How To Get a Nonprofit Job, with Allison Jones

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:   

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard your host, and publisher of Mac’s List. Our show is brought to you by Mac’s List and our book, “Land Your Dream Job in Portland (and Beyond).” To learn more about the book and the updated edition that we’re publishing in February, visit macslist.org/ebook. One of the most common questions we’re asked at Mac’s List is this, “How do I get a nonprofit job?” It’s a big question, and we hear it from all kinds of people. Recent college graduates, corporate employees who want to switch careers, or government workers who want to continue to serve the public. Like the question the nonprofit sector is big, almost 11 million Americans work for nonprofits in all kinds of jobs, from running soup kitchens to serving Girl Scouts. We don’t have all the answers for you today, but we can help you get started.

Joining me as our expert guest this week is Allison Jones. She’s the Marketing and Publications Director at NTEN. That stands for Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network. We also have the Mac’s List team Ben Forstag our Managing Director and Cecilia Bianco, our Community Manager, and they have resources and answers to questions about the nonprofit sector. Let’s get started and begin by checking with the Mac’s List team. Cecilia, Ben, how are you two this week?

Ben Forstag: 

I’m doing awesome.

Cecilia Bianco:

Doing really good Mac.

Mac Prichard:   

Good. Well let’s talk about nonprofits jobs. Now tell me, have either one of you worked in the nonprofit sector?

Ben Forstag:  

I spent 15 years in the nonprofit sector, in Pennsylvania, in Spain, in DC and most recently here in Portland.

Mac Prichard:

Okay, and do you have one big lesson from that experience you want to share with our listeners about your time in the nonprofit world?

Ben Forstag:   

I think the big thing that I share with people is that a lot of times there’s a stereotype that nonprofit careers, you can’t do well in them. That you have to be the starving artist of sorts, but I think nonprofits are becoming increasingly professionalized, and you can have a career in which you do well for yourself and do good for the public as well. It’s a really rewarding career.

Mac Prichard:   

How about you Cecilia?

Cecilia Bianco: 

I haven’t worked for a nonprofit previously, but through my work at Mac’s List I’ve met a lot of people who are in that sector, so I’m pretty familiar with that, and I would agree with Ben, that that’s a big misconception that’s starting to change.

Mac Prichard:   

I’ve worked for one nonprofit directly and like you Cecilia worked with a lot of different nonprofits as a vendor and partner, and I have seen a professionalization of the sector throughout my career and it’s a good sign to see. Let’s turn to Ben, who every week is out there exploring the internet looking for resources you can use, whether it’s a blog, a podcast, or other tool. Ben what do you have for us this week?

Ben Forstag:  

So because we’re talking about nonprofits this week, I wanted to spend a little time talking about the website Charity Navigator, and how it can be a resource for people who are looking for jobs in the nonprofit sector.

Charity Navigator as I’m sure you know is mostly known for its scoring system for charities, foundations and other registered nonprofits. Each year they review the public filings for thousands of local, regional, and national nonprofits, and they award stars based on each organization’s financial viability, transparency, program spending, and other factors. These stars have become quite a big thing in the nonprofit community, as a star rating can have a major impact on potential donors. I know in my own experience, one organization I was in went from three stars to two stars. It raised a lot of questions from our donors about what’s going on.

Mac Prichard:   

It’s a tool that Charity Navigator often comes up in the media when it releases its information about the percentage of a budget a nonprofit spends on fundraising, and there are organizations out there that spend far too much on development and not enough on services, and that’s one of the facts that Charity Navigator tracks.

Ben Forstag:     

I should say that Charity Navigator is not without its challenges. There’s some serious questions out there in the media and in the nonprofit community about how exactly they give these ratings out, but for today’s purposes this is the big site that people go to for evaluating nonprofits, so we’re going to use that as the source. While Charity Navigator’s primarily a tool for donors, it can also be very useful for job hunters. You might recall that several weeks ago we talked about the website Glassdoor.com, a website with salary, hiring, and internal culture information about different employers. At the time I mentioned that Glassdoor didn’t have a lot of information about nonprofit organizations, particularly smaller nonprofits.

Cecilia Bianco: 

Yeah that’s definitely true.

