When you work for a nonprofit, you definitely want to be passionate about its cause. But you probably also want to be excited about the office you're heading to every day.
These nonprofits have the best of both worlds: They're changing the world in bold, interesting, and inspiring ways, and they're also amazing places to work, full of passion, smart people, and even cool perks.
Take a peek inside these organizations employees love to work for—then find a great nonprofit gig of your own.
Mission: To deliver the first AIDS-free generation by 2015.
Headquarters: New York
Why Employees Love It: (RED) is where charity meets creativity. The company has partnered with iconic brands on products and services that raise money and awareness for the Global Fund. “I get really excited that we get to work with amazing marketers and brilliant minds at companies like Apple, Starbucks, Converse, and Coca Cola," says Zach Overton, General Manager, Business Development.
2. charity: water
Mission: To bring clean, safe drinking water to those in need, using 100% of its public donations to fund water projects in developing countries.
Headquarters: New York
Why Employees Love It: “When you come in here, you’re joining a family,” says Jamie Pent, Videographer and Editor. What's more, employees get the chance to see the people they help every day, literally. Inspiring photos line the office walls and showcase the projects and people whose lives charity: water’s initiatives are directly changing.
Mission: To connect people and alleviate poverty by facilitating microloans, enabling individuals to lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
Headquarters: San Francisco
Why Employees Love It: Free massages, yoga, and snacks, paid trips to visit Kiva's partners in the field, and a monthly recess where employees indulge in playtime. "The spirit of having fun and really caring about each other and encouraging each other is what makes Kiva such an incredible place to work," says Jackie Bernstein, Product Manager.
Mission: To help people worldwide solve problems in their communities by connecting donors to grassroots projects.
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Why Employees Love It: Recently recognized by Forbes as one of the top 10 startups changing the world, GlobalGiving and its team members bring an entrepreneurial spirit to everything they do. “When I was hired, I had the freedom to make my job what I wanted it to be and contribute in the way that I can contribute best,” says Unmarketing Manager Alison Carlman.
5. Education Pioneers
Mission: To transform education into the best led and managed sector in the U.S. and ensure that all students receive a high-quality education.
Headquarters: Oakland, California
Why Employees Love It: Whether you join as a fellow (where you're placed in a non-teaching education leadership position) or work at the organization's headquarters, Education Pioneers is all about teamwork and support. Analyst Fellow Han Hong explains, “The great thing about Education Pioneers is the support system that you get. Not just from the staff—who are phenomenal—but also from the other fellows who are going through very similar experiences.”
See Education Pioneers' Office | Jobs at Education Pioneers
Mission: To promote Ideas Worth Spreading—through conferences, community work, and finding exceptional people to spread its message.
Headquarters: New York
Why People Love It: The same reason most of us do: “The people within this organization truly believe that the contributions we make will help push forward human curiosity and learning in a genuine way,” says Product Development Director Thaniya Keereepart.
7. Teach for America
Mission: To provide every child with an excellent education through its corps of teachers and the offices nationwide that support them.
Headquarters: New York (plus 46 regional offices)
Why People Love It: Many of TFA's employees are former teachers, which has created a close-knit team that's passionate about the organization's work. “Everyone here is on the same page," says Aimee Baez, Manager, Teacher Leadership Development. “I love everyone’s passion here, passion for the greater movement."
8. Heartland Alliance
Mission: From providing housing support to healthcare programs to protection for victims of violence, Heartland Alliance strives to help individuals in difficult situations.
Why Employees Love It: Whether they're engaging in policy discussions, preparing research documents, or working directly with people in the community, Heartland Alliance employees truly care about helping people improve their lives. “Back when I was networking with people, one thing that I came to understand is that if you’re at Heartland Alliance, you love working at Heartland Alliance and you’re going to stay for a long time,” notes Megan Mahoney, who serves as Director of the Northern Tier Anti-Trafficking Consortium at Heartland.
Mission: In addition to offering employment through its retail outlets, Goodwill has a career center and job training programs designed to help people with barriers to employment find meaningful work.
Why Employees Love It: Like many organizations, Goodwill has ambitious goals, but it also has a knack for staying intensely focused on those objectives. “I’ve never worked at an organization that is so goal-focused,” says Alina Gardner, Manager of Career Services. “I think it really comes directly from our CEO.”
10. The Bridgespan Group
Mission: Not a nonprofit, but a nonprofit advisor, Bridgespan helps social sector leaders scale the impact of their organizations and enhance the effectiveness of their philanthropy.
Headquarters: Boston, New York, and San Francisco
Why People Love It: Bridgespan doesn't like to use the buzzword "diversity," but it embraces having a variety of backgrounds in the workplace. The majority of consultants at Bridgespan are women—a major departure from the consulting industry norm—and the company received a perfect score on the HRC 2010 Corporate Equality Index as a “best place to work” for LGBT individuals. “We aspire to bring as many voices and backgrounds as possible into the firm," says Mandy Taft-Pearman, Partner and COO.
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