If you have decided that you want to move into the world of philanthropy, and your goal is to work for a foundation, then you will come to find out that it is a bit different than looking for a regular job. The world of foundations are a smaller, and more tight knit community then large corporations. That doesn't mean that you cannot get a job working for one. What it does mean is that you have to go about it a bit differently. Here are four tips to help you get started.
Reach out and Connect with the Funders
If at all possible, you should look to connect with someone who funds the foundation. If you have a family connection, work connection, or some common interest, then you should try and use this to get in touch with them. The people who fund the foundations are incredibly powerful because, without them, there would be no foundation. If you can communicate your desire to work for a project they are interested in, then you might get a recommendation.
Specialized Skills or General Job
If you have a very specialized skill, then you should search out foundations that support a cause that correlates with that skill. For instance, if you have a degree in Hindi and Gender Studies, you might want to search for a foundation that supports organizations devoted to poor females in India. Obviously you will be well versed to deal with these organizations and the foundation will see you as an asset.
Look to Start at the Bottom
If you have a more general degree, then you should look to apply to foundations in a more entry-level capacity. Many of the foundations have need for support staff that are not necessarily required to have any in-depth knowledge about the particular cause the foundation supports. An entry-level job is a great way to get your foot in the door and then learn about the different aspects of the foundation.
Use a Specialized Search Service
Finally, you should look for a service that is geared towards finding you work with foundations. You wouldn't go to an agency that represents actors if you wanted to work on Wall Street as a stockbroker, so use that same line of thinking when it comes to searching for a job at a foundation. You want to deal with people who have connections to the world of philanthropy. They will assess your resume and decide what are your strengths and where you would most likely fit. They will also have knowledge of many of the local foundations in your area, some of which might not even have a robust web presence and therefore you might miss the opportunities otherwise.
For more information about working with a foundation, speak with a company like Foundation List.
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