How Do You Get Paid Running A Nonprofit

Running a nonprofit organization is a deeply rewarding experience, but it’s also important to address the question of compensation. It’s a common misconception that those who work for nonprofits do so on a purely volunteer basis. In reality, there are several avenues through which individuals can receive financial compensation while working for a nonprofit organization.

Salaries and Wages

One of the most direct ways to get paid while running a nonprofit is through a regular salary or wage. Nonprofit organizations, like any other business entity, need talented individuals to drive their missions forward. As the founder or executive director of a nonprofit, I have been able to draw a salary from the organization’s funds. This compensation has allowed me to dedicate my full time and energy to the nonprofit’s cause. It’s important to note that the salary must be reasonable and in line with the organization’s budget and financial resources. Transparency in the salary-setting process is crucial for upholding the nonprofit’s integrity.

Benefits and Perks

Nonprofit leaders and employees often receive benefits and perks as part of their compensation packages. These can include health insurance, retirement contributions, flexible work schedules, and professional development opportunities. I have personally found these benefits to be invaluable, as they demonstrate that the organization values and supports its employees’ well-being and professional growth.

Consulting and Speaking Fees

Another way to earn income from a nonprofit is through consulting or speaking fees. As a recognized expert in my nonprofit’s field, I have had the opportunity to provide consulting services to other organizations or to speak at conferences and events. These fees can provide supplemental income while also expanding the nonprofit’s network and impact.

Grants and Scholarships

Nonprofit leaders may also be eligible to receive grants and scholarships for further education or professional development. These funding opportunities can help expand the individual’s knowledge and skills, ultimately benefiting the nonprofit as well.

Volunteer Work

While it’s important to highlight the various ways to receive compensation from a nonprofit, it’s also worth noting that many individuals, including myself, choose to contribute significant time and effort to nonprofit work as volunteers. This voluntary contribution is driven by passion and dedication to the organization’s mission, and the personal fulfillment derived from making a positive impact on society.


Working for a nonprofit organization doesn’t mean forgoing financial compensation. From salaries and benefits to consulting fees and grants, there are multiple avenues through which individuals involved in nonprofits can receive payment for their valuable contributions. It’s crucial for nonprofits to establish fair and transparent compensation practices, ensuring that the organization’s resources are used effectively while also recognizing the dedication and hard work of its employees and leaders.