Ben Forstag:     

Yeah and that’s a function of a lot of nonprofits tend to be smaller to they have fewer employees and ex employees to fill out Glassdoor evaluations. Well Charity Navigator does have a lot of this information that Glassdoor’s missing, giving potential job seekers a great sneak peek into how those organizations operate. They do this by pulling information from each organization’s 990 Form, which is a public financial document that nonprofits are required to file each year by the IRS. On Charity Navigator you can find out fairly detailed information on the nonprofit’s financial and management history, which is really important when you’re looking for a stable workplace. You can also see roughly how much money you spent on programming versus administrative or fundraising expenses as Mac pointed out, and what programs received the most support within the organization.

Cecilia Bianco: 

Ben, can’t you get a lot of that information just from the nonprofit’s website?

Ben Forstag:   

Good question Cecilia. Sometimes you can. While it’s generally a best practice to include this kind of information on an annual report on the company website, not all organizations do this. You know, everyone’s trying to put their best foot forward when it comes to their website and their public presence. In general I think the information on Charity Navigator tends to be a bit more impartial and data-driven, omitting a lot of that marketing jargon and cheerleading that you might find on those organization’s own website.

You can also get a sense of what the salaries are within a given nonprofit. If you go to the full 990 Form, which is available on Charity Navigator, you can see the organization’s annual budget and the salary of top leadership. It’s not going to tell you everyone’s salary, so don’t go looking for what the secretary’s making, but from this information you can infer a general salary range for other positions in the organization. For example if the Executive Director is only making $45,000 a year, it’s probably unlikely that a Program Director is going to be making the same amount.

This kind of benchmarking I found really valuable when I was looking for nonprofit jobs. I had a real firm minimum salary requirement, and many times the nonprofits I was interested didn’t list their salaries on their job postings, and a quick check on Charity Navigator told me if it was worthwhile applying for a particular position in that organization.

If you’re looking for nonprofit jobs I’d really encourage you to spend some times exploring the opportunities available on Charitynavigator.com, and I’ll have the link in the show notes.

Mac Prichard:  

Great, well thank you Ben. If you have a suggestion for Ben, write him directly and we may share your idea on the show. Ben’s address is Ben@macslist.org. Now it’s time to turn to you, our listeners. Cecilia Bianco our Community Manager is here to answer one of your questions. Cecilia what do you hear from our community this week?

Cecilia Bianco: 

Our question this week is, “How important is volunteer experience when applying for nonprofit jobs?”

We get this question a lot because volunteering, a lot of people don’t necessarily want to do it, but it can be really worthwhile. From the people I’ve talked to, I think volunteer experience can be a bit of a leg up when you’re applying for a nonprofit job. When there’s a large pool of applicants who are all saying that an organization’s cause is their passion. Showing that you’ve donated your free time towards this cause is definitely going to help you stand out, but the importance of volunteering also depends on what type of work experience you already have. You might have already worked in that nonprofit’s area, so volunteering isn’t as important because you’re already showing that you’re passionate enough to pursue a career in it.

What do you two think, do you think volunteering is necessary?

Ben Forstag:   

I don’t think it’s necessary but I think it’s a good idea. I think this is a form of networking that doesn’t get employed enough. When you volunteer for an organization you shouldn’t do it to get a job, but it certainly gets your name out there and you get to meet other staff members and other people in the community, and in doing so I think you improve your brand and your standing within that community and within that organization, so that if or when a job opening does become available you’re a known commodity and someone that they know and trust with that position.

Mac Prichard: 

It’s also a way of covering gaps in your resume. You can volunteer for a position at an organization that you want to have experience with to make those contacts, and obviously you do it in order to be of service, but while you look for work having even a part-time position, volunteer position within an organization, gives you a credential you can use to plug those gaps because sometimes, particularly for people mid-career, job searches can take three, six or even nine months.

Cecilia Bianco: 

Yeah definitely. I think if you’re unemployed and looking for a nonprofit job, volunteering is a win-win because you’re adding to your resume and showing how much you want your work to support a certain cause, and as Ben said it’s a great way to meet people who might be able to advocate for you when you go to apply at a certain organization. They might know someone who knows someone who works for your dream nonprofit and it can be really beneficial to volunteer because of this. I know I’ve heard plenty of stories of this happening in our nonprofit community, so it’s definitely a win-win.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Well thank you Cecilia. If you have a question for Cecilia please email her. Her address is Cecilia@macslist.org.

