Building Leadership

Sample Nonprofit Resumes

Your resume often will be the first opportunity you have to leave a good impression with a potential employer. That’s why it’s important to take the time to consider what information is most relevant to the position you seek, and to ensure you’ve shared your accomplishments and career progression in a clear and consistent manner.

To help you craft a resume, Bridgespan’s Executive Search team has shared six sample resumes that were prepared to submit for consideration for a senior nonprofit role (chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and executive director/chief executive officer). These samples, with identifying information removed, illustrate a range of approaches used to represent work experience and qualifications that could position you for a senior nonprofit role.

Sample Executive Director (ED) Resumes

Sample ED Resume #1 (Emily Newman)
In resume sample number one, Emily conveys that she has spent her career in the program function, progressing to a vice president level. Her current role requires a full array of strong, cross-functional management skills, including fundraising and external relationship management responsibilities. Like many vice president-level program roles in larger organizations, this job is much like an ED position for a smaller nonprofit. Success in this type of role could potentially provide the experience needed to move into an ED position.

Sample ED Resume #2 (Matthew Williams)
Like Emily in resume sample one, Matthew has built his career in the program function; however, he has progressed to a senior-level operational role: chief of staff. Here he has gained important operational experience in finance, development, communication, and administration; he also has developed strong external relationship-management skills. This experience, coupled with his program experience, might well equip him for consideration as a chief executive officer (CEO) for a nonprofit organization.

Sample Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Resumes

Sample CFO Resume #1 (Sean Thomas)
In CFO resume sample number one, Sean shares his deep accounting and financial control experience and then follows with an illustration of his increased responsibility as a vice president, finance and control. Sharing his successful performance in the more expansive vice president role could potentially position him for a role as a nonprofit CFO.

Sample CFO Resume #2 (Michael Lowell)
In contrast to sample resume one, Michael’s resume shows a background that has a greater breadth of responsibility earlier in his career progression. His primary responsibilities have been in the finance function; however, this resume shows experience in operational processes and technology, potentially positioning the candidate for a CFO role.

Sample Chief Operating Officer (COO) Resumes

Sample COO Resume #1 (Allison Kelly)
In COO resume sample number one, career progression has enabled Allison to acquire skills and experience in a variety of staff functions. Her marketing and consulting work highlights cross-functional, strategic experience; her resume shows that she built on that experience as she advanced her career, acquiring additional expertise while leading recruiting and IT functions before advancing to become a vice president with responsibility for strategy, compensation, and administration. Allison’s resume highlights that she has gained seniority, responsibility, and experience in staff functions, helping set the stage for a potential COO role.

Sample COO Resume #2 (James Halpert)
James’s resume illustrates a career progression that has been more heavily focused on finance, but like sample one above, has also provided cross-functional experience. James has gained experience in development, external relations, facilities, and operational management; this breadth of operational experience could make him an attractive nonprofit COO candidate

This work by The Bridgespan Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Bridgespan's Terms of Use page.


Bridgespan welcomes your comments on our work. All comments are reviewed according to our Terms of Use before posting.

Post a comment
Start the conversation by leaving a comment:

Leave message
Your rating:

 Security code