11 Ways to Make Money on the Side Because Your Nonprofit Job Doesn't Pay Enough

Organizational Management August 24, 2017

Terry Ibele

By Terry Ibele

I’m just going to say it — the truth about working in nonprofit is that many nonprofit professionals are overworked and underpaid. 

So what do you do when you love your nonprofit job, but it doesn’t pay the bills?

You join the gig economy, a new take on the traditional side job.

Instead of taking part-time jobs like waiting tables, or retail (which don’t work when board members are breathing down your neck and last minute event changes hijack your schedule), nonprofit professionals are picking up gigs where they control everything: the hours, the location, the work, and (sometimes) the pay.

From my work with nonprofits, here are the 11 gigs I’ve seen work best for the cash-strapped, time-crunched nonprofit professional.

Read More: 24 Things I Wish I Knew Before Entering the Nonprofit World

1) Do you love dogs?

Rover will pay you to jog a bulldog, board a collie, or hug a pug. Many dog sitters earn over $1,000 a month by babysitting dogs in their spare time. Just pick your rates and availability and Rover will connect you with local dog owners in need. Plus, if anything goes wrong (puppies can be especially messy!), Rover provides 24/7 emergency support, insurance, and veterinary assistance.


2) Are you a born explorer?

Postmates will pay you up to $25/hour to pick up packages (anything from any store) and deliver them locally. You choose your hours and the way you get around, so here’s an idea: sign up with Rover and Postmates and dogsled parcels around your city.


3) Can you type 40 words per minute?

Rev needs people to type out video transcripts (40 words per minute is average by the way) and will pay up to $0.65/per audio minute ($39/hour). The best part is that you can work as much or as little as you want from virtually anywhere. You just need a computer.


4) Do you love trying new things?

If you’ve got a spare afternoon, or even just a few hours, Shiftgig is looking for people to fill part time shifts at nearly any job you can imagine (servers, cooks, porters, housekeepers, etc.). The best part is that by filing part time roles, you’re also gaining valuable skills and experience which can be used towards your professional career.


5) Are you good at Math or Languages?

Care.com can connect you with local children in need of a tutor. Just create a profile, pick an hourly rate, and start browsing opportunities near you.


6) Do you have a lot of stuff?

Is your stuff useful? Do you think other people might want to use your stuff? How about that bike you never ride, that power tool you never plug in, that board game collecting dust? You could sell it... but better yet, you could rent it out. Loanables is a website that connects people who have stuff with people who want to rent stuff. Just list your stuff and go from there.

Free Guide Donation Website 

7) Are you a jack of all trades?

If you’re handy around the house, you could turn your touch into gold. Task Rabbit is a website that connects handymen and handywomen with people who need jobs done around the house. Jobs like mounting a TV, lifting heavy items, assembling furniture, or garden work. Simply find jobs that fit your skills and stop by someone’s house after work to pick up a few extra bucks.


8) Are you a crafty person?

Do you make your own jewelry, soap, pillowcases, or wooden toys? Why not start an Etsy store, where you can easily sell your work over the internet? If you need help getting started, here’s a great article on how one mom made 450 sales in her first 3 months.


9) Do you love your car like Gary Numan?

Uber is always in need of part-time drivers. You just need a 4-door car, a clean driving record, and a love for meeting new people. The average Uber driver makes $19/hour, so if you schedule in a few hours before and after work, you can make an easy $350 extra a week.


10) Speaking of cars, do you have an empty parking space?

If you drive to work, your parking space could be making you money while you’re away. Spothero is an app that connects people who need a temporary parking space with owners of empty parking spaces (and then pays them!). 


11) Stumped, but still need cash?

If none of the ideas in this list fit with your talents, don’t worry, there’s one last place to look. Fiverr connects you with people who need whatever you’re good, whether it’s video editing, graphic design, voice recording, website analytics, creating presentations, or even psychic readings. And if you’re worried about attracting people to pay for your services, here’s an easy step-by-step guide on how to make your first $1 on Fiverr.

The best part about the gig economy is that new gigs are popping up all the time, so you can keep doing what you love at your nonprofit while finding new ways to make extra money on the side.


Additional Resources:

The Membership Growth Report:

Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

Get the report now!

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.


  • Anonymous:
    I work for a non-profit, and yes you have to be creative about additional income, because let's face it, if the company is not profiting, then you're not profiting. However, personally, and this maybe just me, I would rather work one job I absolutely love that straddles the low income line then work a bunch of odd jobs on top of my main job to bump up to the lower middle class.
  • Jane:
    You have to be kidding? I don't have time for a side gig! I work from home as my non-profit does not have an office & despite being the lowest paid exec of all my state counterparts in the country - I spend as much time or more than my colleagues who have large staff (I have one part time person) and make 2-3 times what I do. Because of the state I live in and the rural nature of my members - we can't afford to charge the large dues a lot of my state counterparts do. I would love to make more - but you know what? I have dogs by my side - I get to enjoy my morning coffee on my deck as I check my email in my sweats or yoga pants - I only dress up if I have to be at the capitol or have a meeting to attend and at the age I'm at - the members I work with are appreciative of what we do for them. There are a lot of blessings more meaningful than a larger salary & having another "gig" would give me more stress than I need in my life, when I need to focus on caring for my members in the job I have.

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