Earlier this week, I attended SXSW in Austin, Texas and met many interesting people and connected with old friends, including BlogHer colleagues CE's Queen of Spain, Liz Perry, and Virginia DeBolt. I met several women who told me they were considering entering the nonprofit sector and had questions about how to get started. While I was reflecting on the question, searching my distant memory of how I began working for nonprofits almost 30 years ago, The Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers popped up in my RSS feed.
The guide is an excellent primer for those who are to the nonprofit sector. The first section explains what a nonprofit is and the second chapter introduces you to Nonprofit Speak, a good tutorial to the acronyms and words that are often spoke in nonprofit land and can help you get up to speed so you can communicate your career goals to potential employers.
The next part of the guide is filled with practical information about how to conduct a "career search" in the nonprofit sector. The advice is more than just how to network or prepare a network, but provides some great exercises that help you understand whether or not the organization is a good match for you.
The Idealist also sponsors a series of Nonprofit Career Fairs with between 50 and 150 organizations participating in each city. This is an efficient way to network and meet the nonprofit players in a particular geographic area.
In addition, there are several awesome bloghers that write about careers and leadership issues in the nonprofit sector that you should follow. These include:
Rosetta Thurman, In the PipeLine
Michelle Martin, The Bamboo Project
Heather Carpenter, Nonprofit Leadership 601
Marion Conway, Consultant to Nonprofits
What is your best advice for people who want to get started working for nonprofits? What resources would you point them to? Special bonus - if they're interested in technology, what advice would you offer them in getting started as the techie in a nonprofit organization?
Cross posted at BlogHer.