Looking for a nonprofit job? 4 tips hiring managers want you to know

Idealist Voices from the Sector

Idealist Voices from the Sector

For the third straight year, we reached out to the nonprofit organizations in the Idealist community and asked them about their funding situations, recruitment plans, and compensation projections. You can see the entire report here, which also includes data breakdowns of organizations in different cities and fields. In the meantime, here are tips nonprofit job seekers should keep in mind, straight from hiring managers in the report.

  • Follow the directions. Within the recruitment cycle, organizations overwhelmingly report that the attracting the right pool of candidates and getting them to follow instructions is the toughest challenge of the process. We know from last year’s survey that for many hiring managers, they hold multiple roles in their organizations so their time is a bit limited. Following directions makes it easier for them to review your cover letter and resume.
  • Think beyond salary. We know that working in the nonprofit sector might not yield a bounty or anything close to a $400,000 salary. Nonprofits are aware of this as well and try to compensate by offering insurance, flextime, and other benefits. In fact, 40% think flextime is one of their most attractive benefits. So keep these things in mind when looking for your next opportunity.
  • Consider fundraising. It’s tough to write about this one because we know that half of fundraisers want to leave the field. This is a demanding role and we totally understand how hard it can be retain talent in this profession. However, fundraising professionals continue to be some of the most sought after candidates as well as the most challenging positions to fill. Increase your chances of landing a gig in the sector by seeking opportunities where you can build these skills.
  • Experience still matters. 76% of respondents said nonprofit experience (working, volunteering, or interning) is important. So, if you are looking to switch from the for-profit sector, spend some time volunteering to gain nonprofit experience. Also, when applying be sure to explain in your cover letter why you are making the switch and how your skills will benefit the organization.

Questions? Want more interesting stats? Check out the report.

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Former Editor and Creator of Idealist Careers, a publication of Idealist.org. Follow me on Twitter @ajlovesya.
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  1. Looking for a nonprofit job? 4 tips hiring managers want you to know | Idealist Careers

    • Ike Esther
    • May 3, 2013

    I will need to read more to know more. Incorporated an NGO with view of assisting the widows and indigents in the society . So many teething problems but we’re learning daily . Idealist will really be of tremendous help

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    • Sharad Pant
    • February 8, 2014

    In India, the non-profit sector is now struggling lot for the fundraising. Most of the projects are directly taken up by Govt. Dept. and at the end which showing no results because of bureaucratic way of working without social touch and lack of community participation.

    But still there is lot to do for development in India specially some poor States like Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Rajasthan etc. There is need to work on root cause of problem in place of just undertaking time being solution on problem.
    As I worked in African countries there is dare need of development, steady Government, authoritative Governance system, rules and regulations.

    The sky is open just we have to choose where we want to strike to bring a change. Thanks for initiate of the Idealist and guidance.

    Sharad Pant

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