June 10, 2019

Honest job descriptions in less than 50 words

Because if we’re being honest, what you do isn’t really that complicated at all.

2 min read

This is our most critical role. You will ensure long-term sustainability so that everyone else can focus on their day jobs. Yours is the position every funder wants to see in the organisation. Unfortunately, none of them want to pay for you.


You are the person we bring in to make it “like the private sector” and ensure a smooth transition once the founder retires or takes a less active role. Which will happen… one day.

Finance Director

12A, 80G and FCRA. Who cares what else you do?


Related article: How to ace your nonprofit job interview 

M&E Manager

You will demonstrate our credibility to institutional funders. You will be adept at making logframes in cursive and calligraphy, and talking poignantly about the finer points of outcomes versus outputs. You will be equally adept at steering the conversation away from discussing our actual impact.

Graphic Designer

This is the most critical role in our organisation. The right pictures, thoughtfully placed callout boxes, sensitive fonts – you will ensure that everyone loves our reports without reading them.

job descriptions_humour

Programme Director

You will be great at making our programmes sound “innovative”, “impactful”, and “scalable” to each funder. You will be able to relate each funder’s unique theory of change to our programmes and demonstrate a perfect fit, no matter the approach.

Programme Officer

You will be great at making the senior management believe that your ideas are their suggestions, and therefore have a chance to see them implemented. Alternatively, you will be great at convincing yourself that you agree with their decisions.

Communications Officer

Can you figure out a way to make us go viral every week?

Related article: So much ‘work’, so little time


The genius nonprofit (see also: jugaad; stingy) solution to the no-money-for-staff conundrum. “Let’s get interns to do this!” Because why pay someone a living wage to execute a critical task when we could get someone else with no training to do it?

Policy and Advocacy Director

You will convince the government to scale up our program after we have completed one evaluation study. Also, you will speak on lots of panels about how challenging working with the government is.


You are the only sales pitch the organisation needs– the personal story, the gravitas, the ethnic clothes, the white hair. Until you want to (or are begged to) retire, and then everyone else suddenly remembers institution building.

Board members

You will steer the organisation towards sustainability, and the adoption of sound, ethical, and legally-compliant policies. Also, please convince everyone in South Mumbai/Delhi/Bangalore to donate to us.

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Karan Malik-Image
Karan Malik

Karan Malik is Head of Programmes-India, British Asian Trust. Previously, he worked with the Social Impact and Development Practice at Boston Consulting Group. Prior to that, he worked on issues relating to maternal and child health and adolescent girl empowerment at Dasra. Karan has also worked with PRS Legislative Research and the Singapore Economic Development Board. He has a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University, where he focused on International Development.