I recently had the honor of listening to Meleah Spencer, Executive Director of the Discovery Center, share her experiences as an executive working in the non-profit world. She shared her journey about how non-profit work captivated her heart and then shared many of the daily challenges she has experienced. As a public relations student who is civically engaged and finds value in serving others, I found this really interesting and hope to capture your attention in my next few thoughts…
In my experiences, I have found that we all see the positive aspects of non-profit work. We see the thousands of dollars raised through successful philanthropy
events, the hundreds of families that are given hope during the holiday season, and the food that is collected just before Thanksgiving. We share the great memories of these events and applaud the hard work of volunteers that help make this happen. Yet, at the end of the day, when the event is over, we often times fail to notice the hard work happening in the office every single day to make the non-profit successes successful. We fail to understand the true operations of a non-profit in today’s world. We fail to see their challenges and how they overcome those.
These exact things are what Meleah’s presentation captivated my thoughts on. How is one organization able to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness in our community while operating out of a run-down building and a minimal budget? How they are able to communicate effectively with a minimal communications team and few resources? These were all thoughts that I originally had running through my head. After looking into it further, I realized that those who work in non-profit are some of the hardest working people because of their creative mindsets that get them through each day.
In a non-profit organization, everyone does everything. There is no space for the infamous “that isn’t my job” or “I don’t have time to do that.” If you don’t do it, chances are it won’t get done. I think that is so interesting compared to other job descriptions in larger companies. Non-profit work prepares you for any kind of job because you aren’t limited to your daily expectations – you do it all. Whether it is communicating with your different publics and constituents or maintaining the budget – you’re doing it. If there is a maintenance issue – grab the tools! Need to do some serious fundraising? Great! You’re the best candidate for the job. Being creative, flexible, and hardworking are some of the most important skills for someone who might be interested in working for a non-profit.
For those that see a need to help out in the non-profit sector, I hope you find an organization that connects with your passion and skills. I am sure that most non-profit organizations would take your skills and dedication and put them hard to work. Below are a few non-profit organizations located in Springfield, Missouri that you should look into helping out:
- Convoy of Hope
- Rare Breed
- Arc of the Ozarks
- GLO Community Center
- Springfield Coalition for Minority Advancement
- The Victim Center
- Ozarks Food Harvest
What are your thoughts on non-profit organizations after reading this post? Share your thoughts with me via Twitter: @blake_shepheard.