The assumption used to be that MBAs were for those looking for a career in the private sector and MPAs (Master of Public Administration) were for those looking to work in the public sector. However, in an increasingly challenging global environment, MBA hiring in the non profits has increased.
During any period of economic hardship, non profits must find creative ways to maintain their level of funding while also streamlining operations. In this aspect, they are no different from for profits. To achieve this, many more are turning to MBAs because of their strategic and analytical skills as well as their knowledge of the private sector.
Around 10-12% of Habitat for Humanity
’s staff worldwide have an MBA. The level of expertise that MBA bring to this international organization is invaluable.
“We need to apply strong and sound managerial principles in managing the resources the organization is entrusted with,” said Katerina Bezgachina on why they hired MBAs.
In a survey
by Nonprofit HR Solutions
, 44% of nonprofits expected to create new positions within their organizations with 72% saying they would not eliminate any positions. This shows that many are confident that they have or can secure the funds to increase hiring or maintain hiring.
Health non profits are most likely to hire new staff, with 62% of them saying they were looking to hire. However, only 30% of arts, culture and humanities organizations are likely to hire.
Non profits allow MBAs the opportunity to utilize their skills to solve social problems. Apart from making a difference, non profits are an attractive place to work because of their stable and social hours, their good benefits and flexible work schedule.
Grenoble Ecole de Management MBA, Liuichi Hara joined the United Nations
in July 2012 and is now a consultant for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was attracted to the non profit sector because of the opportunity to take on larger responsibility and work on multiple projects. He gained new experience, had more freedom and was able to work towards a goal rather than a bottom line profit.
“The MBA grooms you to learn how to tackle complex issues by structuring your thoughts and break problems down to its component parts,” he said.
“I believe MBAs have a lot to bring to the non profit sector. MBAs can offer industry knowledge as well as best practice from their respective field that can help improve the non profit sector to work better and more effectively,” he added.
Liuichi’s specialization in Technology & Innovation Management has been very beneficial at the UN. And he believes the non profit sector has much to gain from the expertise from private sector professionals in the areas of technology, new product development and continuous improvement.
“I have to give a lot of credit to the HEC Paris MBA,” she said. “I believe the program has truly helped us alumni not only acquire good knowledge of the science of management and establish a highly international network we can tap into, but has also helped us to grow into being independent thinkers willing to venture outside the typical path.”
Triin now works as the General Manager of the social enterprise she helped to establish last year in Morrocco.
An MBA career in the non profit sector can be both challenging and rewarding. There are opportunities for MBAs to transform and enrich organizations using their business and private sector knowledge.
“The momentum between the private and nonprofit sector is very much different with the private being much faster to make changes,” Liuichi said. “Shifting some of the speed from private to the nonprofit sector would generate a great deal of impact as it would help accelerate implementation of vital projects.
Today’s MBAs have a chance to lead the change in tomorrow’s non profits.