Making the Sector Switch

Over the past three months I’ve had about six different people ask me how they can make a move from the for-profit sector to a job at a nonprofit.  My advice has been the same in all six cases.I’ll ask, do you currently support any organizations through gifts of time or money?
If they answer “no.” I tell them they are not candidates for a job at a nonprofit. To work in this field, you have to be passionate about a cause and willing to invest in that passion through a sacrifice of time, money and talent. If that hasn’t happened yet, a paycheck sure isn’t going to change that.theIf they answer “yes” I then ask, do you currently volunteer as a board member or serve some leadership role for a nonprofit?
If they answer no I tell them to is to do some research.  Be a donor, advocate, volunteer, board member. Support an organization through gifts of time and money, put a profile on BoardNet and spend some time supporting a nonprofit.  I think this is necessary before you look to them to support you. Here is some more thought on the topic from a marketing perspective.If they answer yes, I tell them they are in a good position to consider a job in the sector and should apply to nonprofits for a job that matches with their past nonprofit experiences and professional ability.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Figure I might as well plug the graduate program where I’m a student. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota just released their first newsletter for graduates and current students. I love the Karla Williams soapbox section. The newsletter is not online, so the quote will have to suffice.
Most organizations openly acknowledge their boards are not functioning in the way they believe they should…. We are long overdue for a major overhaul of the role/responsibility of the board (I am not speaking legal governance here, nor am I implying another boilerplate system of board building)…. Can we be bolder on this topic? – Karla Williams

Globalization of Philanthropy

This is important to note. A mistrial was declared in the case against an Islamic charity. There is a growing move toward the globalization of philanthropy. Not pure philanthropy mind you from micro loans to B corporations to social entrepreneurship to global cause marketing campaigns, the for-profit sector is stealing our thunder and replacing it with their version of philanthropy.

This is driven, in part, by a Millennial generation that wants to be “invested” in the world. I see this trend as an attack on the core ideals of philanthropy. It’s time to take leadership and make sure these efforts to globalize philanthropy are truly philanthropy and not just revised business models that integrate a hybrid of social interest and cute marketing to further the interest of shareholders.

Our first priority should be our beneficiaries, not our shareholders.