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Tips for a Fundraising Professionals’ Job Search

Past experiences of mine in job searches and current experiences in hiring may benefit your fundraising job search.

This year has been an extraordinary year in the world of nonprofit fundraising, with organizational mission work being as important as ever, and a bigger than average percentage of staff wanting to make a move.

It’s also been a wonderful year for us at Altrui Consulting, continuing to work with clients to support their fundraising and relationship building, while also continuing our work in recruiting for them.

Recruiting still feels new for me. It’s an amazing process, one that introduces me to all sorts of nonprofit fundraising professionals on all different types of paths.

What an interesting arena this is, recruiting. I’ve learned so much, and have had several successful searches for clients.

With all of this, I have learned even more when it comes to hiring from the nonprofit perspective, and would like to share that. My motive here is to help people in a job search, whether they are already working for a nonprofit or want to enter the nonprofit world for the first time.

First, be sure to have some experience with the position you are applying for, either direct experience or experience that is relatable. I have moved candidates forward who do not check all of the perspective boxes, but there does have to be some type of experience.

A cover letter helps. There’s a lot of discussion around whether a cover letter is necessary or not these days. My experience in hiring this past year leads me to say yes, it is. Also, write a new cover letter per position you’re applying for. It’s important to be focused on the position you are applying for and not use a general cover letter.

In your cover letter and resume, directly address the needs they want from this position with your experience. Do this as often as possible. For example, if the organization wants a candidate to increase relationships with their board members, directly address your experience with board members in the cover letter and resume.

Some job sites, like Indeed, make it difficult to add a cover letter. Keep this in mind, especially if the organization asks for a cover letter. Address it in the heading of your resume with an offer to email it.

Be on time for your first interview. I know, you know this. And still, many are not on time, or do not answer their phone for the first interview.

Next, make sure your LinkedIn profile is current, let your LinkedIn connections know you are looking, and what the perfect position looks like for you. If you want to keep your search private for now, send individual notes to your connections and let them know you are quietly searching.

Writing about LinkedIn, I’m reminded that I have seen several Indeed applications with a link to their LinkedIn profile that doesn’t work. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

Bring in your inner circle. Make calls to close friends and colleaugues who can help you with your search, expanding it to people you may not know.

My last idea is to take time every day for the search. When I had been laid off several years ago I got up every morning, showered, dressed, grabbed a coffee and began searching. It was just like going to work.

I wish the best of luck in your search!

If you liked this post, check out this one, titled “People are still donating”:

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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