Nonprofit Program Coordinator: Salary and Career OutlookNonprofit Program Coordinator: Salary and Career OutlookNonprofit Program Coordinator: Salary and Career Outlook
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If you’re interested in a rewarding career where you can make a difference in people’s lives while managing a wide range of projects, you may want to consider becoming a nonprofit program coordinator. Nonprofit program coordinators develop programs across the spectrum of nonprofit organizations. Successful professionals in this role are organized, creative, and good with people.
Nonprofit program coordinators take on a wide range of roles that help nonprofit organizations operate properly. They fill three key functions:
Fundraising. Nonprofits run on fundraising, and program coordinators are involved in reaching out to potential donors to raise funds for their organizations. They may also participate in grant writing, the process of drafting detailed applications in pursuit of funding from foundations or grantmakers. Fundraising requires excellent people skills and creative thinking about how to market a program to potential funders.
Budgeting. Nonprofit program coordinators play an essential role in making sure programs run smoothly, efficiently, and on budget. While coordinators don’t need to be mathematicians to succeed, money management experience is beneficial.
Creating program materials. Program coordinating can mean designing curricula for an educational nonprofit, creating schedules or pamphlets for conferences, or organizing a professional development program for others at an organization.
All nonprofits offer programming to their constituents, whether educational programming at a school or exhibitions at a nonprofit arts institution. Whatever their focus, nonprofits need people to plan and coordinate these programs. The nonprofit sector is growing by leaps and bounds, driving an increasing need for qualified individuals who can help organizations stay on budget while providing engaging and interesting programs for members, donors, and beneficiaries.
Nonprofit coordinators need to be creative thinkers who can look for unique solutions to challenging problems. Being highly organized is a key to success, and being good with numbers is also helpful. Finally, having well-developed people skills is important, as program coordinators work closely with colleagues across their organizations, as well as donors and clients.
Career Outlook for a Nonprofit Program Coordinator
According to the 2020 Nonprofit Employment Report (NER), released annually by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, the nonprofit sector is the third-largest employment sector in the U.S. It’s also growing much more quickly than the for-profit sector, as nonprofit job opportunities grew three times faster than for-profit jobs between 2007 and 2017.
In addition, salaries are often higher at nonprofit institutions than at for-profit companies in the same field. The 2020 NER reports that nonprofit educational institutions offer 50% higher salaries than their for-profit counterparts, and nonprofit home healthcare organizations offer salaries more than 70% higher than for-profit home healthcare companies.
Nonprofit program coordinators work in a number of different settings, including:
Hospitals and other healthcare institutions
Social assistance agencies
Arts and recreation organizations
A number of job titles fall under the umbrella of nonprofit program coordinator, each of which focuses on a different aspect of the role. For instance, a nonprofit program coordinator might choose a job as a fundraiser, an individual who raises funds through community outreach or individual donors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 14% employment growth for fundraisers between 2019 and 2029.
Other titles include:
Project manager or project coordinator. These professionals create project plans and keep projects moving according to schedule and on budget.
Event coordinator. Event coordinators plan and schedule events such as conferences, fundraisers, or meetings with potential donors.
Social and community service manager. Coordinators in this role reach out to constituents, keep statistics on program effectiveness, and communicate results to donors and other stakeholders.
Grants manager. Grants managers draft formal applications to foundations to solicit funds.
Career advancement opportunities for nonprofit program coordinators include moving up the ranks to become program managers or program directors.
Nonprofit Program Coordinator Salary
Nonprofit program coordinator salaries can vary depending on job title, location, education, experience, and other factors. Fundraisers earned a median annual salary of $57,970 as of May 2019, according to the BLS.
Program coordinators may eventually become fundraising managers, a career field that had a median annual salary of $116,180 as of May 2019, according to the BLS. Social and community service managers earned a median annual salary of $67,150. Management positions typically require several years of related work experience, and some positions may require an advanced degree.
How to Become a Nonprofit Program Coordinator
Many nonprofit organizations require program coordinators to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as the social sciences, social work, or even business. A degree in human development and family studies, which may include courses such as Interpersonal Relationships, Critical Thinking in Social Science, and Family and Community Partnerships, offers a foundation in the key areas needed to succeed in nonprofit program coordination.
Some organizations may require a master’s degree for more advanced positions, and aspiring nonprofit program coordinators may benefit from seeking certifications in project management, grant writing, event planning, or team management. Extra training in one or more of these areas can set job candidates apart as a valuable addition to any team.
Your Career as a Nonprofit Program Coordinator Begins at Maryville
With the nonprofit sector on the rise, it’s a great time to pursue a career as a nonprofit program coordinator. The field is broad, offering a wide array of opportunities, and the nonprofit program coordinator salary and job outlook are strong. A degree such as Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies can help you develop valuable people skills, organizational mastery, and a keen ability to solve problems with creative solutions.