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February 13, 2020

Switching Sectors

Looking to make the leap from business to a nonprofit? Nonprofits provide vital services and programs to our communities, and you can make a significant impact by applying your expertise to a nonprofit organization. As you consider changing sectors, here are tips for transitioning from a for-profit to a nonprofit, including the new knowledge you may need to gain.

Enhance Your Strategy
You’re likely entering the nonprofit sector with leadership and technical skills that can easily be applied to the work, so now is the time to focus on shifting strategy. Nonprofit leaders must be skilled in strategic and systems thinking as they guide the organization’s vision, mission, and programs.

Finesse Your Finance Knowledge
Being part of a nonprofit organization may change the way you approach the bottom line, but the fundamentals of finance remain the same. Nonprofit finance is a cornerstone to organizational health and sustainability. Learn the budget models, operational planning, and resource allocation needed in the nonprofit sector.

Expand Your Network
You may have spent years in one industry establishing relationships, but as you look to the nonprofit sector, you may need to expand your network. Do informational interviews, register for networking events, and reach out to people on LinkedIn who work in the field you hope to join, or become a volunteer.

Know Your Motivation
Embrace the challenges that may come with nonprofit work and remember you are part of a mission-driven organization seeking ways to make an impact. Identify your motives for changing sectors and remember them if you meet resistance. The nonprofit sector often moves slower so prepare yourself!

Graduate courses start March 30 in the Nonprofit Leadership program at the University of Denver—a private university dedicated to the public good. Leading Nonprofit Financial Health, Leading Strategically, and Applied Development Practices are just a few of the online and evening courses available this spring. Review the course schedule and get started in spring!

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