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Top Skills of Nonprofit Accountants

Are you interested in a career change? Working as an accountant for nonprofits can be one of the few accounting careers that’s inherently fulfilling and interesting, so if you have the skills and motivation, why not give it a try? 

Nonprofit accountants require a few skills and qualities if they want to be successful at their jobs. Are you a good candidate? 

If you’re not sure but you are interested in trying out this new career path, keep reading to learn the top skills that you should put on your nonprofit accountant resume. 

Communication Skills

While accounting may seem like a solitary job, when you’re working with a nonprofit, you need to know how to communicate effectively

It’s your job as the person with the accounting know-how to relay all information and difficult concepts to the other people working with the nonprofit. 

Budgeting Skills

This is a given, and if you’re already in accounting, you likely already have this skill set. You need to know how to budget. 

When you’re working for a nonprofit, you’re not working with revenue. You’re working through sponsors and donations, and these donations can fluctuate wildly depending on what’s going on and how successful marketing efforts have been. 

Because of this, you’re working with less consistency. 

It’s your job to make sure that you can allocate funds to the upkeep of the nonprofit while making sure that the bulk of the money is going toward the cause.

Attention to Detail

When you’re managing finances for a nonprofit, you have a few extra problems to attend to. The money that people donate to you can be classified in multiple ways.

The donator can restrict it so it can only be used for the cause (or even in a specific way), or they can leave the usage up to the nonprofit to allocate as they see fit.

These things matter when you’re determining your budget and doing your reporting. 

Organizational Skills

Nonprofits are tax-exempt. That means that you need to manage a lot of important documents and keep track of all of your donations and spending to avoid any problems when tax season rolls around. 

It’s your responsibility to maintain neat and organized reports and records. 


While this isn’t a skill per se, it is one of the top nonprofit accountant requirements that other accountants don’t usually need. Passion for your cause is everything. 

One of the reasons that people choose to do accounting work for nonprofits is that they care and want to help people. They may make more money elsewhere, but the fulfillment is more worthwhile. 

It’s a tough job, so passion is essential if you want to stick it out. 

Nonprofit Accountants Need These Skills

These skills for nonprofit accountants are must-haves. Do you think you’re right for the job? Why not give it a shot?

If you’re ready to commit to a career in the nonprofit sphere, we want to hear from you. Apply to become a part of Jacobson Jarvis’s team so you can start helping nonprofits that are trying to change their communities for the better.