Are You Ready for a Career Change to Nonprofit?

Feb 15, 2022


It’s no secret that the pandemic has led many of us to reflect on our priorities and consider new career paths. For some, this has led to exploring the nonprofit sector. “Maybe I can find something that has more meaning and still leverages my skillset.” 

We’ve seen many professionals make successful transitions from a corporate career to key leadership roles at a nonprofit. Chances are they’ve been asked several of these questions along the way:

  • Do you have an authentic connection to the organization’s mission? Have you volunteered or have a personal story that connects you to their work? Follow your passion.
  • Can you afford a lower salary or forgo an annual bonus? Nonprofit salaries are usually lower and bonuses are usually smaller or not available. Chances are, you’ll work harder and make less.
  • Do you consider yourself scrappy and resourceful? Can you wear many hats and offer to help outside your area of expertise? All hands on deck.
  • Are you available to work occasional evenings and weekends? Board meetings, networking events, and fundraisers can make for a busy week.
  • Are you comfortable asking others for money? Even if you’re not in the development department, many roles have a fundraising component as donations are the lifeblood of most nonprofits.
  • Have you worked in a diverse and inclusive organization? Can you embrace a culture that values diversity and is working to be equitable and inclusive in hiring, staff development, and at the Board? DEI is more than a passing trend at many nonprofits.
  • Have you been a volunteer or served on a nonprofit Board? These can be great ways to see if an organization is a good potential fit and to demonstrate your commitment.

Many nonprofits are looking for talent to fill important leadership positions. Are you ready? 


By Barry Elkus, Partner and Co-Leader of the Nonprofit Leadership Practice. Originally posted in GC Nonprofit News.