparts. As an incentive to continue contributing to the community, the government offers breaks that will help the organization continue to conduct business.
For a financial job in the non-profit sector you need to be comfortable making less money than those working in for-profit ventures. However, if your working goal is to help others, the rewards will be plentiful.