Interested in pursuing a career in nonprofit operations management? Here’s what experts in the field think you should know:
It’s not enough to just be passionate about the cause. The nonprofit sector also needs business-minded people who excel at their jobs and are driven to perfect their craft. People who will push back against the status quo and incorporate more business practices into the organization.
On the other hand, it’s also not enough to just have the business skillset. Nonprofit work can be grueling and without the passion for the cause it can be easy to get bogged down. Find a mission you care about, and then apply your skills to further their cause. The work will be hard, but at the end of the day you know you’re doing something valuable with your time. I’m told it makes all the difference.
Additionally, stay informed and up to date on new practices in the business world. Nonprofits have historically been slow to adapt to new technology and procedures, which may hinder their ability to make an impact. As younger generations begin to enter the nonprofit workforce it is vital they bring with them their ability to quickly absorb information. The bureaucracy of larger nonprofit organizations may push back, but the quicker nonprofits can pivot the more successful they will be in the years to come.
If you don’t know where to start, but have found a mission you’re passionate about, consider volunteering. Knowledgeable volunteers can make a huge difference in a nonprofit’s success.
This post concludes the People Behind Nonprofit blog series. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all the nonprofit professionals who took time out of their busy schedules to be interviewed as a part of this blog series. Thank you so much for your insight and also your commitment to the missions you serve. I’d also like to thank my co-workers- Alanna, Mary, Jennifer, and Nathan- for generously sharing their knowledge and encouragement these past few months.
As I head back to my senior year of college, I think the biggest take-away from this summer is the amount of hard work it takes to keep a charity operational — and the vital role analytics and research play in the planning, execution and evaluation of a successful fundraising campaign. I am grateful to have been a part of it.