Love Tech and Social Impact? Make it Your Career, No Coding Required

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If you’re a tech-savvy nonprofit pro with an interest in working in socially-driven tech—minus the coding—it’s a great time to combine these professional passions. There are plenty of career opportunities at social-impact organizations with a focus on tech that don’t require coding skills.

While these organizations are built around, use, or deliver technology, they also need superstars in other areas to make their missions work. And this is where you come in.

Here are a few non-programming roles you’ll likely find at your favorite tech-centric nonprofit.

Help recruit the best and the brightest

If you are passionate about closing the employment gap in the technology space, Per Scholas and NPower are just two examples of the many organizations working to recruit and admit students seeking technical training and education. Both organizations provide free technical and digital learning and career pathways to underserved communities. And they both have several offices around the country, so you may even find a chapter in or near your own city.

If you enjoy meeting and getting to know new people, have a knack for developing and executing recruiting plans, and feel passionate about the power of technology as a pathway out of poverty, working for one of these organizations may be a great fit.

And don’t forget about Idealist! As a tech-centric nonprofit, we’re often on the lookout for new members to join our team of social-impact, tech-focused professionals!

Be a storyteller as a community or marketing manager

While recruiters take care of assessing prospective candidates, social media and marketing managers do the equally important work of outreach and marketing to make sure that interested folks have a chance to learn about these opportunities in the first place.

Not sure that you have the experience you need to land this kind of job? Use this social media manager career-planning guide to help you find your next role as a pivotal part of outreach and marketing at an organization like:

  • MRelief, a text-message based system that allows people to determine whether or not they are eligible for public assistance, or
  • CODE2040, a tech nonprofit whose goal is to diversify the tech field with Black and Latinx leaders by the year 2040.

If you have a passion for storytelling, marketing, developing a social-media presence, and using technology on a daily basis, a digital marketing or social media role could be a perfect entry point into a tech nonprofit.

Pro Tip: Get a jumpstart on understanding the intricacies of marketing for nonprofits by utilizing resources like NTEN and by keeping your finger on the pulse of all things social via Social Media Week.

Use your attention to detail as an analyst

Another way to parlay your passion for tech into a non-coding role is to apply a more specialized skill set like data analysis, finance, or law.

  • Data analysis: Use skills in data analysis or visualization with an organization like ShareProgress, which helps nonprofits harness tech and use data in new and more effective ways. If you don’t have experience in data analysis, try a few of these methods for beefing up your resume to land a data analyst position.
  • Finance or business analysis: If finance or business is your forte, meet TechSoup, a global organization that helps connect nonprofits and charities around the world with the technical expertise they need. They’re in need of analytical and technically-oriented employees who are passionate about using technology for social change.
  • Law and policy expertise: If your interest sits at the intersection where law and policy meet technology, The Center for Democracy & Technology may be your ideal employer. Combine a proficiency in law and policy with a passion for ensuring that people around the world have access to technology for free expression and without worrying about their security or privacy.

While these positions are all quite different, they do share a need for analytical skills, attention to detail, research and writing abilities, and critical thinking. If you possess these sought-after strengths and you’re ready to use them at a tech-centric organization, browse this list of nonprofit startups and get started on your target employer list.

And, of course, we encourage you to visit Idealist.org to find tech-focused nonprofits hiring near you!

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Have you applied a non-coding skill set in the nonprofit technology space? Share your story in the comments below.

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Yoona Wagener is a freelance writer and WordPress developer who believes in the value of nonlinear career paths. She has experience in academic publishing, teaching English abroad, serving up customer support to software end users, writing online help documentation, and mission-driven nonprofit marketing and communications.
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Comments

    • Arif
    • April 18, 2018
    Reply

    Code 2040 is a cool one. Thanks for the article & list.

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