Armed with a degree in Economics after undergraduate graduation in May 2009, I thought I had it all figured out. I planned to become employed at a financial services firm and learn about the predatory mortgage lending practices that were destabilizing neighborhoods across the United States. Unfortunately, I did not get any offers. Instead I received a lot of rejections. A lot. The world was recovering from a terrible economic recession while my classmates and I were jobless and quite scared we would never find employment.
And at the same time, I was naïve and hopeful that I could somehow “be the change I wished to see in the world.”
So, I started to look for jobs in other industries and quickly learned that I wanted to do something with meaning. I wanted to “help people.” In the most cliché terms, I wanted to learn how to save the world. After six months of job searching, various part-time jobs, and a stint at a small business publishing company, I finally found a position at a community foundation. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but whose first job is ever exact what she wants?
With this experience I have learned a tremendous about about grant makers, grants administration, non-profit organizations, stakeholder engagement, and non-profit social media usage. It has also taught me that the world of philanthropy is extremely misunderstood. However, I hope this blog will help to dismiss that mysterious aura and start a conversation. By offering my candid and sometimes humorous critiques of the non-profit industry, you will be able to understand what it means to be a young(er) non-profit professional in this industry.