Working in non-profit public relations provides a much different experience than working within the corporate sector. There are certain elements of non-profit public relations that one may not find as much when working for a corporate agency.
When working in non-proft public relations, be prepared to fundraise and promote, promote, promote. Not-for profit public relations people need to really advocate for their cause in whatever they do. Be prepared to always be creating hashtags, facebook pages, and promote events for your organization.
There are at least 2 million identified non-profit organizations in the United States alone. These organizations are tax-exempt, and often have regulations in where exactly their funds are allocated. For this reason, public relations employees should have different expectations of funding for their campaigns and salaries, depending on the allocation of funds.
Here are some quick tips on what do expect when working for a non-profit:
1. Money may not come immediately, but work hard and promote. You will be rewarded. If you are really passionate about your organization and work hard, you will do well.
2. Be prepared to work unconventional hours. You may have to promote events on weekends and attend events in the evening.
3. Become familiar with social media. I know this seems like a statement all public relations students see all of the time, but here this is especially critical. Most non-profit businesses and organizations rely on these types of free promotion to assist their business.
All in all, advocate for causes you believe in. The more invested you are in the cause, the more likely you will want to promote it. In addition, you will be able to network with individuals who have the same interests as you or the organization, making meaningful connections throughout the process.