NYC non-profit professional networks
March 25, 2010 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Seeking networking groups for a youngish, unemployed, non-profit-minded professional in NYC.

I have been living in NYC since this past July and I am having a hard time finding employment in my field. I have done temping and odd jobs. I have scoured Idealist and Craigslist daily (among many other sites) and sent out hundreds of resumes. I have cold-emailed and cold-called contacts at various organizations at which I am interested in working. So far I have managed a total of three interviews but none have turned into a position. I got my Masters in Social Work last spring, and I’m looking for non-clinical positions such as program planning, program development and/or program evaluation, project coordination, or any kind of assistant to people in these kinds of positions, preferably in a non-profit setting serving pretty much any population (I would prefer children and families/women, or LGBT communities, but I’m really not dead-set on working with one specific population as I am not really looking for direct practice roles).

I know: NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK! What I have discovered is how difficult networking is. I have a handful of friends in the city, but none are even remotely related to my field. Most are artists/musicians, but few are involved in the non-profit world, as they aren’t, at this point, successful artists or musicians (mostly people in their late 20s or early 30s--I am 27, if that's relevant). I go to every social function I get invited to with the hope of maybe getting the opportunity to meet someone who IS at least somewhat tangentially involved in the non-profit/social service/etc world who could give me a leg up. I've also tapped my alumni network from my undergrad and grad school, but the network barely reaches as far as this city. And yes, I’ve been to some MetaFilter meetups as well and have talked to people that have good advice that I have followed. But ultimately no opportunities have yet arisen from any of these interactions.

What I am seeking here are networking groups, be they professional organizations, or women’s organizations or whatever, where you can just walk in and sign up, where you don’t need an invitation or have to pay a fee of any kind. These can be formal, informal, small or large. I tend to do better in groups of warm, inviting, sociable people instead of in groups of cut-throat self-promoters. Can you recommend any such groups in NYC that fit this description? I am also open to any general recommendations or suggestions you might have to help me improve my employment search as well.

Thanks!
posted by greta simone to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Forgot to mention that, yes, I am already looking into the Young Non-Profit Professionals Network.
posted by greta simone at 12:13 PM on March 25, 2010


The Foundation Center has some free events, if you have any interest in fundraising. If you look on their calender, the free ones are the ones that say "Special Event". I can't tell you about the crowd, though, I'm actually attending my first one tomorrow. I see that in April they have one on career advancement, and one on building volunteer programs.
posted by kimdog at 12:20 PM on March 25, 2010


You might look at the AAUW (American Association of University Women).
posted by CathyG at 1:08 PM on March 25, 2010


Sounds like you're doing the right thing. Networking is a long-term, sustained activity. Networking doesn't magically get you a job.

It sounds like you have an income via your temp work and you are making contacts in areas that interest you. Keep doing that. Don't expect that you will land work in your area of interest after only a short period of networking. This is doubly so for areas such as non-profits, which are chronically short on cash, and so employment opportunities.
posted by dfriedman at 1:21 PM on March 25, 2010


Greendrinks. It's very eco-focused, but there's a lot of overlap in the NPO world in NYC.
posted by MesoFilter at 1:24 PM on March 25, 2010


You should look at jobs on political campaigns now. Tom Manatos (look it up) has a good job list. Not always jobs in NYC but definitely in New York. You can do call center and GOTV and build a pretty good network. Once the election is really looming you'll be crowded in with honchos from all the large places and organizations and really be able to network. Take it slow and pull back the cover letter cannon.
posted by parmanparman at 3:18 PM on March 25, 2010


the 405 club!
posted by getmetoSF at 9:48 AM on March 26, 2010


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