The segments by Ben and Cecilia are sponsored by the 2016 edition of “Land Your Dream Job in Portland (and Beyond).” We’re making the complete Mac’s List Guide even better by adding new content and making the book available on multiple e-reader platforms. When we launched the revised version in February 2016, you’ll be able to access “Land Your Dream Job in Portland (and Beyond)” on your Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other digital devices. You’ll also be able for the first time to order a paperback edition. Whatever the format our goal is the same. To give you the tools and tips you need to get meaningful work. For more information visit Macslist.org/ebook and sign up for our ebook newsletter. We’ll send you publication updates, share exclusive book content, and provide you with special pre-sale prices.

Now let’s turn to our guest expert Allison Jones. Allison is passionate about making the world a better place. As a proud nonprofit geek she has built her career in the sector, helping organizations leverage communications to fulfill their missions. Currently Allison is the Marketing and Publications Director at NTEN, and that stands for the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network. Before that she worked at Idealist.org where she launched and managed Idealist Careers, a publication for purpose-driven professionals. Allison thank you for joining us.

Allison Jones: 

Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited about this conversation.

Mac Prichard:  

I know our listeners are too. We talked earlier about this in the show. We get this question a lot at Mac’s List, how can I get a nonprofit job. With our listeners thinking about that, what do you encourage them to consider when they look at a career in nonprofits?

Allison Jones:  

Sure. My first gut reaction is to say well be more specific, right, because I think a lot of folks when they decide that they want a nonprofit job they usually coming from a place of … Maybe they have a personal moment, that made them want to enter the social sector so maybe they noticed something in their community, they have something happen in their personal lives, maybe just like, “I want my work to be different,” or perhaps they met someone who seemed to have a really awesome career in a nonprofit and it made them think differently about what their own career could be, which are all great starting points, but I think the nonprofit sector is so big that to say that you want a nonprofit job doesn’t actually get you very far in terms of finding a job that you want. The first thing I would say is to be a bit more specific.

Mac Prichard:  

That’s a great point. What steps have you seen people take to get specific? How do people narrow down on a particular goal?

Allison Jones:   

There are a couple things you can do there. If you’re completely new to the sector and you’re not quite sure where to start, I actually encourage folks to just look through job descriptions. Get a sense of what’s out there by seeing what’s out there, and that might sound a little tedious but there’s an activity from NYU Wagner where they encourage you to do exactly that, to collect at least 50 job descriptions and then analyze them for patterns. You’re drawn to this organization because of it’s cause, so you notice that you really like organizations that focus on poverty or the environment or what have you. You’re drawn to this job because of the work itself, so perhaps you notice that you really enjoy writing and a lot of the jobs that you point out are jobs that require writing, or even you’re drawn to a job because of where it’s located. You’re passionate about certain areas. Looking for patterns in the things that you’re drawn to. If you feel as if you’re just completely coming at it with fresh eyes for a new career, I think that’s one way to start.

Another way to start is to actually talk to people who seem like they have interesting careers in the nonprofit sector in the form of informational interviews. I give a lot of informational interviews and I’ve gone on a lot of informational interviews, and they’ve been really, really helpful for me and my career.

Mac Prichard: 

We’re big fans of informational interviews here at Mac’s List, and I want to return to your point too about job postings. There are a lot of job boards out there aimed at nonprofit careers. Do you have any favorites that you want to give shout-outs to?

Allison Jones:   

I used to work at Idealist.org.

Mac Prichard:   

One of our favorites.

Allison Jones:   

I was there for three and a half years and even before I started working there that’s what I used to find opportunities so definitely Idealist being one of my top favorites.

Mac Prichard:   

Great, and it pains me to say this Allison but I know there are people out there who haven’t heard of Mac’s List or Idealist.org. Could you tell people about Idealist and why it’s such a great place, because we’re big fans of it.

Allison Jones: 

Sure. Idealist.org is a global nonprofit that connects people to resources and opportunities in the community they need to take action on causes they care about, so what this means is we’re really not well known for our job board, and I haven’t checked the stats lately because I don’t work there anymore but when I left there were well over 12,000 nonprofit jobs. Actually not just nonprofit jobs but 12,000 jobs in nonprofit social enterprises and government agencies, listed around the world, and there are also thousands of volunteer opportunities, thousands of internships, and if you’re curious just about organizations, if you just want to know what kind of organizations are out there doing work in causes that you care about, I think there were over 100,000 organizations using the sites so you could look up profiles of organizations just to get a sense of who’s doing what, so it’s a really great place to just go and start looking for ways to get involved.

Mac Prichard:

Great, and to your earlier point it’s a great place to find those job postings and begin to identify those posts, look for those patterns. Any other sites you want to give a shout-out to before we get back to informational interviews?

