Community and Social Service

Helping people and communities not only feels good, it can pay the rent too. Nonprofit organizations, special interest groups, social clubs, and religious institutions dedicate their resources to bettering the world around them. The reality is, efficient management of the task at hand requires incredible effort and skillful organization. From event planners to grant writers, fundraisers to lobbyists, community service professionals combine their talents and shape the world. Finding your place among them is all about stoking your passion while contributing to the greater good. Public speaking, writing, as well as people skills are all vital to many of these roles. Find out if community service is where you fit in!

Three Reasons to Explore A Career in Community Service

  1. Since some state and federal agencies have shifted responsibilities to the private sector, there is an increased need in the United States for civic, nonprofit, and grant-writing positions. Identifying growth industries is a very smart thing to do.
  2. Many new organizations form every year to meet the specific needs of Latino communities in the U.S., so employment opportunities among bilingual workers is sure to keep rising.
  3. Simply put, helping others is rewarding and feels good. You may not make as much money as doctors and lawyers, but people who work in community services are proud of their positive contributions while making a good living.

Your Pathway to A Career in Community & Social Service

  • High School: Luckily, great community service opportunities are easy to come by. Besides nonprofit organizations and religious institutions, many high schools have volunteer groups, service learning programs, and service-oriented student clubs. Some schools and states even make it mandatory!
  • Community College: Interested students should look for Associate’s degrees in Social and Human Services, which are available at many schools and prepare you to be case managers, service assistants, counselors, and more. Additional certification beyond your degree may be required.
  • Four-Year school: At the Bachelor’s degree level, you can pick from a number of specialties like social work, public affairs, community development, and service management. More importantly, campuses offer plenty of volunteer opportunities, which will truly prove your dedication to potential employers.

Community and Social Service Positions

Fundraisers raise the money needed to keep non-profit organizations functioning. They find large and continuing donations, organize special events, oversee grant writing, and initiate fundraising campaigns. Fundraisers have strong communication skills and knowledge of public relations, sales, and marketing.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or communications and experience volunteering or working with non-profit organizations.
Salary Range: $30,000 to $80,000

Event Planners coordinate meetings, events, conventions, and activities for an organization. They are in charge of booking and planning the venue, timeline, sequence of events, budget, advertising, handouts, food and drink, guests, volunteers, and other logistical details needed to make an event successful. Event planners are organized, pay great attention to detail, and work well with others.
Education: Bachelor’s d egree in marketing, public relations, communications, business, or hospitality management or previous experience in event planning.
Salary Range: $25,000 to $70,000

Grant Writers help non-profit organizations raise money by applying for grants offered by corporations, foundations, and the government. They write proposals describing why their organization needs the funds and how the money would be put to use. Grant writers constantly search for new grants and for ways that their organization would fulfill the goal of various grants. They have strong writing and communication skills.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing, or communications and experience volunteering or working with non-profit organizations.
Salary Range: $27,000 to $70,000

Top Ten Master of Social Work Programs

  1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
  2. University of IIlinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL
  3. Washington University - St. Louis, MO
  4. Columbia University - New York, NY
  5. University of Washington - Seattle, WA
  6. University of California - Berkeley, CA
  7. University of Texas - Austin, TX
  8. Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH
  9. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC
  10. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA
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