It’s true. I have the best job ever.
I couldn’t be happier in my career.
It’s really a funny story, though, how it all evolved.
I bet you wonder what I do all day. Or maybe you don’t and that’s okay too.
Um…if you are the latter of the two you should probably stop reading now.
Also, it’s not really okay if you don’t wonder. I actually am pretty offended.
When I decided to start working in non-profit in 2005 more than a few people thought I was crazy. You don’t work in non-profit to make money. I mean, it’s ”non-profit”. It’s right there in the title.
You certainly don’t go into non-profit if you are a Public Relations professional. Unless you’re totally cool with defaulting on your student loans.
Plus, the thing is, there aren’t really Public Relations professionals in non-profit.
There are Development people though. Lots and lots of Development people. All who probably studied Public Relations or Journalism or Marketing or Advertising or maybe even Quantum Physics.
All who woke up one morning and thought. ”I’m going to change the world! I’m going to work in non-profit.” Partly because of blind idealism and partly because that’s what 20 something hipsters do.
I know this because I was one.
Ah yes, we idealist hipsters who spend our days writing grants, making presentations to rotary clubs and asking our weary friends and family for the millionth time if they “want to buy a raffle ticket?”. Well, do you? Go on now, I’ll wait.
Sometimes we get to do Outreach (that’s non-profit speak for “Marketing”) which is fun…and kind of a teensy bit like Public Relations (or so we tell ourselves). We get to think up and plan fun events and make brochures in Word with clip art. Or order 10,000 mini-frisbees printed with our organization’s name and website to hand out at community fairs.
Oh but the events. Those are so much fun. It’s when you can really let your creativity shine. Like that one time (hypothetically speaking of course) that there was a county-wide air potato collection fundraiser and “you” thought it would be really cool to take part in to raise money for “the kids”. You thought you were so clever calling it “Taters for Tots” until you learned that your Executive Director did not share the same enthusiasm…as evidenced by the look of utter disgust that cut right through your soul as you cheerfully passed out fliers at the Board of Directors meeting.
You know, I wasn’t quite honest. There is some Public Relations work involved. About two or three times a year you get to write a press release and send it to an outdated media list and have about 77% of the emails bounce back.
…and maybe you will be interviewed on an AM Talk Radio program that will broadcast at 4:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and you will consider waking up the whole family to gather around and listen to it but will sleep through the alarm because sleep is way better than hearing yourself on the radio talking about how you gave a bunch of backpacks full of school supplies to inner city kids to help them get “ready for school and ready for life”.
But you will totally put that shit on your résumé anyway. You’ll also Google to see if it qualifies you for membership in SAG.
Anyway, this is not at all what I planned on writing about tonight. I have a really great story that I just can’t seem to make segue, so it seems I’ll be posting again within the next few days.
While you wait, feel free to buy a raffle ticket.