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Event Recap: Moving In and Out of Development

Portlanders exploring a career move into or out of nonprofit development joined YNPN Portland Thursday, Aug. 2 to take part in a panel discussion with Rebecca Channer, Founder of UpCity Consulting and ProsperCity and Jackie Murphy, a Program Officer at Collins Foundation.

Rebecca and Jackie touched on three different topics, drawing from their many years of collective experience as nonprofit professionals. They discussed how to translate your skills for different roles, how to build a vision of your impact on the community and how to find skill development opportunities.

Sharing about your skills and translating them

“Where can you get your foot in the door?” Jackie asked the group, encouraging them to get creative with the variety of roles they consider and how they can gain experience by volunteering. “Craft a path and get experience however you can,” she said.

Jackie also promoted the idea of advocating for what you need financially from a nonprofit employer, adding that organizations with social ventures often generate additional income and sometimes small nonprofits may contract work out.

The two underscored how, in their experience, careers grow and evolve. One great community event or connection with a mentor could help you to find the next exciting opportunity, so remain open.

Building a vision of your impact on the community to guide your career

Rebecca recommended carving out a niche within your work to differentiate yourself and create additional career opportunities, such as consulting.

“Volunteering makes you a more whole person -- even outside of work,” Rebecca said, encouraging the group to stay active and engaged in their communities even while working or attending school.

The two discussed inclusive hiring processes and ensuring that organizations’ staff and board reflects the people they serve. When organizations strive to diversify their candidates, Rebecca and Jackie recommend that they ask these communities where their networks are and how they would like to be reached.

“You have to be the place people want to work for,” Rebecca said. “Create an environment where someone will want to stay -- look inward first, not outward.”

Follow trends in the nonprofit sector for skill development opportunities

“Seek out mentors,” Jackie suggested, sharing that Rebecca has become one of her mentors over the years.

“There are plenty of things you can explore in your own backyard,” Rebecca said, highlighting Nonprofit Association of Oregon and Willamette Valley Development Officers.

Rebecca also encouraged younger members of the group to consider joining junior boards, which are comprised of young professionals in the 20-35-year-old age range.

“Update your LinkedIn profile to say you’re seeking board experience,” Rebecca suggested.

Thank you to all who attended, and to Willamette Valley Development Officers for hosting!


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