Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A day in the life of a nonprofit worker

1.What is your name, organization and job title (you don't have to give your name/organization if you don't want to- it can be anonymous)
I'm Luise Barnikel, Sales and Marketing Associate at IssueLab.

2.What is the first thing you do when you get in the office?
I get some cold water from the fridge, open our windows and sit down to check email and my calendar for the day. Depending on how many items are still on my list from the day before, I also spend a bit of time looking at our social media groups and accounts. A fairly routine hour of my mornings is spent going through my reader to get newest blog posts and third sector news, including feeds about comments I've made or posts I've written. It's important to listen and reply to these.

3.How do you spend your lunch break?
Recently I've been trying to spend a bit of time eating or going for a walk outside. I'm happy that's an option after this seemingly eternal and frigid Chicago winter. Still, I spend many of my lunch breaks eating at my desk. When that's the case, I try to do some off-screen reading (here at IssueLab there's always a great nonprofit report floating around!), or check into news and other sites that give me a break.

4.Which part of your work do you enjoy most?
I enjoy it when people find IssueLab's work and tools helpful. It's not only my job at IssueLab, but also IssueLab's mission to nonprofits to help folks communicate. When that gets done effectively and we can see the results through more traffic on our forum, more research contributors or more organizations partnering on our services, it's very rewarding.

5.Please finish this sentence: If someone wanted my job, they would have to….. persistent! It's difficult to build a solid brand and get attention on a small budget. On top of taking every good opportunity to get your word out there, it's important to follow-up and build meaningful connections – and that takes time.

6.What advice or tips do you have for other nonprofit professionals in your position?
You're important. Don't get discouraged and be patient. Especially now, many nonprofits are dealing with (even) smaller budgets. Everything is a process, and it might take a while to see results of your marketing efforts. It's important to measure returns and evaluate your work, but giving it your all is the best you can do.

I am looking for new nonprofit workers to be featured. If you want to share a day in your life, please email me -