Real World Idealists: Cha-Ching! Recent College Grad Follows Her Email Alerts to a Career in Development

By Kim Davidson, who most recently blogged about nonprofit scavenger hunts.

My friend Lauren graduated from college two years ago. She had a liberal arts degree, wanted a nonprofit job in New York City, and faced the worst job market to date. By keeping her eyes open to trends in nonprofit needs, she found the perfect position for her.

As part of her job search, Lauren signed up to receive Idealist email alerts for jobs in New York City. Lauren watched what new openings were being posted every day and realized that these daily digests were more than just a list of open positions; they were a way to track the New York nonprofit scene. She picked up on trends —Â Which fields were hiring? What kinds of positions were in demand?

Lauren realized that though nonprofits were generally slow to hire due to the economic downturn, there was an exception: organizations were anxious to find people who could help them raise funds, seek out grants, and find innovative ways to diversify income streams. “Seeing the terms Development Assistant and Development Associate popping up multiple times everyday in my email alerts definitely influenced my decision to go into development,” she said. Though she hadn’t started out looking to play that role, she recognized the need for qualified people to fill these important positions and targeted her resume and qualifications for these jobs. She also did some research on Raiser’s Edge development software and determined that her experience working with databases gave her a great skill set to discuss in interviews.

Lauren now works at a New York-based education nonprofit as a development associate — a position she found on Idealist! The nonprofit sector will always need fundraising professionals, she said, and if the number of related jobs in her email alerts are any indication, Lauren’s first development position is just the beginning of a great career path.

To start receiving your own email alerts, get started here. To better understand the nonprofit landscape around you, the specific skills you can offer, and the possible points of synergy, check out the Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers.
[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]





Comments (1)


  1. [...] people mostly use our site to find nonprofit jobs. But did you know you could do so much more, like ask each other questions and maybe even find love? Here’s how one person used Idealist to connect with nonprofits [...]


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