Why? Besides the good ole... "i want to change the world/give back" response...
Because not everyone in the world is a money-grubbing dbag (which I am)
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I think the conventional idea is that after working so many years in a management role, you've got alot of money, you're tired, and perhaps you'd like to give something back. I think the most successful non-profits have a strict policy: no one just out of school. It's the last job you want, not the first.
There was a topic on this a month ago.
TFA will help pay back student loans and puts you in a great position to get a full scholarship for grad school.
I think its become the in or cool thing to do. All the senior guys at my pe firm are heavily involved with non-profit and charity organizations. Just another contest to showcase your rank in society.
There is definitely "prestige" in working for certain nonprofits, depending on the organization in question. It might be a good way to get into business school, and furthermore you might get hooked up by the rich family who runs the foundation you're working for.
This might sound naive to some, but some people do it simply because it feels good to help other people out...especially if you've already made bank earlier in your career and don't really care about making more.
Alot of VCs cite the fact that they've already made alot of money as one of the reasons they enter as partners: a justified appetite for risk, backed by the fact that even if things go sour, you'll still get to live it up for the rest of your life.
I imagine the same is true money...diminishing marginal returns on every dollar added? Ha, maybe not.