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Nonprofit Program Director



Lead efforts to generate publicity and funding for worthy causes.

What does a Nonprofit Program Director do?

If you want to be a Nonprofit Program Director-first you’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge of the specific field, your experience working on not-for-profit programs, and your dedication to the cause. To get started, volunteer or intern for an organization that works on the issues you’re most concerned about. Nonprofit organizations are usually full of staff and volunteers who care a lot and work incredibly hard. But in order to have the greatest impact, programs need structure and leadership. That’s where the Nonprofit Program Director comes in.

The program could be related to adult literacy, volunteering abroad, AIDS awareness, legal assistance for immigrants, or energy conservation—there’s probably a program for whatever issue you’re most passionate about. However, just because the end goal isn’t profit doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with finances and other elements typical to business management as a Nonprofit Program Director. You might be responsible for things like developing partnerships, budgeting, and reviewing staff performance.

Sometimes titles don’t mean a lot in the nonprofit sector, especially at smaller organizations. So don’t be surprised if you need to jump in and perform a large variety of tasks—whatever needs to be done to run your program, whether it’s meeting with foreign Diplomats or calling a Caterer for an event.

Buu whatever your specific duties, they add up to the bigger responsibility of planning, overseeing, and evaluating the program. If it proves to have a positive outcome, you’ve just made a genuine difference in the world. And if not, then you need to be determined enough to make improvements, re-motivate your staff, explain the challenges to the rest of your organization and to the public, and try again.

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