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Finding Your Dream Nonprofit Job: How to Use GuideStar & to Find the Right Position


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Seeking a job in the nonprofit sector? Join our webinar to learn how Idealist and GuideStar can help you find your ideal position and verify the nonprofit for legitimacy. In this event, we will cover how to use Idealist and Guidestar to find and vet a job, internship, or volunteer opportunity; specific tips to improve how you search, advice on cover letters, resumes, and interviews; and general nonprofit resources that can aid you in your journey. Attendees will then have the opportunity to ask panelists their questions in a live Q&A session. Please join us to see how Idealist and GuideStar can help jump-start your career!

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Finding Your Dream Nonprofit Job: How to Use GuideStar & to Find the Right Position

  1. 1. Welcome to Finding Your Dream Job: How to use and GuideStar to find the right position for you
  2. 2. Hello there! We’re Matt and Caroline, and we’re Community Managers at, a website that helps people turn their intentions into action. Our team ● reviews organizations ● monitors site content ● helps you make the most of Idealist ● develops initiatives to engage our community
  3. 3. What is is a nonprofit organization that has been helping people move their good intentions to action since 1995. Our website,, houses the largest nonprofit job board in the United States. On Idealist, 108,000 organizations are posting: ● Over 12,000 jobs ● Over 2,000 internships ● About 14,000 volunteer opportunities ● About 400 events We also have sites in Spanish ( and French (!
  4. 4. Idealist is a platform where you can: ● Find jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities ● Post opportunities for others to get involved ● Find and connect with other organizations and individuals ● Act as an individual in the community, offering your expertise as a resource and seeking other individuals to collaborate with.
  5. 5. Today we'll talk about ● What the nonprofit sector is like ● How to find the right position for you ● How to use Idealist to find a job, internship, or volunteer opportunity ● Specific tips to improve how you search ● How to verify a nonprofit’s legitimacy using GuideStar ● Advice on cover letters, resumes, and interviews ● General nonprofit resources
  6. 6. What is a nonprofit organization? A nonprofit is an organization that uses its revenue to achieve its mission, rather than distributing it as profit or dividends. They're required to have a board of directors, can accept donations and often have volunteers. The goal of a nonprofit organization is not to be successful in terms of wealth, but in terms of giving value to the groups of people it administers to.
  7. 7. ● Schools and universities ● Museums ● Soup kitchens ● Foundations ● Zoos ● Churches and other religious groups ● Research organizations ● Orchestras and symphonies ● Advocacy organizations Types of Nonprofit Organizations
  8. 8. Common Jobs at Nonprofits ● Fundraising, Development, Grant Writing ● Program management ● Direct service - social work, teaching, counseling ● Marketing and social media ● Communications ● Human Resources ● Accounting ● Operations
  9. 9. Other types of organizations on Idealist ● Social Enterprises ● Consultants and Vendors to Nonprofits ● Nonprofit Recruiters ● Government Agencies
  10. 10. Finding the right position for you in the nonprofit sector
  11. 11. Why work for a nonprofit? ● Meaningful work: do something you care about ● The people: everyone around you cares too ● Growth potential ● Wear lots of "different hats" ● More responsibility ● Work/life balance ● Benefits
  12. 12. Know yourself ● The big picture ○ Do you have a professional mission? ○ What are your short and long term goals? ○ Where are you in your career? ● What work experience and skills do you have? ● Keep an updated, written inventory of your work and volunteer experiences. ● Everything counts!
  13. 13. There are five ways to look at nonprofit work. Which appeal to you? ● Organization o Big? Small? Well established? Start-up? ● Role o Fundraising? Direct service? Communications? ● System o Politics? Media? Foundation? Advocacy? ● Issue o Poverty? Education? The environment? ● Population Know what you want: The Five Lenses
  14. 14. Know what you want: Career Tracks ● Visit job search sites (like Idealist) and find fifty jobs you like, regardless of location, salary, and qualifications. ● Discover what they have in common using the five lenses (Organization, Role, System, Issue, Population) ● Evaluate your observations. Did anything surprise you?
  15. 15. Using Idealist to find a job in the nonprofit sector
  16. 16. Ways to use Idealist ● Researching the organizations you’re interested in working with ● Finding internships and volunteer opportunities to build your resume ● Learning about what might be required of you in certain career tracks ● Finding positions in your area (or elsewhere!) that match your goals and skill set
  17. 17. Your Idealist personal page ● You don’t need a personal page on Idealist to search… ● Benefits of having a personal page on Idealist ○ Saving searches ○ Email alerts ○ Networking ○ Getting your ducks in order ○ Let’s take a look at a personal profile!
  18. 18. Using Search ● Search Idealist o Keywords (anything!) o Area of Focus (eg. hunger relief, social justice) o Job Function (eg. education, organizing) o Location search
  19. 19. Advanced Search ● Start another search ● Using quotes ● “And” “Or” “Not”
  20. 20. Saving Searches & Creating Email Alerts ● Once you’ve created a search that gets you the results you like, you can save this search for future use. ● You can also choose Get Email Alert to have a daily list of new opportunities matching your search delivered to your inbox.
  21. 21. Using GuideStar to verify nonprofit status and obtain more information ● GuideStar is a great resource for even more information on nonprofits in the United States. ● If you have some nonprofits you’d like to know even more about, go to, and search for them by name or EIN. ● Once you’ve found your nonprofit, you can see information about legitimacy, budget, operating officers, and more!
  22. 22. Applying for jobs in the nonprofit sector
  23. 23. Quick tips on applying for jobs in the nonprofit sector ● Be sure to express why you’re passionate about the organization’s mission (resume, cover letter, interview) ● Show why you’d be great at the job ● Don’t forget to include your volunteer experience ● Be careful with your cover letter, resume, and emails ● Seek out jobs with unique application requirements ● Check organization websites, not just job boards ● Print out your job descriptions ● Just because you get the job, doesn’t mean you have to take it ● One page rule (resumes)
  24. 24. Interviewing ● Ask about the dress code if you're not sure ● Say "organization" not company ● Study the organization's website. Become familiar with their: ○ mission ○ staff ○ events, programs, projects ● Come with specific questions about the job and organization ● Be yourself! ● Send a thank you note by email as soon as possible after the interview.
  25. 25. Network! Explore your whole network. You have one! Make sure everyone knows you're looking for a job. o Clubs o Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter o Your friends/family/family friends o Your neighbors o Your classmates o Each other!
  26. 26. And be sure to check out... Articles, webinars, events, and more for nonprofit job seekers and professionals. On you can: ● Attend webinars and live chats presented by career experts ● Learn what hiring managers and HR professionals look for in candidates ● Identify and pursue your passion and purpose ● Explore your professional and leadership development ● Connect with fellow changemakers
  27. 27. We're the Community Engagement Team! Call us maybe? Matt Cifaldi Caroline Contillo Reach us by phone: 646.786.6886 Nandita Batheja
  28. 28. Questions?
  29. 29. Thank you!