Welcome to the Non-Profit / Social Impact / Activism Community
The mission of non-profits, advocacy, and social service organizations are to give back to the communities and populations they serve. Non-profits can act as the central hub of a community, and provide core resources, funding and space to organize around social justice issues that impact those they serve. Different kinds of non-profits have varying approaches to the work they do, so it is important to check out the mission, goals, and vision of the organizations you get involved with to make sure they align with your own values and belief systems. Regardless of the cause they champion, non-profits are answerable to their board of directors, who help guide the direction and funding of the organizations they advise. It is always good to see who is on the board of an organization you are interested in, and to see how active the members of the board are when it comes to the issues you care about. The work that non-profits engage in may include a variety of approaches such as research, advocacy, direct service, organizing, educating, activism and more! If this sounds like something you would like to explore, there are a variety of jobs and opportunities available in this sector. There are also leadership and executive positions including HR, Finance and Management, as well as needs in IT and Data Analytics. Fundraising is a core function, as are Communications and PR to tell the story of the organization and help build up its capacity. If you want to make a difference and impact social causes though your work, this is the place for you!
Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:
- Effective listening
- Written & oral communication skills
- Problem solving
- Analytical thinking
In the Relevant Courses section below are a few examples of relevant SBS courses, but we urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major. Check SPIRE for full course descriptions and availability. These are abbreviated descriptions, and details may change at the discretion of the instructor. Courses may not be offered every semester.
Also in this section are some relevant non-academic Linkedin Learning courses that you can take for free, compliments of UMass.
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