Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So You Want to Work In Non-profit Land?

I've had many a conversation lately with some super smart people who want to make the jump from for-profit into non-profit land. Sometimes they are burned out, and sometimes they are just bored. Either way, here's my own personal guide to making the jump. When I made the jump back in 2001 - it was quite unusual for non-profits to be hiring marketers - today things have changed dramatically.

This post is similar to my lessons learned posts from when I left LLS.

The Top 10 Things to Know When Considering a Non-Profit Marketing Job

10. The speed is different, get ready to slow down.

9. The politics look different, but AREN'T.

8. Sometimes marketing is in the communications department, and sometimes it is in the revenue department. The difference is in how you will be measured and judged a success. I personally believe that marketing should not be in revenue.

7. The pay isn't as good (but who cares - you get to make a difference in the world).

6. Sometimes, it's really hard to execute ideas (even really good ones).

5. Chances are you will be one of the only people who actually understands marketing.

4. When interviewing find out if the CEO and board is vested in marketing's success and that he/she understands the value of brand as it relates to the overall success of the organization.

3. No matter what "level" you come in at (SVP, VP, Director or lower), if you execute well, you'll do well. Execution at non-profits is where it's at... strategy is great (and necessary, believe me), but getting things done is how to become a non-profit marketeering rock-star.

2. It's GOOD to bring some for-profit thinking and process to a non-profit - but don't expect that everyone will be willing to play along right away.

1. You should expect to have to continually remind and educate your co-workers about the value and reason for marketing.

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