Here’s how to leave your dead-end fundraising job

Just go. That’s it. Really. GO. BREAK UP WITH HIM GIRL. HE’S NOT WORTH IT. You want more? Of course you do, I have an article to write here. Leaving fundraising is something a lot of people do- they go on to Corporate social responsibility jobs, Marketing, Public Relations, Government grant management, Entrepreneurship and more.

Leaving a fundraising career is hard but you can do it. I did it!

Now I’m working for myself, and I really love how my skills from fundraising translated DIRECTLY into entrepreneurship.

But when I work with clients now, some who are looking to leave the field, here’s what I tell them.

A person holding an onion-this onion won't make me cry. The nonprofit industrial complex suppresses your revolutionary potential by professionalizing your activism, so you should leave fundraising and do something else! Crying stick figure man.

Step one: Figure out what you love doing before leaving fundraising

You know, is there a part of your job you love to do. What is it? Is it managing relationships and volunteers? Do you like managing events? Is it asking for money? Is it the writing part of your job? Or is it something else? Do you love the constantly changing nature of the job and how you’re always learning new things? Or do you prefer just doing one thing and want to leave the rest alone? If you could leave your fundraising job, and do something else, how could it incorporate this part?

Step two: Figure out what you hate doing (this should be easy)

Then do less of that! So easy, right? Is it the endless staff meetings? Is it stuffing envelopes? Do you just not like events? Are you bored of begging elite corporate folks for money when you don’t agree with how they treat their workers? OK, that is an ethical dilemma. And what are you going to do about it? Honestly leaving fundraising may be the best option you have. There’s a reason you want to quit. And it may just be salary and how the benefits just do not add up for all the work they want you to do. Maybe they want you to come back into the office and you are still afraid of getting COVID. You should not have to go back! And remote nonprofit jobs could help you there.

Step three: Figure out what you can get paid the most to do

I know, so easy right? How do you figure that out?

Look at this list of the most in demand and highest paying jobs from the Occupational Handbook. Jobs you might be interested in that already utilize your skills in fundraising are Communications Manager, which apparently on Linkedin has become one of the top jobs people were recruiting for at the end of 2021. Or you could go in a completely different direction and look at Information Security Analyst jobs, which is one of the highest paying jobs that requires the least education.

Fundraising folks often have experience in sales, marketing, event management, training, writing, researching, and more, that can all translate into corporate work, government jobs or self employment very easily. We are pretty awesome that way. We can do so much with so little, and have for so long, that it is truly incredible how much our skills translate into other fields.

Step four: Start to interview people already doing it.

It’s actually quite easy to find people who do what you are curious about. Set up some time with them on LinkedIn, and ask them how they got into the world they are in now. What did they study? What books would they recommend? Who did they connect with who got them their first job? What do they wish they knew then, that they know now, about the field? What keeps them up at night? And is there a way your background could translate well into this new field?

Step five: How to take that next step in leaving fundraising

If you want more about tailoring your resume or cover letter to your new job, you should definitely check out my careers page where I have TONS of resources for you.

Or get my book, Get the Job, Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide. The tips I share in there definitely apply for getting out of fundraising as well.

If you’d like more support to get out of your current job and into something better, I love helping people translate their current experience into a different field and leave fundraising. Set up a call. I’d love to hear from you!

Want to see results I got for other people? Naturally. Go here to see what people have said about working with me.

mazarine treyz, phone booth, leaving fundraising, finding another career
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