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The key to finding happiness in the nonprofit sector is approaching it with the right attitude. You’re probably not going to make a million dollars, but you could change the world. Nonprofit organizations focus on causes and ideas rather than the more typical business model where the goal is making money. Though there are large national nonprofits like Make-A-Wish, many nonprofits will require you to have a jack-of-all-trades skillset and a willingness to pitch in wherever necessary. They may operate on a limited budget, and most of their resources go toward their mission and not into the pockets of investors or employees.

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As more countries in the developing world modernize, the need for access to clean water continues to grow. Nonprofits have become an essential player in efforts to bring clean water to millions. The following fact may be hard to believe:

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In recent years, the nonprofit sector has been one of the few highlights in the U.S. economy. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent; from 1.2 million to 1.5 million, according to the Urban Institute. In 2010, nonprofits contributed $779 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product. Nonprofits devote time and energy to addressing issues facing our society. Here are five nonprofits that are leading the charge to effect positive change in our communities, both big and small.

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