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Pages tagged "Salary"


We need to raise the AmeriCorps living allowance. Here’s why.

main.jpgRaise your hand if you got your start in the nonprofit sector as an AmeriCorps member. I did, my spouse did, many of our YNPN Twin Cities members did, and maybe you did too.  

I served two terms in AmeriCorps and can directly trace my career trajectory back through my current grant writing position to a corporate fundraising job and back to my AmeriCorps gig in corporate volunteer coordination experience. My spouse served as an AmeriCorps member with a conservation organization and is now a certified arborist, providing field support to AmeriCorps members in a full-time position at that same nonprofit. We are living proof AmeriCorps provides relevant entry-level experience to people looking to start careers in the nonprofit sector.

AmeriCorps is valuable in training entry-level staff and helping people get a foot in the nonprofit door, which is why we need to raise the living stipend.

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Paid Vs Unpaid Internships

main.jpgHave you had an internship experience that was unpaid? For many of you, especially those in the nonprofit sector, that answer will be yes. According to a 2010 study by Intern Bridge, Inc., 57 percent of internships at nonprofits were unpaid, compared with 48 percent in government and 34 percent at for-profit businesses.

YNPN Twin Cities has teamed up with leading capacity building nonprofit organizations, Pollen Midwest, Springboard for the Arts and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, to change the way that paid and unpaid internships are promoted on online job boards and within our sector. Now on MCN’s, Springboard for the Arts’, and Pollen Midwest’s job boards, paid internships will be listed separately from unpaid internships, which will be found in a different section or with the volunteer opportunities. This change allows internship seekers to search only for paid internships and promotes to the nonprofit sector that paid internships will attract more competitive, qualified candidates. YNPN Twin Cities approached these three capacity building organizations to make this change because we saw our members and college students had a difficult time sorting between unpaid and paid opportunities - a big difference when you’re building your work experience.

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Why you should pay nonprofit employees more

What is your value?It kills me every time we celebrate the per hour value of a volunteer. Not because I hate volunteers, but because it exposes one of the biggest double-standards in the nonprofit sector.

Independent Sector rated the national per hour value of volunteer time at $23.07 - essentially, that’s what we’d pay someone if we averaged out all of the in-kind value from volunteers everywhere. In Minnesota, it’s even higher at $24.83.

But here’s the thing: that $24.83 equates to an annual salary of nearly $51,600. Why are we paying our nonprofit employees so much less?

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Breaking the Salary Silence

main.jpgThere is something taboo and mysterious about salaries. When I decided to do a salary survey of young nonprofit professionals, it was my hope to start breaking down walls of discomfort around talking about our salaries. I expected 10-20 responses and ended up getting over 100. If that’s not a sign that we’re ready to start talking about salaries, I don’t know what is.

It’s obvious from my survey, which is not scientific by any means, that there is a collective sense of feeling undervalued and underpaid throughout the sector—strongest in those with less than five years experience.

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