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Find Your Dream Job: Insider Tips for Finding Work, Advancing your Career, and Loving Your Job

Feb 24, 2016

More than 10 million Americans work for nonprofits today. Even the Great Recession couldn’t stop growth in this sector. According to the federal government, the number of nonprofit jobs increased by 18% between 2000 and 2010. And that trend shows no sign of slowing down in the near future.

And while the demand for skilled nonprofit workers is huge, it’s often be difficult for established professionals to transition into this sector. It can be a challenge to frame skills developed in the profit world in a way that resonates with nonprofits. Plus, there’s a huge amount of diversity within the nonprofit space.

This week on Find Your Dream Job, Mac talks with Marcia Ballinger, an executive recruiter for nonprofit organizations and co-author of The 20-Minute Networking Meeting. Marcia shares her tips for how professionals in the private sector can make the jump into a nonprofit career. She believes it’s all about fit; you need to find the type of nonprofit--and a role within that nonprofit--that aligns with your skills, passions, and professional narrative.

In this 33-minute episode you will learn:

  • Why so many people want a nonprofit career
  • The multiple paths into the nonprofit sector
  • How to find the best “nonprofit fit” for your professional background
  • Why you need to get specific and focussed in your nonprofit job search
  • How to manage salary and benefit expectations when you move into the nonprofit space
  • The role of passion and values in a nonprofit career

This week’s guest:

Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D. (@marciaballinger | LinkedIn)
Co-founder and Principal at Ballinger | Leafblad, Inc.
Co-author, The 20-Minute Networking Meeting
Minneapolis, Minn.

Listener question of the week: 

  • I’m currently hunting for a job in the nonprofit space. I’ve recently saw an opening where the job duties perfectly align with my skills and professional interests; unfortunately I’m not really passionate about the organization’s mission. How should I address the “passion” issue during my interview?

Answering our question this week is Aubrie De Clerck, principal at Portland-based Coaching for Clarity. If you have a question you’d like us to answer on a future episode, please contact us at

Resources referenced on this week’s show:

If you have a job-hunting or career development resource resource you’d like to share, please contact Ben Forstag, Mac’s List Managing Director at

Thank you for listening to Find Your Dream Job. If you like this show, please help us by rating and reviewing our podcast on iTunes. We appreciate your support!

Opening and closing music for Find Your Dream Job provided by Freddy Trujillo,