Strategic Advice for Transitioning From For-Profit to Nonprofit Work

Posted March 6, 2024

With red-hot markets for qualified candidates making nonprofit hiring a challenge, many organizations are considering recruiting people without prior nonprofit experience. Doing so can lead to many benefits for both the recruiting organization and the recruit – fresh views, alternative perspectives, and plenty of opportunities for learning and growth abound.

But switching from for-profit to nonprofit work – especially to Director, VP, and Chief-level roles – comes with its own set of challenges. Below are interviews with three successful for-to-nonprofit career transitioners: transitioning from for profit to nonprofit work

 

Read and watch to discover the myriad paths their careers took, honest insights into the challenges of transitioning to nonprofit work, and helpful advice for those looking to make the switch.

 

1. Michele Meyer-Shipp, Esq. – Dress for Success Worldwide

Meyer-Shipp started as a lawyer and litigator before switching to a variety of corporate roles focused on talent recruitment, talent management, DEI implementation, and HR. Her last for-profit position was as the Chief People & Culture Officer at Major League Baseball. In 2021, she was recruited by Dress for Success Worldwide to be their new Chief Executive Officer.

 

2. Jeff Clements – American Promise

Clements practiced as a lawyer in both private practice and as part of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Following the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United v. F.E.C. – a case that allowed unlimited money from corporations, billionaires, foreign entities, etc., to influence American elections – Clements and his colleagues began sketching out a nonprofit aimed at creating a Constitutional amendment to nullify Citizens. They launched American Promise in 2016.

 

3. Edie Perkins – Kelly Brush Foundation

Perkins spent most of her career in academic/educational publishing, including 13 years at Scholastic in several VP-level roles. However, after being hit by a car on one of her long bike rides, she became one of the ~300k people in the United States living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). This spurred her to seek meaningful work that tied together her love of sport, business background, and new identity as a person with a disability, which is when she discovered the Executive Director role at the Kelly Brush Foundation. This organization helps and encourages those with SCIs to continue to live active lives with the assistance of adaptive sports equipment, and Perkins joined in January 2021.

 

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