Nonprofit… A Great Sector

Working with nonprofits is a great environment. You are around people that are passionate about serious community needs and about what they do. Fundraising is a unique world in that it takes a lot of sales skills to succeed and your product is making a profound difference in the lives of people.

As I reflect on organizations that I have worked for I am struck with the value and significance of many volunteer leaders and donors. One thing that makes the nonprofit world great is that there are a number of talented community members that will come alongside and partner with you. I have had such a tremendous opportunity to learn from many donors and board members. It has been such a privilege to support their individual community missions.

Fundraising is about relationships. If you are thinking about starting a career in fundraising you are getting started in a really exciting time. Nonprofits today are more creative and engaging than they have ever been. Philanthropy is more accessible and the world has become a much smaller place. Another exciting thing about a career in the nonprofit world is that you can actually make and see a tangible difference. If you are good at what you do, work really hard at it, and have a good support network there are few things that you cannot accomplish.

When I first started this job I intended to write more thoughts on starting a career in fundraising. Do you have any specific questions or thoughts regarding a career in fundraising that you would like me to cover? For examples more information about the job search process, what it is like to work in a fundraising office, how to interview, anything like that?

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2 Responses to Nonprofit… A Great Sector

  1. Michela Traetto says:

    Yes, I have some questions regarding a career in fundraising and I am so glad that somebody asked!
    My man and I are planning to move to the US (he is American and I am Italian, we have lived in Germany for many years). From the 17th November to the 14th December I will be in Washington DC and I would like to meet people active in the nonprofit sector.
    Last year I decided to start working in the nonprofit sector, I quit my job of 7 years and I enrolled at a one year Master in Fund Raising (it is for people who already have a university education).
    My professional experience in the for-profit sector includes researching prospects, sales and maintaining client relations.
    I read in the internet that it would be good to have a mentor. How can I find a mentor? Are mentors willing to help people who are not young (I am 41) and are approaching fundraising as a career change?
    Networking is very important, but how can I do it practically during those 4 weeks?
    The plan is to start working as a voluntary fundraiser, till I receive a Visa, that allows me to work.
    Could you show me a way to connect to fundraisers in Washington DC to make me an idea what is like to work in a fundraising office?
    Thanks a lot! Dankeschoen! Mille grazie!
    Michela Traetto

  2. Jason Dick says:

    Michela,
    Thanks for your email. I would recommend that you make a couple of local contacts in Washington DC with nonprofit organizations. Sit down and meet with them and ask them questions about their work. When you’re done ask them if they could recommend a couple other people that you can talk with. Making those kind of connections will make a huge difference.

    Also are you a part of LinkedIn? If you are send me an invitation and I’ll connect you with someone in DC to get you started.
    Thanks,
    Jason

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