By Emily Davis
We all know working at a nonprofit can be a challenge. Depending on the day, we may serve as program managers, IT consultants, social media gurus, receptionists, or event coordinators–all supported by the kind of budgets and technology that truly require us to be miracle workers. I suppose this would be okay if our jobs weren’t that important, but in our world the stakes are high and the work is deeply personal. It’s wonderful to work for a cause, but oh so much harder to put it aside at the end of the day.
When I first joined YNPNdc, I was just looking for a little management training. I enrolled in Emerging Leaders, and was delighted to find something so tailored to the nonprofit sector. It was refreshing to be in a learning environment where many were facing similar hurdles, where no one assumed I had access to a full HR department or more than 24 hours each day. It was liberating to introduce myself to dozens of new people at each event, and never once have to explain that yes, I do have a full-time, paid job.
I often describe YNPNdc as the place where I don’t have to justify what I do. My own personal Cheers where everyone knows my name, speaks my language, and is genuinely interested in my work. Over the years, it’s been a wonderful place to talk through ideas and seek outside feedback, something I really value coming from a small organization and a one-person development shop.
I gained so much experience serving on the YNPNdc Board, especially around emerging communications and remote team management, but the best part of my experience was the group of talented, engaging, and committed individuals I got to work alongside and who I am still proud to call my fellow nonprofiteers and friends.
Emily Davis served on the YNPNdc Board of Directors from 2010-2012, leading the newly re-launched Communications Committee. She is the Director of Development for Volunteer Fairfax, a regional volunteer center that strengthens nonprofits and connects volunteers throughout the National Capital Area. Emily is originally from the Adirondack region of Upstate New York and traveled south to obtain her BS in Forensic and Investigative Sciences from West Virginia University. A dedicated volunteer from an early age, Emily’s enthusiasm for a career in the nonprofit sector grew out of leadership positions within Alpha Phi Omega. Emily still volunteers in her personal life, co-managing a local Youth Group with her husband.
Do you feel the same way as Emily? Please consider a gift to YNPNdc today. Double your impact–thanks to the Cafritz Foundation, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000.