Tag: careers

Helpful ideas for a nonprofit job search

As a nonprofit fundraising consultant, I’ve been fortunate to meet many nonprofit fundraising professionals who are in the midst of a job search.

Each of them have personal reasons for wanting to leave their current position, and there are many common denominators linked to their nonprofits. That’s for another post!

At Altrui, we have had clients ask us to support their efforts in finding a new member of their fundraising team. After being a part of many searches, there are ideas I’ve come up with that will help with your current job search.

First, there are always actions you can take before you begin your search. First is to completely rock at your current position. Nonprofit fundraisers who excel with their work, are trusted leaders, and make people feel positive create reputations that make a job search so much easier.

Another action you can take now is to strengthen your professional social media presence. For me this is LinkedIn and Twitter.

Also, unless you are in an awful situation at your current job (awful can mean all sorts of things), it’s typically best to search for a new job while currently employed.

Here are some ideas to assist you in your job search.

Resumes are still important. Typos still reflect badly on candidates. Also, long resumes become boring. Use your resume to highlight experiences that are helpful with the position you’re applying for. Keep it simple, clear, and direct. A resume should not create questions.

Bring in your personal and professional circles. Let everyone close to you know that you are in a job search and let them know what your perfect new position looks like.

Have three professional references ready. Don’t send them until requested.

Be fully prepared for an interview. I can’t express the importance of this enough. Know the nonprofit you’re applying with. Know their mission and their 990. Speak to the experiences required in the job description and your success in those areas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are offered that opportunity. This is especially important if concerns come up during the interview.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to apply for a position that doesn’t exactly fit on paper. Passion with purpose and expereince go a long way. I have excitedly suggested a couple of candidates that were then offered the job even though on paper it did not seem like a perfect match.

Thank you for reading! I wish you the best of luck!

The great resignation

I read about this every day. Whether this is affecting you and your organization or not, it gives us a chance to talk about fundraising staffing and making sure your organization can be seamless in fundraising and relationship building during team transition. Any steps taken now to ensure a great process will certainly pay off.

I’ve seen many development teams go through transition and have some thoughts, that if acted upon, could make the whole process a lot smoother for you, your supporters, your team, and your mission.

Keep in mind that this post is not about how to keep an employee. This is about when that ship has sailed.

There’s a lot written about hiring right. We of course want to do that, and I’ve seen many organizations do it. And then the brand new person is not what had been imagined, or there is just not a fit. This means a few months (or less) after the hire, everyone is back to the drawing board after having spent time and money on a placement that did not work.

I’ve been there. I highly recommended a candidate. I did everything right, so I thought. There can always be a situation where one does everything right and the outcome is still negative, however what I have learned from my own personal experience is that there were things I could have done better, and different.

If I want a major gifts officer, I need to spend a lot of time talking about that in the interviews. Talking about their personal experiences, how they feel about this kind of work, and setbacks and successes they have had. I talk about expectations, not only mine but theirs. If during the conversation something tweaks me, I need to pay attention to that and talk about it.

Experience also tells me to keep job descriptions up to date. Many nonprofits are still using job descriptions from way back when, with very little in common with what the position actually looks like today. While we’re on job descriptions, three pages of what they need to do is too much. Shorten it.

Benefits matter. For people like me, a fair salary is important, and time off, real vacation time, is equally important. Why on earth would I apply for a job that offers one week of paid vacation after one year of work. No thank you. Four weeks of paid time off, with accrual beginning on day one, is a good place to start. Time off is important for many reasons and acknowledging that at the start sends a great message.

While in the process of hiring, keep in mind that the fundraising and relationship building cannot cease. Ensure donors are being thanked, communications with everyone around fundraising are continuing, and any appeals that were being planned are happening. It’s not uncommon that all of this doesn’t happen while a new person is sought, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Take your time. I know, you need someone now. Rushing this process doesn’t help.

Follow through with all candidates. I know, this can be time consuming. Even if right now you’re saying out loud “you have no idea!”, try it. No one else is doing it and you never know if a future position may be the perfect fit for someone who applied for this one.

Lastly (for now, this may become a series of posts!), be working in a fundraising plan. I see many job requirements that list creating a fundraising plan. One needs to be in place already. Relying on a brand new person to do this doesn’t make sense.

More to come. Thank you for reading!

Notes from our Nonprofit Jobs Summit

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Here is a list of notes and links from our summit last week on Clubhouse. There were many in the room new to Clubhouse, and that was wonderful. If you’re not on Clubhouse yet and would like an invite, connect with Alex or I and we’ll send you one upon availability.

First, an audio link: https://anchor.fm/fundraising/episodes/Clubhouse-Episode–Nonprofit-Jobs-Summit-with-Dan-Hanley-and-Alex-Simon-e12k1bt

Connect with our presenters:

Heather Campbell https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-campbell-0880765a/

Erika Pinheiro is on Twitter at @eeerox. Vu Lee is also on Twitter at @nonprofitaf.

Hash tags mentioned: #fundraisingtwitter #ShowTheSalary #CrappyFundingPractices

If you are in the Los Angeles area and would like to subscribe to Dan’s List (not me!), a daily listing of nonprofit jobs, email Dan at dan@dans-list.org.

