Transition to a Nonprofit

This area is dedicated to those who wish to transition from a for-profit to a nonprofit career. You will find tools, resources, and helpful articles to help you through the transition.

Featured Content

The Unexpected Challenges of Transitioning from For-Profit to Nonprofit Leadership

Any new nonprofit CEO can face frustrations when walking into a new role. But for bridgers—for-profit CEOs turned nonprofit executives—the transition can be fraught with unexpected challenges. Unfamiliar with the complexity of a nonprofit’s culture and often unaccustomed to working in resource-constrained environments, these CEOs often face three common issues. This article highlights those issues and offers ways for bridgers and nonprofit boards to overcome them.

Lost in Translation: Common Language Pitfalls for Bridgers

Even the most prepared job candidate may inadvertently say the wrong thing during a job interview. For those bridging to the nonprofit sector, the risk is even greater because there are distinct differences in the language used in the two sectors.

The Right Way to Shift Sectors

Functional expertise and cultural "fit" are the two most important factors to consider when making the transition from a for-profit to a nonprofit organization, explains Bridgespan former Partner Wayne Luke.

Featured Success Story

Tim Cawley: Using Business Skills to Help Transform Education

When Tim Cawley left the for-profit sector to become the managing director of finance and administration at Chicago’s Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), he was fulfilling a lifelong plan. In this profile he shares how his for-profit experience has influenced his nonprofit work, and how his AUSL and for-profit experiences led him to his newest role as chief operating officer of Chicago Public Schools.