Leaving Government And Considering The Unfunded Sector?

In about six weeks there will be a new administration in charge of the federal government. This means thousands of hardworking, talented and experienced change agents will soon be out of a job. Many have lined up their next gig while others haven’t begun looking. Some will move to other positions in the Government or transition to upcoming campaigns. Some will eye the social sector (nonprofits, foundations, etc) as their next step. If this is you I’m here to encourage you.

One of the best professional experiences of my life was working, on behalf of the PVBLIC Foundation on the “It’s On Us” campaign in partnership with the White House. It was a pleasure to work with the hardworking & talented folks at the White House and to witness first hand the awesome power of the White House to create substantial change.

It was quite a departure from what I normally do. The Unfunded rarely have access to that sort of influence. Before the launch of the campaign, I coordinated the lion’s share of the media donations to make sure the campaign was heard and it was some of the easiest fundraising I’d ever done. Major companies were lining up to help the White House stop sexual assault on campuses. It was incredible.

While that was happening there were thousands of unfunded organizations without access to the President who were also waking up every day to do all the good they can, for all the people they can, in all the ways they can, as long as ever they can. Some of them can be found on the Unfunded List (conveniently announced earlier this week). But there are many more. They definitely need your help.

They definitely need your help but working with them will be different than working with the White House. In some ways, it will be much harder. Your campaigns will not go viral as easily. Your phone calls might not get returned – ever. You might end up out of a job because a donation doesn’t come through. There are exceptions sure but many organizations work under extreme scarcity. The salaries will be low and the benefits will be few.

Nonetheless, this is what I’ve chosen to spend my time on and it’s not because I enjoy torturing myself. The lows may be frequent in this work but the highs are incredible. The social sector is vast and affords many interesting opportunities not found in the halls of Government. And as you and I both know the White House partners often with the social sector. Your experiences will be invaluable towards these future partnerships.

If you choose to make money – that will go well. If you decide to become famous – you probably will (it doesn’t seem hard). But if you want to change things we could really use your help.


Dave (on behalf of the Unfunded)

P.S. And to encourage you on your next step we’ve partnered with several organizations to host a career fair event with over 50 hiring social impact organizations in attendance. See you there!

New Leads for NextGen Leaders


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