By: Turkish Philanthropy Funds
Non-profits are fast-paced and utilize nearly every skill you’ve learned throughout your educational career. They’re looking for highly qualified candidates who can keep up and help them realize their mission and goals. But this rapidly expanding marketplace requires a specific skillset that is lost in a corporate setting.
When you’re working on a small team, you’re expected to wear many hats. There may not be an in-house designer, so you better brush up on your Photoshop skills. There also may not be an IT Manager, so make sure you know how to troubleshoot your computer. Below is a compilation of skills that will be expected of any employee working at a non-profit.
Own Your Project – Your manager might give you a task that seems simple, but you should always take complete ownership of it. Ie. Give me a list of donors in Tennessee who have given over $1,000. Think through every step of the task. What information is the reader looking for? What information do I think might be helpful? How would this best be presented? Triple check before completion. Because of the small staff, there is always a time constraint, listen carefully the first time and present a carefully thought out result.
Be a Self-Starter – Never say you’re bored, as there is always something to do. Employers like people who take initiative. If you finished a project and your employer hasn’t given you something new yet, work on something you’ve been meaning to finish or something you know will impress the staff. Also, if you have a great idea, run with it! Expand upon it and present your great idea to the staff.
Keep a Positive Attitude – Your task might not always be as cool as attending a swanky cocktail, but we would love if you pretended it was. Some non-profits deal with some depressing issues on a daily basis, an employee with a smile on their face is always like a ray of sunshine.
Be Resourceful – Roll up your sleeves and dive into your project. Employers are looking for someone that is well rounded and knows how to use what’s available to them to be as efficient as possible.
Think Creatively – Creativity is at the core of the non-profit world. We are always thinking of new, innovative ways to achieve something faster, cheaper or more effective. Employees at non-profits should be no different. Think outside the box and challenge the status quo.
While these qualities might be overlooked in other office settings, they are revered in the non-profit world. If you’re interested in working towards impact in an open and transparent environment where you are recognized for achievements, you’re in the right field. Just make sure you brush up on that Intro to Accounting class, because you might need it!