The Changing Face of Nonprofits

Forecasters predict that the nonprofit sector is the wellspring of employment opportunities for tomorrow. Here are the talent and skills needed to give this area heart.

job listings online, on hotlines, posted in chapter offices, published in trade and specialty newsletters and magazines, and running in local newspapers,” he says. In addition, a few executive search firms and recruiters handle nonprofit placements. One of the best ways to position yourself for a job is to become a volunteer for the organization of your choice, learn the lay of the land and make a name for yourself as a person who gets things done, advises Lauber. “It will also help you decide if work in this sector or at a particular organization is really right for you.”

Former Wall Streeter Tracy Smith, who majored in English and has a master’s in urban policy and management from the New School of Social Research in New York, struck the perfect match for her skills and interest at the United Way of New York. So did co-worker Mavis Vann, a senior group manager and director, who oversees fund-raising in the real estate and investment services sectors for the agency. Vann feels at home pitching AS to bankers and other Wall Street types because she was an assistant treasurer at Chase Manhattan Bank before joining the United Way team in 1991. The 34-year- old, who has an M.B.A. from Western Michigan University, says that despite her corporate success, she felt she wasn’t making a difference. “I wasn’t getting up every day and feeling excited about going to work. Helping people double their money just wasn’t all that fulfilling,” she says. Although Vann took an undisclosed cut in salary when she left Chase, she now earn in more than $60,000. “Nonprofits are it. I’m staying,” she affirms.

The two most prevalent professional positions at human care agencies are those of fund-raiser and program developer. Fund-raisers are involved in developing, marketing and delivering strategies to help the agency reach its funding goals. Helping to set those goals can also be a key part of the job.

Program developers help to structure and deliver programs, services and other benefits to the people the agency is in business to support. At agencies such as the United Way, salaries for these jobs start in the low to mid-$30,000s. Heavily reliant upon volunteers to handle these tasks, smaller human care agencies, such as community-based job training centers or soup kitchens, do have paid administrative positions available, often in the range of $18,000 to $30,000, depending upon funding sources.

Whatever field your degree is in, you will need good presentation and writing skills. For this reason, it helps to have an undergraduate degree or work experience in a field such as marketing, business administration, communications or journalism.

“We’re also seeing an increase in resumes from people with advanced degrees in economics, public policy and other specialized areas, which is excellent,” says Margaret Carter, senior vice president of human resources, at United Way of New York. “But we’d also like to see more candidates with technical skills, such as accounting and computer technology.”

The other prerequisite for employment in a

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6