(Inc.) This Corporate Executive and Non-Profit Director Busts the Myths About Working for Non-Profits

Thinking about going into non-profit work? This longtime exec has been on both sides, and cautions you to reconsider your assumptions.

Lots of people want to do good in their lives. As a result, many of them envision themselves right at home in the non-profit world. To be sure, there are any number of ways a non-profit can change the world for the better. But make no mistake that many non-profits function in ways very different from most for-profit businesses. It can be a very different game of politics in which some people are not suited to contend. You should know the reality of non-profit work before you made a decision to join one.

David Griffith made many assumptions about non-profit work as he transitioned from the corporate world. Griffith had an accomplished career as an executive at IBM and MCI, and was the President and CEO of The Modern Group. Since then, he’s held a number of board positions at corporations and non-profits, including the Delaware Valley Floral GroupMountain Laurel SpiritsVerus, Hoober, the World Affairs Council of PhiladelphiaThe Economy League of Philadelphia, and The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University. Today, Griffith is the Executive Director and Head Coach at Episcopal Community Services Philadelphia, where he works to empower families to overcome intergenerational poverty. Through his experience, which he often shares in his leadership blog Wear Muddy Boots, and in his talks at Wharton and other area venues, he’s learned what those aspiring to non-profit work need to know.

Here, Griffith upends the most common myths you thought you knew about non-profits.

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