Opinion: Looking for a Career in Development in 2011? Good Choice and Good Luck!
If you work in the nonprofit sector, it's no secret that entry-level jobs are disappearing, training funds for staff are drying up, salaries are static at best, benefits are status quo, and the profession is undergoing change and evaluation. Fundraising professionals are discovering they need to develop broader skill sets. A recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article noted that recruiters believe “people skills” alone no longer make a fundraiser successful. He or she must now possess entrepreneurial ability and spirit; have cross-cultural and generational knowledge; and be strategic, analytical and technologically astute.
Penelope Burk, a Chicago-based fundraising consultant, estimates that replacing a fundraiser costs from 65 percent to 83 percent of that individual’s annual salary. Burk believes turnover will increase as the economy improves. In her recent research, 48 percent of 1,200 development professionals surveyed said they would leave their current jobs for higher pay.
Lisa Adams, director of graduate admissions at Bay Path College in western Massachusetts, says the nonprofit job market may be stabilizing. In Adams’ research, 34 percent of research respondents indicated they intend to create new positions in 2011. Many respondents also indicated that current staff would have to do more with less, a trend that might contribute to additional turnover in the profession.
According to career counselor Anna Whitcomb, the future is bright in the nonprofit sector. At CNNMoney.com, she noted that if you are older than age 50, being a nonprofit executive is one of the country’s top 20 jobs!
Someone looking for a position in the nonprofit arena needs to weigh the pros and cons. The pros are many and should be taken to heart:
- You can make a positive change in the life of thousands of people or just one.
- You can work with government, business and nonprofit leaders for important causes.
- You can follow a dream or passion about making a difference.
- You can work with many volunteers in the community and make new friends.
- You control the opportunity to believe in the mission of the organization you serve.
- Possible jobs span a variety of important industries.
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.