Today we have a new author guest blogging at Lip-sticking. Amanda Ponzar is the Director of Communications for Global Corporate Leadership at United Way Worldwide, the world's largest privately-funded nonprofit. You can read more about Amanda on the team page.
Enjoy Amanda's insight on non-profits, today and every other Thursday, going forward.
I just read a story in the New York Times about young lawyers choosing public interest work rather than making the big bucks.
With the economy taking a trip to Hades in a hand basket, why on earth do people choose to make less money to work for charity? Everyone I’ve asked has said the same thing, “I want to make a difference.”
Although cliché, I felt the exact same way before I broke into the seemingly impenetrable nonprofit world. Who needs Prince Charming?
I fantasized that I would ride in on a white horse, saving people every day, all while getting paid for it. I was a zealous do-gooder on wheels, volunteering all over the place, so who wouldn’t want to hire me?
Well, despite the fact that nonprofits are proliferating like rabbits and a new one seems to pop up every day, only 6.29% of Americans actually worked for a nonprofit in 2009, according to unpublished Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So, how can YOU be one of these lucky 6%?
Let’s start with a tip from a friend of mine, Lisa Hamilton, VP of Public Relations at UPS and former head of the UPS Foundation.
Lisa is incredibly beautiful and creative. But don’t let that fool you. She’s also smart. Lisa started as an attorney, then served as program director in the tax department, and then made the case that her unique skills and experience would benefit the UPS Foundation.
“The lesson here is that when people pursue Foundation jobs, they often talk to hiring managers about their interest in the work or their experience as a committed volunteer,” said Lisa. “They fail to appreciate that Foundations are businesses and need staff who can bring excellent management skills (financial, legal, IT, HR, performance measurement, etc.) to the table.” Lisa’s advice? “Stand out from the crowd” by emphasizing what you contribute. “As in any organization,” said Lisa, “you will be hired and evaluated based on your PERFORMANCE, not your passion!”
I thought about the last time I interviewed someone. I didn’t ask how passionate she was about the cause, I asked about her experience managing complicated projects and demonstrating return on investment.
Ladies, let’s help ourselves out. And no matter where we work, prove our worth with top-notch performance that gets results. That’s an asset anywhere.
More tips to come.