Throughout my life, I have sought to do work that matters. I would often volunteer in community organizations and my local church, seeking ways to serve others. Until, I completed my undergraduate degree, my experience with the nonprofit sector dealt primarily with serving as a volunteer. Now, as I a paid staff member at a nonprofit, I realize that nonprofit work has a variety of benefits. The three top reasons I continue to be interested in nonprofit are as follows. 1) Each day brings variety. 2) I get work in multiple roles. ) There are opportunities to work with and serve amazing people.
Noticeably, I have played primarily support in nonprofits. I realize that to become an effective executive director I will need further training in human capital management, strategic planning, and development. INTEREST IN NONPROFIT WORK In general my interest in nonprofit work stems from doing work that can directly impact the lives of people. I have spent the majority of my post-undergraduate experience either working closely with nonprofits or working directly for one.
Now that | am about to start my fourth year working at my current organization, I realized that there are three main interests that continue to fuel my work there, and the nonprofit sector in general. Having Variety in My Day This is particularly true for my current role in a newly formed Bible college that is situated in a large nonprofit, a church. In this formational time in my organization, I found myself beginning to have routine tasks, but also facing new issues and challenges each day.
These challenges can be frustrating. However, they are opportunities to build on the foundation of the college for years to come. Moreover, as each day looks different, I have multiple opportunities to learn and grow in my organization. Wearing Multiple Hats Another reason I am interested in nonprofit work is that I get the opportunity to work in multiple roles and gain a broad variety of work experience. The running joke at my current job is that we all wear multiple hats.
At the moment as I write this paper, I have five distinct roles within my organization. Although there are some roles that I enjoy more than others, I appreciate getting to learn about different facets of an organization. Additionally, these multiple roles help me understand how different aspects of the organization relate to each other. Building Relationships What interests me most about nonprofit work is the people, both my coworkers and the people we serve.
Working for nonprofits such as Children’s Defense Fund and Teach for America and even the fairly new Bethany College, I see that all of them have people united for a common cause to serve others. In nonprofit work, I have the ability to build relationships and glean from the experience and expertise of others. In my current job, we have a fairly flat organizational structure and we often collaborate on a several projects and initiatives. As we grow, this may change to accommodate the need for structure.
However, at the time, I appreciate the opportunities to work closely with such passionate individuals. THREE PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AREAS Now as I move forward, I realize that I need to focus on three main areas to increase my effectiveness in nonprofit work. Human Capital Management As a large portion of nonprofit work deals with people, it is important for me as a future nonprofit leader to understand best practices in the recruitment, selection, and retention of both paid staff and volunteers.
I have had only minimal experience with the selection and hiring process in previous jobs. I recently took the human resource management course, which provided me with a stronger background in this very area. However, I would like to gain more real-life experience in this specific area. Strategic Planning Strategic planning is a multifaceted process, and I would like to increase by level of expertise in this area. Throughout my nonprofit experience I have had the opportunity to done longterm planning on a small scale, such as for a multi-month project or summer program.
Over the next few years, I would like to gain hands-on experience in developing and executing multi-year strategic plans. Moreover, I would like to increase my ability to lead the strategic planning process and communicate organizational vision and mission to a team. I am currently working on a strategic plan for my individual department at my work. Unlike other long-term plans I have created in the past, I also have to allocate and project a budget to make this plan a reality.
Thus, another aspect of strategic planning I need to learn is how to effectively align my budgetary decisions to the overarching strategic plan of my department and organization. Development A large part of the nonprofit sector deals with garner financial support for program operations. My current experience in development is limited, at best. I briefly have been involved with alumni relations at my undergraduate university, but it does not compare with planning and executing a plan to raise funding organization wide.
With a wide variety of funding sources available, I believe mastering skills such as grant writing and building a donor base will help me in nonprofit leadership. CONCLUSION I enjoy nonprofit work and want to build my capacity to handle more situations. Although, there are several areas that I could grow in, I believe that focusing on skills relating to investing in human capital building, organizational planning, and fundraising, would be most beneficial. I look forward to this semester and the years to come to increase my capacity as nonprofit leader.