Developing nonprofit leaders: Easier said than done?

There are lots of theories about how to develop leaders across the nonprofit sector. But who’s putting those theories into practice, and are younger nonprofit professionals optimistic about their implementation?

This month our HRConnections newsletter features a piece from Trish Tchume, National Director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN). Trish explains that YNPN’s most recent National Voice report examined just these sort of questions. The report, titled “Good in Theory, Problems in Practice,” concludes with recommendations to help nonprofit executives, emerging leaders, funders, and others effectively implement leadership development strategies.

Visit IdealistHR or YNPN to learn more. Or sound off here: does your organization have a refreshing approach to leadership development? Do you feel you can weigh in and make it even stronger?

Tags: , , , ,



From The Service to nonprofit service: Career resources for vets

By Amy Potthast.

featured

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Anthony Buchanan gets a hug after reading to children on "Read with a Hero Day." (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Russell Kilka, Creative Commons)

In 2010, Daniel Finan separated from the Navy. He told us recently, “I was sure I was going to get stuck doing some kind of intelligence work or defense contracting because of my military background. Not what I wanted to do, at all.”

For veterans, the task of searching for a rewarding job—something in the civilian world that is as satisfying and selfless as service-to-country—has its complications.

  • Military service is more than a job — it’s a mission, it’s a challenge, it’s an identity, and it involves caring for the people you serve with. You can’t leave that kind of high-stakes job and be satisfied with just anything that pays the bills.
  • Over a million vets are unemployed, and their spouses (who move around frequently) are facing unemployment rates of 25 percent.
  • As sector switchers, vets entering the nonprofit sector must learn to translate their experiences and skills so that civilian employers get it.

After four months of searching and applying for positions he found on Idealist, Daniel landed a job at the Institute of International Education, as program manager of the International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Division.

If you are like Daniel, hoping to transition from military missions to nonprofit missions, you may benefit from these insights:

1) Network. Your path to a satisfying public service career at home is paved with relationships. Relationships will help you figure out your new career niche, learn where to look for jobs, and familiarize yourself with the lingo and philosophies of the sector.

Resources to check out:

2) Volunteer. A great way to build relationships in the nonprofit sector is to volunteer with organizations that mean something to you. You should list your volunteer position and job duties on your resume — in line with paid positions. Search volunteer listings here on Idealist or refer to these other resources.

Resources to check out:

  • Mission Serve, a program of ServiceNation, connects vets and civilians through volunteering — often an entry point to careers in the nonprofit sector. Its blog is filled with stories of vets who have found meaning in service here at home.
  • AmeriCorps isn’t technically volunteering, but it is full-time, stipended service here at home. Opportunities exist throughout the States and Territories and service comes with an education award of about $5,000 to put towards school.

3) Lead with issue. Many sector switchers wonder, “what employer needs my skill set?” Coming from military training and service, it’s clear you have a strong set of unique skills that a nonprofit will put to good use.

But in the nonprofit sector, more important questions to ask are, what am I passionate about? What change do I want to see in the world? Consider the social or environmental issues that you are most concerned with, and find ways to work on them professionally.

Resources to check out:

Your turn to weigh in! Are you transitioning out of the Service? What secrets or success stories can you share?

Amy Potthast served as Idealist’s Director of Service and Graduate Education Programs until 2011. Read more of her work at amypotthast.com.

Tags: , , , , , ,



Career Corner: Where Are the Jobs?

By Meg Busse.

From Jeremy Barwick (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Since you’re on Idealist, you know that in terms of numbers, this is where to find the most nonprofit jobs. However, if you’ve been working in the sector for at least a little bit, you also know that there is no such thing as one-stop shopping in terms of nonprofit hiring. You have to look on national sites, chapter sites of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, local job boards and listservs, Craigslist…and even then, there are plenty of jobs that are never posted but filled through word of mouth or (more likely) by hiring volunteers and interns.

However, I do think that job boards can be useful tools in the nonprofit job search.

There have been two interesting aggregations of nonprofit job boards. I really like the one the Blue Avocado developed in December. It’s a great PDF with detailed information about each site/organization, knowledgeable comments on useability, and notes about key features such as fees, number of listings, and search and alert options.

I also just saw list on Guide to OnlineSchools.com that features an alphabetical list of 97 job boards, with their top ten separated out. The comments for this list aren’t as detailed as the Blue Avocado resource, but it could be useful if you’re looking for job sites that are more specific to your interests, skills, or geographic location.

For more information on where to find volunteer opportunities, networking events, information about the sector, and more, also check out the Career Resources page on our Nonprofit Career Month site.

[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.]

Tags: ,