Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting Nonprofit Job Classifications Right

I've spent some time this morning and earlier this week in phone consultation with a for-profit company, and it's been great. No, I haven't turned away from the nonprofit sector. I'm still fully busy serving as an Interim Executive Director for one agency, and squeezing in some retreat facilitation and training when I can.

But this for-profit came to me with a problem that has bugged me for many years, and I'll bet you've had the same frustration. When you've gone to the major, general interest job sites (Monster, Career Builder, etc.) have you ever looked at the classifications for nonprofit jobs and said to yourself, "They just don't get it."?

Well, this company is putting together a new, better job search engine, and is really trying to get the nonprofit jobs right. It gave me a chance to think about how we describe ourselves and our positions in the nonprofit world.

Do you consider yourself an advocate first, and the area of your advocacy second? Or do you consider yourself an environmentalist, or a human services person first, and advocacy second? What about for fundraisers? Are you a committed to your issue are first, or could you raise money for any cause? Is the answer different based on your job function? I'd be interested in reading your comments on this.

Hopefully, soon, they will complete their project and launch the site, and I'll be able to give them a plug here. I know I'm looking forward to seeing the end results.

A plug I can give now is to Nancy Schwartz, of the Getting Attention blog. Nancy is a nonprofit communications and PR expert who annually compiles the Nonprofit Tagline Report. This year's report was just released and is available for download by clicking this link: In the report you'll learn "How to Build Your Nonprofit's Brand in Eight Words or Less..."
  • The 10 Have-Tos for Successful Taglines. Put your nonprofit marketing into high gear.
  • The 7 Deadly Sins. Examples of what not to do.
  • What Makes a Winning Tagline. Winners of the 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Awards.
  • Over 2,500 Nonprofit Tagline Examples. Put them to work for tagline brainstorming.
Enjoy the report, and thanks for reading!