Celebrating Six Years of Blogging & the Next Chapter for Nonprofit Chapin

next-chapter

I’ve been waiting to write this blog post for months. I’ve been waiting to make these career decisions for even longer. And today, on the sixth anniversary of this blog, I am ready to share what I’ve been thinking about for so long – my plans for the future.

Over my eleven years of working in fundraising and marketing for nonprofits I have learned so much. I’ve learned about the joys and the challenges of working in nonprofits, that there is always work to be done, and that at the end of the day, the work changes lives.

I’ve also learned to key┬áin on the elements of work that I enjoy and that I’m really good at.

  • I have eleven years of experience of working in various roles in development teams, and have a real knack for thinking about efficient operations. I know how to effectively manage direct mail appeals, put together major gifts programs, write and report on grants, put on a gala, or maintain a donor database.
  • I love thinking about how teams work and supervising staff. Empowering nonprofit staff to do their best work – while taking care of themselves and their needs – is a real passion of mine.
  • I love working in periods of change and transition – I like thinking on my feet and introducing new solutions to problems. And I have a knack for being a calming force during a time of chaos.
  • I’d like to work with a greater variety of nonprofits. Ever since I got my Masters in Nonprofit Administration, I’ve been craving the ability to use the breadth of knowledge I received with a wide range of organizations.
  • I want more flexibility with my time. I’ve realized that when I work constantly, I get in a zone and more quickly burn out, not doing my best work. I want a better balance so that I can do better work.

I’ve taken a lot of time to think about all of this, and had a bunch of informational interviews with people who have worked in development for a long time, and have landed on my next career move:

I’m looking to move into interim development director work.

I’ll help manage your development team, ensure your daily operations are taken care of and that money is raised, and even evaluate your current development program and make some recommendations. I’ll help during your search, help make a smooth transition to your permanent development director and then leave you to succeed.

With the constant state of turnover that many nonprofits find themselves in with this key position, I hope to fill a real need. Just because you’re between development directors doesn’t mean you have to put additional pressure on your current team or redirect someone else’s time. I can come in and help make sure everything runs smoothly.

My last full time day with my current employer is April 7. After some time off, I’ll be looking for jobs like this. If you hear of anyone who might need something like this, please think of me! I’ll be relying on my community of support – and that certainly includes you – to get me plugged in where I need to me. Many thanks in advance!!

-N.C.

Slow and Steady Can Still Win the Race if the Course is Changed: Here’s How

red ear tortoice isolated on white

Change is inevitable. Especially in well-functioning nonprofit organizations, consistent reevaluation of your work, your staffing structure, and your resources is key. As the world changes around us, the work we do to serve our clients should change as well.

But change can be scary. Especially for people like me, workers who set up their processes and procedures and get into a groove. They know what they need to do figure out the best way to get to where they need to be. Those slow and steady turtles that often win the race – I am definitely one of those. Those folks take change the hardest.

But – it doesn’t have to be that way. Any time you need to implement change in your organization, remember there are turtles like me. Remember that involving us in the conversation (if that’s an option) is key to do from the beginning. If you can’t involve us in the decision making process, walk us through the justifications as to why these choices are the best for the organization. Explain to us why you’re doing what you’re doing and allow us to understand how we are key to the process. Make us feel like a valuable member of the team and show us why the changes will help us do our work, and help the organization in the long run.

Without that, the turtle can get lost. But with adequate explanation, the turtle just might surprise you and win that race.

-N.C.

Living Peacefully

Happy 2012! I hope you had a nice holiday celebrating with loved ones and spent the end of the year reflecting on what went well the past year and what you’re looking forward to in this one.

As opposed to making a New Year’s Resolution this year (as I did last year with stopping our TV service – which was a great decision, I might add!), I decided to adopt a 2012 mantra. My theme for 2012 is hereby:

Living Peacefully.

2011, while wonderful, was a stressful year for me. It was full of change, new beginnings, and the unknown… and consequently, I got stressed out. Not just annoyed once in a while… really stressed. I felt anxious much of the time. I was unhappy often. It was a difficult adjustment.

Now that it’s been a few months since all the big changes, I’ve gotten a handle on that anxiety. I’ve been proactive about making adjustments to my life and the way I approach stress. For 2012, I want to continue on that path in a big way.

To me, living peacefully means always approaching my life in a calm, balanced way. It means living in line with my values. It means living my life the way I want to, doing the best I can, and knowing that’s perfect.

Whenever I find myself getting worried or stressed, I think about one way I’m living peacefully, or, if I’m not, a way I could in that moment. And then I tweet it. I find telling others about how I’m living out my mantra helps me actually embody the saying. So, the next time you see me tweet how I’m living peacefully, I encourage you to think about if you’re living your life the same way, and retweeting if you agree. Because we could all use a little more peace in our lives.

– N.C.