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6 Do-Gooder Holiday Jobs That Pay

Here's how to make money and help others at the same time this season

By Catey Hill | MarketWatch | October 29, 2013

Do good and get paid for it? If you know where to look this holiday season, you can find a job that combines both.

This season, holiday hiring will be roughly equal — or maybe slightly less — than it was last year (with about 750,000 jobs added in the final three months of the year), according to an analysis by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Much of the hiring will take place this month, they say, and many of the holiday jobs will be with big-box retailers: For example, Target is hiring 70,000 people and Kohl's plans to bring in 52,000.
 
But for many Americans, working at a giant retailer stocking shelves or manning a register has about the same appeal as doing the dishes. For those who just need to pocket a few extra bucks, that may be fine. But some wish to give back this holiday season while earning that cash.

(MORE: How to Get a Seat on a Nonprofit Board)

Knowing Where to Look 

Such jobs do exist if you know where to look, says Nicole Williams, founder of New York-based career firm Works. Indeed, Idealist.org (a site that offers jobs with nonprofits), flexible-jobs site FlexJobs.com and CareerBuilder.com all say they have jobs fitting this description. There are also ways to create such opportunities, Williams says, by thinking about what people need most during the holiday season.
 
To be sure, even when these jobs exist they are often hard to land, says workplace psychologist Michael Woodward, author of The YOU Plan. And getting paid can be a challenge, "as most of them are volunteer," he says.

That said, these jobs are out there and now is the best time to look for one. Here are six jobs that have a do-gooder bent -- and pay a wage.

Volunteer Coordinator
 
Nonprofits get a slew of volunteers during the holidays and often need someone to help manage them, says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of flexible job site FlexJobs.com.

Typically, they're looking for someone with HR or project management experience and with good people skills, she says. Sample job titles for these gigs include: community programs assistant, staffing coordinator, volunteer coordinator and human resources associate.

You can expect to get paid about $10 to $15 an hour, but pay varies widely.

(MORE: The 7 Top Websites for Nonprofit Jobs)

Graphic Designer
 
Each year, nonprofits and organizations host holiday events and send thank-you notes and cards to donors. And in past years, roughly half of Americans have sent out holiday cards, more than 90 percent of them using snail mail. Plus, roughly one in four people hosted a holiday party.

Put that all together and graphic designers who can create invitations and cards — for organizations and for families — will be in demand again, says Williams.

Expect to get paid anywhere from about $10 per hour (for those with less experience) to more than $200 for a project, she says.

(MORE: A Better You for a Better World)

Fundraiser
 
For charities, donations given in the last three months of the year account for more than one-third of the total gifts they receive. That's why many nonprofits, universities and other organizations hire seasonal staff to make charity fundraising calls to potential donors.

Organizations typically look for people with sales and marketing experience to do these jobs, says Fell. Sample job titles for these gigs include development assistant and fundraiser. You can expect to get paid about $10 an hour plus commission, but pay varies widely.

Clerical Associate

With all the donations pouring in, someone needs to manage processing and recording them and sending out thank-you notes. That's why some nonprofits hire part-time clerical workers or people to work in their processing centers this time of year, says Fell.

Typically, these firms look for people who have solid Excel and Word experience and good organization skills, she says. Sample job titles for these gigs include: Christmas assistant, clerical associate, processing center associate and special projects assistant. (Nonprofits also often need accountants on a seasonal basis at year-end.)

You can expect to get paid between about $10 and $15 an hour.

Holiday Personal Assistant

While on its face this job doesn't seem to have a do-gooder bent, you can choose to help out older people who might not be able to drive, or homebound or disabled individuals who need help doing such things as shopping, baking, addressing envelopes and getting rides to events.

To find this kind of position, Williams says, tap into your social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn and put up fliers in neighborhood gathering spots, like churches and coffee shops, to let people know about your services.

You can expect to get paid between about $10 and $25 an hour, depending on what you do, says Williams.

Delivery Driver
 
Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder's vice president of human resources, says that many companies and nonprofits do things like clothing, gift and food drives before the holidays and need people to deliver these goods to recipients. These organizations will likely look for someone with a valid driver's license and their own vehicle.

You can expect to get paid minimum wage, though pay varies widely.

Catey Hill is a reporter for MarketWatch.com covering personal finance and travel.

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