Allison Jones:  

Other then Idealist, this may sound really strange but I’ve heard good things about finding opportunities on Craigslist. It’s another way, particularly for smaller cities I think that tends to be a go-to for a lot of people posting opportunities.

Mac Prichard: 

Good. One other suggestion that comes to my mind is I know every state has a nonprofit association. Sometimes they have different names. Many of them do operate job boards.

Allison Jones:   

Yes. Also add to that NTEN also has a job board. Particularly if you’re interested in opportunities in tech. I think one other way is to look for organizations that have a very specific focus, either in a cause or a profession, so if you’re interested in social work looking at social work associations, if you’re interested in technology looking at NTEN, that kind of thing. Organizations that act as associations or gatherings for folks in specific places. They tend to also list opportunities as well.

Mac Prichard:  

Okay good, so people have taken the time, they’ve looked at job postings, they’ve identified positions, they’ve discovered those patterns that you’ve described, now they’re ready to go do informational interviews. What are your top three informational interview tips for people who either want a career in the nonprofit sector or want to make a mid career switch into the nonprofit world?

Allison Jones:  

I think the first is to just prepare. Thinking of what you want to get out of the interview and craft some really great questions. For example, my favorite question is, “What do you wish someone had told you before you got into this field? Where were you before you got to this organization and this position?” Finding out about people’s career paths I think is a great way to let you know the different ways that people arrived in their work, and that can give you insights in terms of the kind of skills that you need to brush up on. If you’re having these informational interviews and everyone’s telling you for example, “Yeah if you want this role grad school is really important,” then you know that perhaps grad school is a step that you might want to take. For me I think these informational interviews are also very surprising in the sense that in quite a few fields people have various pathways they take, and I think that that’s something that makes the nonprofit sector somewhat unique in the sense that there’s no … If you want to work in a nonprofit sector this is the specific path that you must take.

Of course that varies depending upon certain roles, but I think you’ll in informational interviews and the kinds of roles that you’re looking for you can really get a sense of the different pathways to finding a great career and getting insight as far as what people in your chosen profession have to do, what certain kinds of organizations are looking for, and their candidates. Preparing for informational interviews to get a sense of pathways and honestly what it takes to excel in a certain role is a really great way to make a use of them.

Mac Prichard:   

One question I hear from listeners when I encourage them to do informational interviews is they say to me, “How do I know that was a successful meeting? What should I expect to get out of that conversation?” What do you tell people when they ask you that question Allison?

Allison Jones: 

I think you get what you put into it, but I think for me, when I’ve gone on informational interviews, I tend to go in with a very specific need, and specific questions, and I feel successful at the end if I’m able to take another step towards what I came to the informational interviews for. For example, you never go into a informational interview asking for a job. That’s just sort of … You can ask about people’s paths, what it takes to build a career in this field, what hiring managers might look for, but it’s generally known that you don’t ask for a job right then and there. What I found in my experiences of going on informational interviews is I felt comfortable … I usually end up with clarity or a way to take action on something in my career. That has looked like, “Oh I thought I wanted to work at this kind of organization but I actually don’t anymore,” or, “I thought that I wanted to go to grad school but I don’t anymore,” or, “I’ve just learned there are plenty of opportunities in this particular field that I didn’t consider before and I want to add that to my search list.” It gives me clarity and I think that a successful informational interview gives you clarity and makes it easier for you to take another step toward where you want to be.

Mac Prichard:   

I think you’re making an important point because often people tell me they want to stay open to all options and one of the benefits I see from informational interviews is it provides that clarity, that direction, and gives you insights into what doors you should continue to knock on and those that maybe that you want to keep closed.

Allison Jones:   

Exactly.

Mac Prichard: 

I bet you get this question a lot about profit jobs, I hear it to. What about salaries? What expectations should people have if they want a career in the nonprofit world, or they’re thinking about moving into that sector?

Allison Jones:  

I think a couple things. One is to know … How do I say this. I think at first it starts with you being clear about what your non-negotiables are, right. If there’s a limit, if there’s a minimum that you must have in order to take care of yourself it’s okay to turn down jobs if they don’t reach that minimum or they don’t meet that minimum. The reason why I bring that up first is because I’ve found that people tend to be a bit more, you know if they’re committed to a cause and want to make a difference they tend to overestimate their ability to deal with a certain salary, and they end up getting very frustrated, especially when you’re working on something that doesn’t necessarily have an end in sight. If you’re working on eradicating poverty you may have milestones and goals over time, but obviously you’re not going to see the end of poverty at anytime over the course of working at an organization. Being clear about what you need in terms of salary and in terms of other benefits is very important.

