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In the second edition of its “Voices from the Sector” jobs report, found, despite challenging economic times, the nonprofit industry is on an upswing. Some of the most opportunistic findings from the survey of 1,000 nonprofit organizations found that 36% received increased funding this year, up from 19% a year ago; 48% are hiring this year, a 6% hike from 2011 and 54% say they will offer salary increases in 2012, up from 47% last year.

Overall confidence has grown slowly but steadily since late 2008 and 2009. Forty-six percent of organizations recently reported feeling more optimistic about the year ahead than the year past; only 11% feel less optimistic. Indeed, Idealist currently reports over 8,000 nonprofit job openings posted on its site.

A survey commissioned by Walden University and Harris Interactive found that globally, nonprofits are seen as change-makers. In seven of the eight countries surveyed, nonprofits are among the top two ways adults are most likely to get involved in social change. Jordan is the exception, where getting involved as an individual or through a religious institution ranks higher. On average, 60% of adults are involved with a nonprofit through an organization, institution or company. In addition, adults most commonly believe that nonprofits “make it easy for people to get involved” (48%, on average) but also that “too much of their budgets goes to overhead costs while not enough goes to providing services or making change happen” (36%, on average).

Related: Five Online Sustainability MBA Programs | Razoo Helps Nonprofits Find a Social Media Voice | Database: Search, Sort, Compare Online MBA Programs | School Reports: Full Details on MBA Programs | Specialties: Research MBA Concentrations

Volunteering may lead to a career change into the nonprofit sector for working adults. The Idealist survey found that 83% of job seekers report having volunteer experience with a nonprofit organization—a factor that the majority of hiring managers consider at least somewhat important when making hiring decisions.

–Alanna Stage, @AlannaTweets