Non-Profit / Social Justice / Activism

The mission of non-profit, social service and activist oriented organizations are to give back to the communities and populations they serve. If this sounds like something you would like to do, there are a variety of jobs and opportunities available from direct service to oversight and management—and everything in between.

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!

Sample Classes

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

Below is a list of relevant courses.  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.

A Look Back at My SBS in DC Experience: Lizette Sta. Maria

In her latest blog post, Admissions blogger Lizette Sta. Maria reflects on her time in the SBS in DC program this past summer.


My cohort waves goodbye to me

It’s been a month since I pulled an all-nighter—struggling to …

By Lizette Sta. Maria
Lizette Sta. Maria
Read more »

How to Amp Up Your Nonprofit’s Role in Social Justice

Nonprofits are often the driving force behind social justice, racial and gender equality. Here is why:

By Rebecca Bell
Rebecca Bell Associate Director of Career and Professional Development for SBS Rebecca Bell
Read more »

10 Inspiring Social Activist Jobs to Make Society a Better Place for Everyone

Emmaline Soken-Huberty explores ways to make money and be an activist on !

Everyone can be a social activist. You don’t need certain qualifications or degrees to make the world a better place, but what if you want to focus …

By Rebecca Bell
Rebecca Bell Associate Director of Career and Professional Development for SBS Rebecca Bell
Read more »


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Explore occupations by career categories and pathways and use real time labor market data to power your decision making.

First, choose an industry of interest, then filter for occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)

Access All Labor Market Insights here!

Explore Outcomes

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2020 was 60%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

  • First Destination
  • Top Employers
  • Starting Salary
  • Employment Locations
  • Top Universities
  • Degree Types
  • Fields of Study

First Destination

SBS graduates pursue a range of plans after graduation, including employment, continuing education, and volunteering/service, among others.  This graph depicts what recent SBS graduates tell us they are doing within six months after graduation.

Relevant Courses

ANTHRO 104 – Culture, Society and People

ANTHRO 104 – Culture, Society and People: The nature of culture and its role in creating forms of social, economic,…

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication: This course introduces non-majors to a variety of competing theories of interpersonal behavior and everyday social…

LEGAL 465 – Globalization

LEGAL 465 – Globalization: The globalization of law, culture, and politics. Competing arguments about the meaning and effects of globalization.…

SOCIOL 224 – Social Class & Inequality

SOCIOL 224 – Social Class & Inequality: The nature of social classes in society from the viewpoint of differences in economic…

COMM 352 – Group Dynamics

COMM 352 – Group Dynamics: The dynamics of decision-making groups. Topics include: leadership, networks, conformity, problem solving, mediation, and conflict resolution.

LEGAL 391F – Law & the Family

LEGAL 391F – Law & the Family: Who has traditionally had the right to parent, and what has been the role…

RESECON 121 – Hunger in the Global Economy

RESECON 121 – Hunger in the Global Economy: Explores the causes of hunger (chronic under nutrition) from an economic perspective. Focus on…

SOCIOL 222: The Family

SOCIOL 222: The Family: Historical transformations in family life (relationships between husbands and wives, position and treatment of children, importance…

ECON 105: Intro to Political Economy

ECON 105: Intro to Political Economy: Facts and concepts basic to understanding the U.S. economy today. Topics may include: unemployment,…

Professionals In-Residence / Industry Experts

Cristina Sunkel

Professionals In-Residence / Industry Experts
  • Washington, DC
  • Independent Consultant

Student Success Stories

Featured Resources