I also encourage folks to think, and I just mentioned this, to think in terms of total compensation. If the salary issue comes up and its not what you’d like it to be, it meets what you need but not what you want perhaps, in my experience I’ve found folks are very open to different kinds of benefits and to just having that conversation. All that being said I actually believe that you can have a great salary in the nonprofit sector, you just have to look and you have to ask, and that can be really tough. You can do research. There are some websites like Salary.com. You can look at an organization’s 990s and 990s I think only tell you folks who are making over $100,000 at the organization if I’m not mistaken, but that can still give you a sense of, if you are going for an executive position or if you want to get a sense of the top salaries that does give you a good picture of what that looks like. There are ways to get a sense of what salary options are in terms of your research but definitely going in with a sense of what you need is very important.

Mac Prichard:   

Yeah. What are some of those other benefits besides salary that you can get from the nonprofit world or that you should ask for? Again, I think people are reluctant to ask for things and when they’re in a negotiation for a position that’s when they have that opportunity and I think they’re either reluctant to step up and ask or they don’t know what to request. What sorts of things can people ask for in addition to money?

Allison Jones: 

Vacation days. And sick days, I’ve definitely seen that. Any other … Help with transportation, so if folks depending on where you live, covering gas or your public transportation cost is another thing. Professional development support and resources. What funding is on the table for you to go to conferences and get the PD that you need to excel in your work. There are a bunch of different things and you can definitely do some research on that, but just again the point is to be very clear about what’s most important to you.

Mac Prichard: 

Okay. People come to nonprofit work often because they have a calling or they want to make a difference. They feel a sense of purpose, but the job search basics still matter don’t they?

Allison Jones: 

Absolutely, absolutely.

Mac Prichard: 

What are the ABCs that you can’t ignore, whether you’re looking for nonprofit work or any kind of job?

Allison Jones: 

I think first of all following directions is really important and it’s funny, when I worked at Idealist, I was able to talk to quite a few hiring managers and I hired some folks from my team as well, and it’s surprising how many folks don’t follow directions, whether it be, “Answer these three questions in your cover letter,” and people just aren’t doing it. Stuff like that. Not following directions is not just a matter of the hiring manager’s trying to test you, but also it’s more of a matter of this actually helps us read applications and select candidates easier and faster if you follow directions. Making sure you do what’s being asked of you. Tailoring the cover letter and the resume to the job itself and that in and of itself can be a bit of a conversation but what that really means is you’re looking at the job description, what are they looking for the candidate to do, what kind of candidate are they looking for, not just in terms of qualifications but also in terms of attributes and characteristics. Are they saying they need someone who can thrive in a fast-paced environment, or are they saying that they need someone who’s collaborative? Being able to indicate not only your successes as they pertain to the needs of the job but also your ability to fit in in terms of the attributes and characteristics that a person will need to do in that work.

Focusing on your accomplishments. This is something that I’ve seen in a lot of resumes where it’s just like, “I worked at X place and I did X things,” versus, “I worked at X place and did X things which resulted in increasing revenue, decreasing turn-over,” whatever have you, but making sure it attaches to some key accomplishments. Being clear about why you want to work there should be in your cover letter. For organizations that are mission-driven, who their entire purpose is to have an impact I think being clear about why you want to work in that cause, why with that organization, and not just because it seems like a cool place to be but really something specific is important. Finally just proofreading. Error free, easy to read, decent margins, those are also really important things.

Mac Prichard:  

We’re coming to the end of our interview, but there is one question I want to raise that we get a lot. It’s from people who have been in the private sector for five, ten, fifteen years and they want to make the transition into the nonprofit world. They tell us they struggle, they’re not sure how to describe what they’ve done and make it appealing to nonprofit managers and hiring managers. How have you seen people address that Allison?

Allison Jones:  

In a few ways, and first I actually want to … There’s someone in particular who I just thought of, Heather Krasna. She’s a dean at Columbia University School of Public Health. She is brilliant at this sort of thing, really working with sector-switchers so I definitely recommend her as a resource.

Mac Prichard:  

Let’s get a URL from you and we’ll put her in the show notes.

