Fundraise Smarter

Nonprofit Executives' First Jobs

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Dec 7, 2015 10:00:00 AM

First jobs. We all had one, and they probably had nothing to do with what we do today, right?

Maybe not.

One of my favorite professors in college used to always remind us:

“Everything relates to everything.”

My first job was being a janitor at my church. At surface level, it might seem like that has nothing to do with running fundraising resources and education for a software company, but it relates more than you realize. It taught me the importance of process and routine. I did the same task every night I worked. Once I had my routine down, I was able to do a quality job quickly.

So I wanted to learn about the first jobs of nonprofit leaders and see what they learned from that job that helps them today. Some told me about their first jobs right out of college, others their very VERY first job.

Here’s what three nonprofit executives and directors had to say:

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Topics: nonprofit leadership

The Nonprofit Sector Has a Diversity Problem.

Posted by Brooke Binkowski on Nov 30, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Diversity is a big word.

A huge one, actually. Not because it's a particularly long one, or even because it's more than three syllables, but because it's a word that's fraught with meaning and connotation, a corporate buzzword that is also a pretty decent goal. Diversity encompasses differences in how you perceive and are perceived, how you act, how you think, and what you think. It's something that should be pursued, but should diversity be a goal for its own sake, or should it occur organically? How do you foster it in the workplace and create an environment that benefits everybody without creating friction? Where do you begin?

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Topics: Nonprofit, nonprofit leadership, nonprofit management

Oh Captain, My Captain: Navigating the Seas of Donor Stewardship

Posted by Brooke Binkowski on Sep 17, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Editorial note: We're trying something different today! Blog contributor Brooke Binkowski put her podcasting skills to work and made a wonderful audio version of today's blog post. No time to read? Listen to this 5 minute podcast version instead!

If you're running a nonprofit organization, one of the major parts of your work, no matter what, will be money-related: raising it, administering it, and redistributing it. And of course, finding and cultivating donors will be an important part of that work.

If you're the head of your nonprofit, you sometimes start to feel like the captain of a vessel – most of your day-to-day probably involves running around, issuing orders and guidelines, putting out fires, and getting everybody to do their share of the rowing. When you're doing all that, who has time for fundraising?

Of course, when you're sailing the high seas of the nonprofit sector, raising money becomes a matter of sink or swim.

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Topics: Fundraising, donor stewardship, nonprofit leadership

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