One of my favorite nonprofit job boards that I mentioned is the Colorado Nonprofit Association board: https://coloradononprofits.org/careers/nonprofit-jobs

Other job boards starting with Mac’s List which was brought up in the room:

Mac’s List (northwest US ): https://jobs.macslist.org/

Higher Ed Jobs: https://www.higheredjobs.com/

Inside Higher Ed Careers: https://careers.insidehighered.com/searchjobs/

Aspen Leadership Group: https://opportunities.aspenleadershipgroup.com/

Lindauer Group: https://www.lindauerglobal.com/

Annual Giving Network: https://agnresources.com/jobs/

On Twitter you can find Alex at @dalexsimon and myself at @fundraiserdan. We’re also both on LinkedIn!

Alex: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalexsimon/

Dan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danhanleyaltrui/

Open positions brought up in the room:

Al Otro Lado – Staff Attorney and Development Manager – https://alotrolado.org/employment-opportunities

Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice – Family Law Attorney – https://www.laclj.org/employment/

OkaySo – Techinical Lead – https://okayso.homerun.co/technical-lead/en

That’s it from our notes! Thank you again for joining us!

Nonprofit Jobs Summit

Updated June 3, 2021.

This post is to let you know of an idea that has become the upcoming Nonprofit Jobs Summit on Clubhouse (In the “The Nonprofit Club” club), hosted by myself and Alex Simon. We decided to do this because we know many in our nonprofit world have lost their jobs and we want to connect as many people with nonprofits as possible. It’s a small action and hopefully with just promoting the event and then having people attend and connect, we may be able to help those in search of employment. That would be awesome!

The summit will be June 10th at 11am PST/2pm EST. It will go an hour and a half or so and consist of a few presenters about nonprofit hiring and then will be open for people looking for a nonprofit position and nonprofits wanting to promote open positions. Each person and nonprofit will have a minute or two to share what they’re looking for.

The presenters are Vu Le with Nonprofit AF, Heather Campbell with Thinking Ahead Executive Search and Erika Pinheiro with Al Otro Lado. They’ll share about experiences in hiring and what nonprofits and candidates can do to strengthen their chances of being chosen. Then we’ll invite people “up to the stage” (Clubhouse speak) to take a minute to say what they are looking for as far as a position or what type of positions they have open. After the event we’ll share contact information via a blog post here.

Those looking for a nonprofit job: Please have your Clubhouse profile updated with a way to connect, and a Twitter and/or Instagram link.

Nonprofits looking to hire: Connect with Alex or I before the event and we will make sure you have time to present your open position(s).

The nonprofit community is wonderful. I have always felt so supported here, and love being a part of it. This is a chance for us to build community and support those looking for work. I look forward to seeing you there.

Questions? Email me at dan@altrui.org We’ll be sharing a link on social media soon. Alex’s Twitter is @dalexsimon and mine is @fundraiserdan. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

Hiring a new development team member

All is going well at your nonprofit and then you receive the news that your amazing fundraising team member is leaving. It’s time to hire a new development person!

I’m offering this post because I’ve been part of two searches in the past couple of months and have had several others reach out to me for advice in finding the next right person. Keep in mind that this post is more about finding the next person, less about hiring them.

There are a few things you can do this week to make sure your next candidate search is ready to go whenever you need it to be. First is the job description. When was the last time anyone laid eyes on it, let alone got it close to what the actual job is? Doing this before you need to post the position is always helpful.

I suggest adding this to your calendar and going over it with the person currently doing the work. Have a current job description along updated copy for the posting will make this process so much easier for you. It also my help you find someone sooner rather than later.

By the way, make sure the job posting includes your salary range. The salary range is of course up to you, and it won’t come as a surprise that I suggest you give this good consideration which will end up having your position be of higher interest.

Create a network of people you know and work with who will support you in spreading the word of your position. The more people who are sharing the job posting, along with their excitement for your organization, the better.

Have a list of online resources where you can post the position. This is any easy document to have and to keep updated. In Los Angeles we have Dan’s List, an amazing, daily email sent our every day by a development professional in the area listing open positions in the LA area. It’s a wonderful way to get in front of people working in the nonprofit world or part of it somehow.

Lastly, now that you have the job description solid and up to date, have clear copy ready as to what the expectations are of this person, what you want them to be accountable for in the first year, and what your absolutes are in regards to their experience. This is all something you can work on now, rather than worry about when you need to start the process. Having this ready to go will make the period of time when you are doing the search much less stressful.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please email me at dan@altrui.org if you have any questions.

Thank you for reading!

Nonprofit careers

Several years ago I was talking with a friend who had just been laid off and the topic of nonprofit careers came up. Well, I brought it up. I basically told my friend that in the world of nonprofit careers, there is pretty much everything that exists in the for-profit world.

Huh? That was the reaction.

All of my time in the nonprofit world has been leading development teams. For those unfamiliar with that term, it means fundraising. So when I write about nonprofit careers, keep in mind that my personal experience comes from a small part of that world.

That being said, I have worked with people in all areas of nonprofits, whether they were in finance, engineering, program work, marketing, building managers, public relations, and the list goes on. Some had been in nonprofits forever, and some made the change from the for-profit world and realized this was where they belonged.

If you’re in the for profit world and are looking for a meaningful change or are in between jobs, I definitely recommend checking out positions in the nonprofit world. If you Google your area plus nonprofit jobs, you will most likely find a nonprofit organization that has a job board. An example is the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s job page which usually has a hundred or so open positions in all areas of the nonprofit world.

There are also plenty of nonprofit job opportunities on Indeed and Idealist.org.

The nonprofit world can be a wonderful experience for anyone, especially those who want do more to make the world a better place.

If you’re considering a move to the nonprofit world and have any questions, let me know! dan@altrui.org

Thanks for reading!


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