Allison Jones:

As far as just making the sector switch, first I think networking is really important. I think having people who can give you an inside look as to what’s required to work in a nonprofit because I think in some ways there is some suspicion of private sector folks. Are you coming here because you want a break? Are you coming here because you think it will be easier? There’s some suspicion I think from nonprofit folks. Not all the time and not in every case, but just the wondering of … You need to be able to answer that question of why. Why are you making this switch and being very honest about that. I think making language tweaks in your resume, cover letter, so instead of saying things like, “client or customer,” you might want to say, “community or constituent,” or something like that where it makes the most sense to do so.

The transferable skills are important as well, so things like if the job you’re going for requires you to be a great public speaker, that’s something that you can call out in your resume and cover letter as things you’ve done in different contexts so it’s a skill that you don’t necessarily need to have developed in the nonprofit sector. You could have developed it anywhere. But you want to make sure you pull that out or call that out rather in your materials as something you have done in different contexts and they’ve still resulted in great things. Finally getting nonprofit experience where you can. Obviously finding a full time job is awesome and ideal, but if you’ve been on a board, if you’ve volunteered, if you’ve offered your consulting services pro bono, those are all experiences that are valuable because they indicate that you’ve done some work before trying to apply for a job, that you have some experience with a nonprofit sector and that you’re not just coming at it blind.

Mac Prichard:

Great. Well I think that’s the perfect place to stop. Thank you Allison so much for joining us.

Allison Jones:  

Oh no problem. Thanks for having me.

Mac Prichard:   

Yeah. You can find Allison on Twitter. Her Twitter handle is @ajlovesya, and she also has a LinkedIn profile. We’ll include links to both her Twitter account and her LinkedIn page in the show notes. Thank you Allison Jones.

Allison Jones: 

Thank you.

Mac Prichard:

Okay we’re back with the Mac’s List team. Cecilia, Ben, what are some of the key takeaways from our conversation with Allison?

Cecilia Bianco: 

What I took away was that no matter where you’re at informational interviews in the nonprofit world are the best way to get connected, and I think she made a lot of good points about how to go about that and why it’s so important, because we know from talking to the Mac’s List community a lot of people are getting jobs through meeting people in the community and the easiest way to do that is through informational interviews.

Mac Prichard:   

Good. Ben how about you?

Ben Forstag:   

I liked her point about how important it is to follow instructions in a job posting. It reminded me of a job I used to work at where as part of the hiring process they would put in slightly anachronistic rules into that job posting and one of the ways they weeded out if the applicant was detail oriented, was, did they follow the rule. Things like, “Put this as the subject line in the email when you email in your resume and application.” They wouldn’t even open up an email unless it had the right subject line in it. I think it’s important to really read through the application, make sure you’re following all the instructions they give, because there is a reason behind those instructions and oftentimes it’s just to winnow out the numbers of applicants.

Mac Prichard: 

Yeah, I thought she had good practical suggestions both on informational interviews and the application process that would apply not only to the nonprofit world but the private sector as well.

Ben Forstag:      

Yeah, definitely.

Mac Prichard:  

Yeah, so good stuff. Well thank you both, and thank you our listeners. We’ll be back next week with more tools and tips you can use to find your dream job. In the meantime you can visit us at Macslist.org where you can sign up for our free newsletter with more then 100 new jobs every week, and if you like what you hear on the show please help us by leaving a review and a rating at iTunes. This helps others discover the show and helps us help more job seekers. Thank you for listening.

How do you find and land nonprofit jobs? This is a big question that we hear from all kinds of job seekers: recent college graduates, corporate employees who want to switch careers, and government workers who want to continue to serve the public.

Like the question, the nonprofit sector is big. Almost 11 million Americans work for nonprofits in all kinds of jobs, from running soup kitchens and serving Girl Scouts, to managing organizations with billion dollar budgets.

Starting and maintaining a nonprofit career can be challenge. There’s a lot of competition for social good gigs, and professionals in the private sector may perceive cultural barriers to entry into the nonprofit space. Plus, there’s the question of how to making a living while working for a nonprofit.

This week’s guest is nonprofit jobs expert, Allison Jones. Allison previously worked at Idealist.org and as a career-focused journalist.  She discusses the different pathways to entering the nonprofit sector and her tips for building a rewarding social good career.

This Week’s Guest

Allison is passionate about making the world a better place. As a proud nonprofit geek she has built her career in the sector, helping organizations leverage communications to fulfill their missions. Currently Allison is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Code2040. that is work  Earlier in her career, she worked the NTEN – The Nonprofit Technology Network and at Idealist.org where she launched and managed Idealist Careers, a publication for purpose-driven professionals.

Resources from this Episode