Jobs With a Big Heart and a Big Paycheck


jobs with heart The recession has caused many people to re-think their careers. While some have decided that any job is a good job, others have started looking for more meaningful work. They want a gig that gives back.

You may assume that meaningful work automatically means modest pay, but that's not always the case. One's salary "depends on the type of organization and its size and the job that you have," says Heather Krasna, author of 'Jobs That Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service' and director of career services at the Evans School of Public Affairs in Seattle, Wash. She points out that large universities, hospitals, and religious organizations are all examples of nonprofits that pay skilled professionals to make them successful.

Here are just a few possible career paths for those who want satisfying work and a decent-sized paycheck.

1. Development Director - $60,800

Depending on the size of the organization, a development director might focus on cultivating major donors or planning events. Or, like Jessica Schmidt-Bonifant, who works for a small nonprofit organization in Maryland, he or she might do a little of everything. "I do grant writing and reporting, marketing and PR, donor relations, mailings, annual reports, newsletters, alumni giving, planned giving and donor research," says Schmidt-Bonifant, who has a background in PR and advertising. She adds that development isn't just about asking people for money. Rather it's about "figuring out how to connect the donor to the cause in a way that they feel fulfilled by it."

2. Director, Community Relations - $54,000

Many nonprofits and for-profit organizations now have a community relations director or similar person who's responsible for overseeing community programs or outreach efforts. John J. Bendel works as director of community investment at a small, privately-funded bank in Pittsburgh that runs several programs around affordable housing. Bendel says much of his job involves maintaining relationships with member bankers, policy makers, and non-profits, as well as attending conferences on affordable housing. He says, "The most gratifying part is going to the projects and seeing the people in the homes [we helped fund]."

3. Human Resources Director - $65,000 (salary specific to nonprofits)

Although some nonprofit jobs only exist in that sector (like development director), many other jobs, like human resource director, have a counterpart in corporate America. According to Jennifer Keys, human resources director at a nonprofit headquartered in Seattle, Wash., a passion for the organization's mission is key. "In HR," she says, "you have to sell your organization to your people every day and you can't do that if you don't love the mission and can't articulate it to potential recruits, your employees, and the leadership of the organization."

4. Sustainability Director - $71,847

Both nonprofit and for-profit companies are becoming more aware of their environmental impact, and some of those companies now have a job title focused on sustainability. Lara Pearson is a partner at a Nevada law firm who also serves as the firm's pro-bono, chief sustainability officer. She says her role as CSO includes "examining our attorneys' and staff's energy consumption, transportation habits, paper and other materials consumption, and waste disposal practices." In addition to setting a timeline and goals for reducing energy consumption, she's also working to further socially responsibility initiatives.

Next: AOL Jobs' Special: Love at Work

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Sarah Le

Ya know...anybody that can step into a "Director" position is not in the same position as most un- or underemployed. To whom are you addressing this article? Certainly not the average Joe or even the average Joe or Jane with a college degree.

February 13 2011 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sarah Le's comment

Fine, so I guess I have to get a Masters to get to be a Director of something. I just talked to a lady said it took 10 years to get a BA. n like their job search engines send you every thing your not applying for.

February 13 2011 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bon a

human resorce directors are evil. they do not work for the employees, they work for the ceo's and protect their asses and their money with every fiber of their beings. to be in human resorces is the equivilant of being a mob hit man. they know the more flesh they produce of workers, by protecting the rights of the owners/bosses to keep rightful time off, benefits, protection from bullying, and the option to dump you if another willing to do what you do for less money comes along gives them job security. human resorcing is not a meaningful job for anyone other than the administration and the pitiful little humans usually found doing that job.

February 10 2011 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As usual AOL has missed the boat completely.Your 4 or 5 positions sound just fine in some previous time but can we really afrford in this day and age to have such functions paying such salaries. I think not. Todays business does just not allow that kind of wieght for a "SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR". Most of us in small family owned business are not able to afford such job classifications. It is all done by the guy in charge. Lets face it, your four jobs listed amount to approx. $250,000 in salaries per year. Come on man, get real. As usual you just don't get it.

February 10 2011 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have a wealth of experience in HR and am trying to locate an HR-type position in my area, i.e. Niagara Falls, NY aor Buffalo, NY Can you help me?

My Phone # is 716-297-1604 and thank you

February 10 2011 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe's comment
Robert A. Celano

Are you the same Joe Vilardo who was once employed by a So. California law enforcement agency in the 1960s?

February 13 2011 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Raymour and Flanigan steals from all their employees and needs a union desparately

February 09 2011 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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