The use of senior contractors is on the rise across the marketing industry as a whole, according to our 2012 marketing trends report. The not-for-profit sector in particular requires interim managers to lead a range of projects and initiatives.
There has always been a demand for interim solutions in the charities sector but budget issues means the demand is increasing. Organisations might bring in interim managers to cover maternity leave or sickness, or might need extra assistance for big projects. They are experts in their field, can be flexible on location and they often have experience working in multiple organisations.
Charities going through brand development projects are likely to need interim management professionals who can act as a fresh pair of eyes from outside the business and can also share insight into the way other organisations have conducted their projects. Interim managers give impartial advice as they have no prior commitments to the organisation and can advise on what steps need to be taken when their contract ends.
What to expect as an interim manager
Many professionals choose the interim route because of what it can offer your work/life balance. In this sense it really is a lifestyle choice. One of the biggest advantages of working as an interim manager is the freedom to choose which jobs you take and deciding whether to take a break between jobs. Another attraction for many people is that you can earn significantly more as an interim manager than you would in a permanent role.
Brand development projects can offer project managers 6-9 month contracts, time enough for you to gain valuable insight into the organisation and their fundraising, make a difference and leave with no commitments afterwards, ready to move onto another company.
Don’t forget that although the roles are temporary and you will have no further commitment to the project/company, making the right impression during your time and when you leave can help your career in the long-term. The sector is well networked, so it’s easy to build up a good reputation... or a bad one! Because of its sociable nature, you’ll find that you’ll build up contacts quickly.
Developing your interim career
If you’ve got good digital skills, you’ll be in high demand. Many director level professionals began their careers when digital wasn’t essential, so where they lack these attributes, interim managers can make up the difference. As a senior level fundraiser you should also have good knowledge of EDM and other online based ways of reaching the market.
Research each organisation you choose to work for, the more you know about them before you start the more immediate your effect there will be. Also, because of the way charities operate in the market, they will experience similar conditions so skills and experience is transferable. Adding skills to your CV from one organisation will make you more desirable to another.
At Michael Page, we’ve seen a significant increase in organisations wanting interim solutions. If you’re looking for a change from your permanent role, have you considered a career as an interim fundraising consultant?
For our latest opportunities, browse our public sector and not-for-profit contract jobs.