Considering the recent news headlines and the fact that I live and work in Charlotte, North Carolina it should probably come as no surprise that I have been getting more and more calls from people in the banking industry. They are calling to ask for advice on how to make the transition to the nonprofit sector.
Sadly, they have limited knowledge about nonprofits. “I’m sorry, but your 7 years in marketing does not equal 7 years in nonprofit fundraising.” That isn’t what I’m telling them, but it is what I’m thinking. Unfortunately sales and marketing experience do not translate directly to fundraising, but that isn’t to say there is no correlation. That is the general theme from this older post from onPhilanthropy.com entitled Dot Com to Dot Org: What to Expect When Employees Make the Transition to the Non-Profit Sector.
I am always open to newcomers to the profession of philanthropic facilitation, but I don’t know if the nonprofit sector would benifit by aquiring “leadership” from the banking industry. Am I alone in that opinion?
The best advice I can offer for friends in a career transition? Volunteer. This can take many shapes, but is bound to add richness to their life, and relevant experience that can help mitigate the difficulty in translating a job history in the for-profit sector into a viable career future in the nonprofit sector.