Yesterday I led a session on Making a Career Transition into the Nonprofit Sector at LaidOffCampNY. It was a great discussion with 20 people who had different levels of experience (from early career to very experienced) and a variety of professional backgrounds (advertising, finance, IT, etc.).
Here are 5 action steps for a nonprofit job search that I shared with the group. Also, check out this list of resources for nonprofit jobseekers on ProInspire's website.
1. Assess your skills and interests to figure out where you could fit in the nonprofit sector. Spend time researching different nonprofit organizations at Guidestar and Charity Navigator.
2. Sign up for idealist.org daily job posting emails
3. Learn about issues related to the work you want to do – read industry news, attend conferences, take classes. Some of the resources we discussed include:
- News related to different causes: Change.org, The NonProfit Times
- General professional development: Support Center for Nonprofit Management, Craigs List Foundation Bootcamp
- Fundraising: Foundation Center, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, NYU Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising
- Technology: NTEN, NetSquared, and TechSoup
- Marketing: Beth's blog, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Marketing for Nonprofits
- Finance: Learn about financial accounting rules specific to nonprofits
4. Volunteer with an organization in the sector you want to work in. Focus on skilled/pro bono volunteer work that uses your expertise. Volunteer experience is very important to nonprofit hiring managers, particularly in a down economy.
5. Join a nonprofit board of directors