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Monday, April 24, 2006

Transition from the Finance Sector to Nonprofit Sector

The finance career shift to nonprofit sector

Are you a mid-career finance, real estate or accounting type who suddenly wants more from life than a fat paycheck?

You do not have to leave your profession to change the world. Instead, try the transition to the nonprofit sector.

Any shift to the nonprofit career world means sacrifices, starting with a smaller salary. If you are one of those flexible type, you could adjust easily to the changes that will occur.

Salaries for accountants are 10 to 20 percent lower at nonprofits than at for-profits. The starting salaries are not significantly different, but as you go up to senior accounting levels, the disparities are greater.

The largest and best-known nonprofits are most likely to pay a market rate. While salaries are rarely more than $100,000 at nonprofits, salaries of $60,000 to $80,000 are not unusual for positions where an MBA or CPA is a major plus but not required. The lowest salaries Lieb has seen were in the $45,000 range for accounting professionals with several years of experience.

Why is your motivation for doing it?

Money doesn't motivate some folks. Maybe your family does not need your salary, or you want to give back to an organization that helped a family member.

Whatever your reason, be ready to explain why you are willing to work for less money. If the pay is going to be considerably less, what draws you to that? You have got to think it through.

Making the Cut

Nonprofits are always looking for experienced finance career professionals. They lose a lot of talent to for-profit positions because of salaries. If you have great skills and experience and you want to take a nonprofit position, you definitely have possibilities.

Good candidates have a public-sector background or experience in a service-oriented niche such as law.

Gain an Unfair Advantage in Career Development using the tips in this Interview Guide


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