I worked for a non-profit organization years ago. The company helped underprivileged children in Ethiopia to get an education.
The main task that most non-profits have to do is fundraising. So you create interesting events that will naturally attract people.
I decided to create debate competitions. The topics were mostly on issues that affect the lives of Ethiopians in America.
These were the 3 topics:
1) Cost of immigration outweighs the benefits.
2) Affirmative action - Yes/No.
3) Assimilation Vs Keeping your identity in America.
I stayed up late many nights to get things done. I dabbled in video, poster and sales strategy for our events. I got out of my comfort zone when I had to ask for things we needed.
The most important lesson for me was the art of persuasion.... Asking the other people in the team to do good work, be on time and to go above and beyond - when you are not paying them. It requires a lot of patience.
An interesting experience being in an unpaid role. The reward was seeing the changes you make into the lives of others.
I recommend doing it at least once.