Have you wanted to get more involved in a cause, but you weren’t quite sure how to go about doing it? Do you want to leave your footprint on the world by helping other people? Then you may be a perfect candidate for nonprofit leadership.

Okay, so what is the point of working for a business classified as a “nonprofit?”  Nonprofits like NSCS are among a multitude of organizations that operate within this unique industry; an industry that is one of the fastest growing sectors in our current economy. Nonprofits include charities, foundations, professional trade associations, religious organizations, and cultural organizations. If you are passionate about any cause at all, consider minoring in Nonprofit Leadership or earning the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formally American Humanics) Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. It can be partnered with any major, and applied to any field! By involving yourself in nonprofit leadership, you have the incredible chance to directly impact the world with your unique passions and talents.

Although they are classified as nonprofits under the 501(c)(3) tax code, the label can be misleading. Funding is a major component in operating a nonprofit; they are given the “nonprofit” label because, unlike a corporation, nonprofits do not distribute surplus funds to owners and shareholders. Instead, these funds are used to achieve specific goals in serving the public good. You probably have volunteered for a nonprofit at some point in your life, as most of these groups are very involved in their communities and appreciate any time you have to offer. That is not to say that all roles in nonprofits are volunteer-based; you can certainly sculpt a fine career with a salaried position.

Enlightened with these facts, I decided at the start of this semester to officially minor in Nonprofit Leadership (I am also pursuing the Certificate, which has more requirements). I am taking a nonprofit community service class, which also makes me a member of the Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization. SNLO frequently works with the student government association on volunteer projects, such as recycling drives and neighborhood cleanups. We are currently in the midst of planning our major fundraiser, a process that will prepare us for future fundraising at other nonprofits.

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership provides students with an immense amount of opportunities for personal and professional growth. This spring, we are participating in the Pay It Forward grant initiative, a student-based program that awards grants to local nonprofits. After spring break, we will begin reviewing applications from potential candidates. The center also offers a rare commodity to students: paid summer internships! It’s a highly exciting opportunity, since you receive academic credit and a considerable monetary stipend for your work with a local nonprofit. And we mustn’t omit the unforgettable memories and valuable networking experience!

I hope you  share my curiosity and enthusiasm; this is truly a field where you help yourself by helping others, definitely one of the greatest satisfactions you can receive in life.

Kayla Boye is a University Scholar at Youngstown State University majoring in Professional Writing & Editing and minoring in Nonprofit Leadership. She serves as Executive Vice President of NSCS at YSU and as secretary of the Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization. She enjoys assisting other students with the writing process by working as a consultant at the YSU Writing Center. In addition to her academic pursuits, she is highly involved in university and community theatre. She hopes to make a positive impact on the world by sharing her personal exuberance through creative expression. She has her own blog, setting-the-stage, and can be found on Twitter @kaylaboye.