MBA to make a difference
March 10, 2011 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Using a marketing MBA for world good

Okay this is a loaded question but..

I have an MBA in marketing and work in the online advertising business. My goal is to use my MBA to make a difference in the world. Tall order? maybe

My interest lie in

1) helping eradicate poverty in impoverished nations or
2) helping the old/senior in nations where there is considerable poverty or where they have been largely ignored
3) fighting against animal cruelty

I really need input here as I am at my wits end as to how i can use my business degree to achieve these goals. My heroes are folks of the Grameen foundation but to do any such work I would need a finance degree and I am terrible at finance.

Not sure how my online advertising experience can be channelized. Going back to school is not an option

I really want to make a difference in old and poor people's lives. Not sure how

All input is very welcome, if you know of foundations/others who did something similiar that would be good. Also, I am in my early 40's so dropping this life and volunteering around the world wouldnt work

Thanks everyone in advance
posted by pakora1 to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Surely the easiest solution is working in advertising for a charity that works towards one of those goals. Your objective would be to increase donations to the charity.
posted by lollusc at 10:45 PM on March 10, 2011

You have a job, you have a life. Your job is your job. Your life is making a difference in old and poor people's lives. Someday, it will be something you can do as a leader, if you want that. Sooner, perhaps it will help you find the place for a family of your own.
posted by parmanparman at 10:49 PM on March 10, 2011

Offer free or reduced cost marketing help to non profits, they need it. Or offer any other skills you have until you get familiar with the non profit world. A lot of smaller non profits are working on community awareness campaigns. If you were interested in that you could find a place to do it.
posted by boobjob at 11:17 PM on March 10, 2011

where do you want to help poor old people?
posted by parmanparman at 2:36 AM on March 11, 2011

You should go work in development at a nonprofit that pursues these goals.
posted by Aizkolari at 4:04 AM on March 11, 2011

Nonprofits and charities need people with exactly the skills you describe. Marketing in all channels plays a key role in fundraising. Also many organizations are trying to figure out how to use social media to increase their visibility, membership and fundraising. You may find it useful to google social entrepreneurship.

I would suggest looking for a job in marketing for a nonprofit, and also looking for organizations with the mission you describe and offering your services, either on a paid or volunteer basis.
posted by bayleaf at 4:54 AM on March 11, 2011

Check out Omidyar's jobs and of course Idealist. Consider roles like Movement Communications Manager and the like. Agreeing with bayleaf.
posted by brainwane at 6:57 AM on March 11, 2011

As people have said non-profits these days are fairly savvy about marketing, and there is no reason why you can't use your skills to work for a non-profit including in microfinance.

Be advised though that there are lots of people who feel as you do, so even being willing to take a sizeable pay cut, it's not that easy to land a paid position. Often people spend time volunteering before getting considered for employment.

You don't necessarily need to give up your job or go abroad to volunteer, for example Accion has an office in Boston, and the Grameen Foundation has offices in DC and Seattle.

My advice is spend time exploring the field, get involved in whatever way works for you, do what you can, build some relationships and aim to get where you want step by step.
posted by philipy at 10:50 AM on March 11, 2011

Look into joining a board. Many would be interested in your skill set and connections and it can be a good toe-step into the very different world of nonprofits (which you may not like as much -- I've known people whose idealism has been destroyed by trying to marry it to their 9-to-5).

Look at Volunteer Match, Board Match, Idealist, or Taproot.

Online Communications/Social Media/Community Manager positions are all over the place, and growing. I'd look into those too.
posted by blandcamp at 11:53 AM on March 11, 2011

which you may not like as much

This is an important point. Many things look great from a distance, but the reality of orgs and their actual impact is often not what you fondly imagined.
posted by philipy at 12:07 PM on March 11, 2011

Response by poster: Agreed. I dont believe in the fact that you cant make money whilst helping others. The trick is to use Capitalism to provide good for the society which is what I am looking for. Sort of a "for profit" for social causes
posted by pakora1 at 5:33 PM on April 8, 2011

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