7 Philanthropic Career Moves for Retired Pastors

7 Philanthropic Career Moves for Retired Pastors June 12, 2023

Philanthropy is a natural career move for retired church pastors. Pastors have all of the qualities to succeed in this line of work, including leadership, empathy, organization skills and the ability to connect with people on a personal level. 

With your education and experience, you can confidently pursue one of these seven philanthropic careers.

1. Non-Profit Program Assistant

Non-profit organizations are ideal places for retired pastors to apply their skills. If you join a non-profit, your first position will likely be program assistant. Program assistants perform a variety of administrative tasks that are crucial to the non-profit’s daily routine. They schedule meetings, document important interactions and keep a calendar of upcoming community events.

Program assistants also act as deputies and advisors to the program officer, manager and director. You will be a key player in organizing and hosting every event. If you want a career that will keep you physically active while serving the commuting 

2. Development Officer

Development officers are responsible for all of the non-profit organization’s fundraising efforts. They have to manage donations, distribute tasks and find locations for upcoming events. As a former pastor, you should have lots of experience coordinating fundraisers with your church. This job will put your experience to the test and keep you deeply involved in your community.

To be clear, a development officer is a full-time role. You will work 40+ hours a week, taking frequent phone calls, attending meetings and doing lots of paperwork. Public speaking and documentation will be nearly constant. Your sermon skills will certainly come in handy in this position.

3. Philanthropy Manager

If you’re looking for a leadership position, philanthropy manager should be at the top of your job search list. The manager oversees all community engagement efforts within the non-profit organization. You will be right in your element as a former pastor. Organizing finances, communicating with donors and promoting events will be your main responsibilities.

However, you won’t spend as much time directly interacting with community members as you might like. Most of your daily discussions will take place with strangers from businesses and other non-profits you want to collaborate with. Philanthropy managers assume more of a behind-the-scenes role, while development officers are visible participants in the events.

4. Home Care Franchisee

Franchising is a popular career choice for self-employed individuals. What better industry to become a franchisee than home care? Home care services help elderly and disabled people with daily tasks in their own homes, rather than a health care facility. Your experiences with disenfranchised people in your parish community will perfectly translate to this new role.

Fortunately, projections for the home car franchise industry look good. The International Franchise Association projects a 29% increase in demand through 2024.  

Old man with apron at doorway.

5. Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists are the main figures responsible for hiring and onboarding new employees for a non-profit organization. They conduct interviews, organize personal documents and play a key role in the training process. Most importantly, they ensure that every team member upholds the organization’s values and contributes to a positive work environment.

Although you won’t be involved in community events, you will get to constantly interact with co-workers. This job is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate those soft skills that you developed as a pastor and help everyone feel welcomed at their new job.

6. Non-Profit Librarian

Non-profit librarians specialize in researching and cataloging all information that’s relevant to the organization. You have plenty of relevant experience from reading and interpreting holy scripture. If you enjoyed the scholarly side of being a pastor, then you will find yourself at home in a librarian role.

7. Human Rights Educator

For all intents and purposes, human rights educators are community pastors without a religious affiliation. They spend all of their time teaching and empowering people to defend their human rights and fight against violations. You have to organize formal lessons and be a powerful voice at community events. All of the qualities that made you a great pastor will translate to this role.

Find a New Passion

Pastoring for your church will always be your first and most important vocation, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your retirement doing nothing. Many people find new passions after they retire. 

These philanthropic career paths give you an opportunity to assume a new role in your community and keep on fighting for a worthy cause.

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