My experience/advice

Looking for a job? How I learned to market my skills in the nonprofit sector.

During my career I’ve had the opportunity to work in the career services department at my undergraduate institution and work with a nonprofit recruiter. These experiences taught me how to improve my resume, and market myself better during the interview process as a result get the jobs I want—like this one.

If you are trying to change jobs or just getting into the nonprofit sector, here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Resumes are more effective when they show specific examples of completed tasks AND organizational improvement results based on the completed tasks, for example:

Why it took us eight months to get our network up and running

Here’s the story about my experience setting up the network here at the San Francisco Nonprofit Technology Center. Even though there are a lot of tech folks working at the center, we still have challenges now and then trying to deal with computers and equipment.

Career Counseling For Nonprofit Graduate Students

In August 2005, I utilized Dr. Roseanne Mirabella's Nonprofit Management Education Program website which includes a list of U.S. based Colleges and Universities that offer at least 1 nonprofit graduate course. I then e-mailed each contact on the list to find out who provides the career counseling to the nonprofit graduate students.

This research has been sitting on my hard drive for several years. However, recently American Humanics launched an Initiative for Nonprofit Sector Careers with one component focusing on training career counselors about preparing students for careers in the nonprofit sector.  So, I thought this research that I conducted in 2005 may be interesting or useful to some folks.

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

A Strategic Plan is a multi-year planning document which focuses on the entire organization and not just one specific program or component. Although there are many ways to write a strategic plan, I learned how to write a strategic plan including these key components:

STEP Analysis (An analysis of all the external factors that effect the organization.)

  • Socio-cultural factors
  • Technological factors
  • Economic Forces
  • Political/Legal Forces
<p class="MsoNormal">Porters Five Forces (Also describing the external forces that effect the organization).</p>

A New Years Resolution

Someone said to me, "Good leaders are never stressed." Do you agree?  I'm not sure I do...

I think that different peoples personalities determine how they will respond to stress and there are many factors that determine a "good leader."

In the New Year I would like to be able to handle stress better, but I know I can't remove the fact that sometimes I get stressed. Receiving all of the W-9 information on-time this week from my independent contractors is making me a little stressed...and I'm sure next week there will be something else. 

My Nonprofit Operations Preparations for 2007

2007 is fast approaching. Here are six specific nonprofit operations steps I take to prepare for each new year.

1. Create 2007 fiscal/vendor folders and put my 2005 fiscal/vendor folders in a file storage box to store. (I do not store my 2006 fiscal/vendor folders because I usually have to access those files periodically throughout the year.)

2. Put all my e-mail folders into a 2006 file and create new 2007 e-mail folders.

3. Verify that I have all my vendor/independent contractor's tax-id's or Social Security numbers so I can send them their 1099 forms in early 2007.

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