February 27, 2017

Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector Resource Center

Moving from a for-profit leadership position to a leadership role at a nonprofit organization takes careful consideration and a fair amount of research to be sure you find the right fit, both professionally and personally. This collection of articles can help you find a position, land the job, and get ready for a new career as a nonprofit leader.

Switching Sectors: An Overview

The Challenges and Rewards of Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector

Bridgers, those who transition to the nonprofit sector from the for-profit sector for reasons both professional and personal, may encounter many rewards—and challenges—during their journey. 

Explore Your Motivations

Questions to Consider When Switching Sectors

These questions will help someone transitioning from for-profit to nonprofit work better understand the organizations and positions in which he or she can have the greatest personal impact.

Self-Exploration: The First Step in the Job Search

The first step in moving into the nonprofit sector is to gain clarity on your motivations and what aspects of nonprofit work are most appealing to you. 

Find the Right Position

Top 10 Nonprofit Job Hunting Tips

When switching sectors or changing jobs within the nonprofit sector, it’s important to take a step back to understand what your motivations are for seeking a new nonprofit role, where your skills and experiences might be most beneficial, and which roles might suit you best. 

Six Skills that Transfer Well to Leadership Positions in the Nonprofit Sector

A handful of skills from the for-profit sector transfer most readily to leadership positions in the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit leaders should think about how important these traits are to their organizations, and individuals should examine whether these areas are personal strengths or weaknesses when considering a transition. 

Writing Effective Resumes and Cover Letters

Janet Albert, the former director of regional search for executive search at The Bridgespan Group and current partner at Bridge Partners LLC shares tips for how to put your best foot forward when writing resumes and cover letters for nonprofit positions. 

  • Cover Letter Sample
    The cover letter is often your first chance to make a good impression; along with your resume it should tell a compelling story about who you are, what you have accomplished, and why the potential employer should want to meet you.
  • Sample Nonprofit Resumes
    Here are six real-world example resumes that were prepared for an application for a senior nonprofit role. They illustrate a range of approaches used to represent work experience and qualifications.

Interview with Confidence

Insider Tips to Nonprofit Interviewing Success

Strategies for becoming a stand out candidate aren’t complicated nor expensive, yet somehow mastering the nonprofit interview process seems to elude even the best intentioned. These six simple time-tested essentials can provide you with an edge over the competition. 

Talking About Compensation in Your Nonprofit Job Search

Discussing compensation during a job search is often tricky, particularly if you’re a for-profit executive trying to make a move to a nonprofit organization. An experienced search professional answers some of the most common questions she hears about nonprofit compensation and how to address it in the interview process. 

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 bridgers, those moving from a for-profit to the nonprofit sector, the risk is even greater because there are distinct differences in the language used in the two sectors. 

Prepare for the New Position

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. Here are three common issues CEOs face when taking on their new roles.

Onboarding Tips: Tips for Transitioning into a Senior Nonprofit Role

Onboarding—a systematic method for transitioning new staffers into an organization—can be especially important for the for-profit professional moving into a senior nonprofit role. 

Success Stories

The stories and interviews shared below offer insights into successful transitions, including what steps leaders took and how they were able to ensure the move from for-profit to nonprofit leadership would be successful.

Brenna Copeland: Staying Focused on Your Value Add

Bruce Skyer: Finding a Professional and Personal Fit at Nonprofit Finance Fund

Christy Lueders: From Volunteer Fundraiser to a Decade as Full-Time CFO

Dana White: Being a Mom and Being an ED

Jaymie Saks: Bringing a Business Perspective to the Jewish Women's Archive

Kym Luqman: Focusing on Transferrable Skills

Ross Maund: Doing Your Homework to Smooth the Transition

Ruth Passo: Discovering the Role that Is the Right Fit

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