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CareerPurpose is an online resource that’s part career coach, part utility and part road map to pursuing a successful nonprofit career.

The site is full of articles, infographics and videos designed to introduce you to possibilities and to give the information you need to help find success in a purposeful career. was created by TIAA in partnership with LinkedIn to help people who want to make a difference. If you’ve been searching for a more meaningful career, this is for you.

Nonprofits are defined as organizations that are tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) as “public charities” because they are formed to provide “public benefit.” Nonprofits are all around us. Working in every community. Making a difference every day. This can include organizations that are not always associated with nonprofits like labor unions, professional sports leagues like the PGA, hospitals and universities.

Nonprofits do not earn profits.

False. “Nonprofit” does not mean “non-pay.” They are still businesses that need to provide competitive salaries and keep the lights on. The difference is that they are in the business of making money and generating awareness for their purpose and mission.

Nonprofits are run only by volunteers.

False — although volunteers and nonprofits do typically go hand in hand. Nonprofits still need someone to handle the books, manage employees, market their organization to be successful…all of which include full-time salaried jobs. Some of the largest organizations in the world are nonprofits and employ millions of people.

It’s hard to find a job in the nonprofit industry.

False. Behind retail and manufacturing, the nonprofit industry has the third largest workforce based on projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data. (

Will I get paid less if I work for a nonprofit?

Not necessarily! Many nonprofits offer competitive salaries and/or benefits packages for qualified individuals. Plus, the progressive nature of nonprofits can provide more opportunity for career growth than for-profit corporations. It all depends on finding the right opportunity to match your passion. In fact, why don’t you check out our career-search page (powered by LinkedIn) to start getting a feel for what’s out there?

The range of careers in the nonprofit sector is vast. The National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE)1 breaks down 501(c)(3) groups into 10 major categories and a total of more than 600 different sub-categories. To help, we’ve focused on seven broad industries where you can look to find your passion: Higher Ed, Healthcare, Engineering, IT, Operations, Research and Sales. Visit our career path pages to learn more!


1Date of access: December 10, 2018,

For one, you’ll be making a positive impact on the world! Beyond that, nonprofits can offer excellent benefits, training and flexibility. Nonprofits often have a longer-term vision for advocating for change, which can afford more balance and stability. You also have the opportunity to meet interesting people with similar passions.

Although meaningful careers can be found elsewhere, focusing on nonprofits can give you the best chance of finding a career with purpose.

Signing in with LinkedIn allows you to be able to bookmark your favorite content on the CareerPurpose site. It also allows you to save your preferences for the site so we can give you the most relevant information anywhere you view the site.

You’ll still be able to access the CareerPurpose site to find inspirational opportunities and learn about nonprofit industries. Unfortunately, you won’t have the ability to save articles to the “Your Career” page and we won’t be able to serve you curated content based on your interests.

We understand your desire for confidentiality so we’ll always respect your privacy and be transparent about what data we are using in accordance with the CareerPurpose site privacy policy.

TIAA is a leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. At TIAA, we hold everything we do to our guiding principles. We’re united by a shared vision to act with integrity and deliver excellence. It’s our desire to serve and relentless drive to perform that pushes us to help millions of customers pursue their financial goals. is created by TIAA in collaboration with LinkedIn. brings together two organizations with a shared interest in supporting individuals’ professional growth and success. TIAA has served the interests of those with purpose-driven careers for more than 100 years, and LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network1, whose vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.

1Date of access: December 20, 2018,

We are here for you! If you’ve got a question or want to get in touch, visit, download the TIAA app or simply call 800-842-2252.

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Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America has created and the information within it for informational purposes only. Many of the experts featured in the content are unaffiliated with Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, College Retirement Equities Fund, and their affiliates and subsidiaries (collectively TIAA), and TIAA makes no representations regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information on the posts or otherwise made available by the individuals. Statements of external featured individuals are solely their own and are not endorsed or recommended by TIAA. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America and LinkedIn Corporation are independent entities collaborating to bring you
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