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A few thoughts re: How does a college grad with an MBA find a job doing fundraising and volunteer management, without 3-5 years of experience?

16 Feb

How does a college grad with an MBA find a job doing fundraising and volunteer management, without 3-5 years of experience? Bruce Summers response to posting on Non Profit & Philanthropy – Job Seeking Board

A few thoughts…
• Network, Network, Network target 25 – 100 people you know – let them know what you would like to do, ask for their advice and recommendations of who else you should talk to.
• Talk with individuals who have volunteer management, volunteer engagement, and fundraising jobs, ask them how they matriculated into these position, what training and education do they have, what training and education would they recommend to you.
• Ask three things – 1) Do you know of any volunteer management and fundraising positions that are available, if so, then can they give you an introduction…? 2) Do you know of organizations that might be willing to try me out as volunteer management, fundraising coordinator (in a volunteer capacity or as a “working” board member? 3) Are there local networks for volunteer managers or fundraisers, if yes, then how can I get involved?
• During my tenure as national volunteer resources management lead for the American Red Cross I noticed that volunteer managers and fundraisers came from many different backgrounds, also, many of our chapters started with part-time volunteer managers or part-time fundraisers some were employees, some were AmeriCorps members, some were volunteers. In some cases these volunteers were able to build up the volunteer management or fundraising program sufficiently to “make the case” for hiring a 1/2 or full-time FTE to manage and grow volunteer resources.
• One of the keys is to map volunteers to meeting critical or urgent fills as defined by the Executive Director or other senior leadership and department heads, then go out and target recruit volunteers who can fulfill or meet potent skill or knowledge gaps…
• Last thought, one key emerging trend in volunteer engagement is how it is starting to blend with fundraising, communications and marketing and social media; develop experience in leveraging social media to provide ROI for fundraising and volunteer management and you will start to find you are more and more attractive as a higher end volunteer or as a new employee.

PS – If you are still in college or a graduate program, then seek a Nonprofit Management Internship before you graduate or just after you graduate.

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