Mon 15 May 2006
I feel like I can honestly contest that my time spent working with Project S.H.A.R.E. has become very worthwhile. Going to site visits, talking to Elaine and Pam about Project S.H.A.R.E., and working on the grant project with Joy all proved to be very fulfilling and educational experiences for me. I feel like Project S.H.A.R.E. was a perfect fit for me because it really opened up my eyes to what it is like to actually work in a nonprofit. This being my first time ever working for a nonprofit, I learned a lot about management skills, leadership, volunteering, and myself. This organization really helped me see and discover the key to success in nonprofit work; which is that passion really drives ambition and ambition drives desire to do good for the greater good, and this in the end provides continuous fulfillment. You see, by working at Project S.H.A.R.E. I was able to see hands on how important it is for an individual to be passionate about his or her work at a nonprofit because it is a working environment that could easily frustrate someone if they aren’t there out of their own will. The lack of organization, miscommunication, and slow pace of things at Project S.H.A.R.E. could frustrate a person who doesn’t have an interest in the organization. On the other hand, for me this type of environment was the perfect fit because I felt passionately compelled to do a good job with my work both for Elaine and the organization because of my interest. Furthermore, this organization was a perfect fit for me because of how fruitful and enjoyable my relationship was with both Elaine and Pam. I learned a lot from them because of our shared conversations and just from observation alone.
I felt that I personally impacted the agency because of my presence there, my genuine interest to learn more about Project S.H.A.R.E. and Elaine’s role, and because of the end result of my work. I remember when Joy and I first went to Project S.H.A.R.E. and we came back with a bucket full of brainstormed ideas. Now, two months later, we have come back with an Excel grant organizing system for Elaine and Pam to use. We created this organizing system out of the ideas that we had brainstormed because we saw that there was no way that Project S.H.A.R.E. could apply for the grants that it sought to apply for, if it did not already organize its files about those that it had and hadn’t applied to previously. Joy and I both saw how dangerous it was for Project S.H.A.R.E. to not keep track of its grants because this jeopardized the organization’s financial accountability. We felt that Elaine needed to know how much money she was getting for her grants, what it was going towards, and if and when she could have the chance to apply for the grants again. In creating this Excel program with Joy, I feel and hope that I have personally impacted this agency because I feel that this program is one step in the right direction both for Elaine and the direct management of Project S.H.A.R.E.
This experience phenomenally connected to my work in class in a multitude of ways. In working at Project S.H.A.R.E. I learned about effective leadership skills, management skills, was able to talk about strategic frameworks with Elaine, understood the basics of financial accountability a bit better through the creation of the Excel program, was able to use the class readings and discussions as tools to better understand how Project S.H.A.R.E. was managed, what could be improved in this organization, and really began to understand how important my small role was in this organization. It’s really difficult to put into words all that I have learned and absorbed about nonprofit management. It is one thing to learn about management in a classroom and it’s another to see how effective management is executed. On paper, leadership skills look easy to obtain and implement. In reality, I found that by working at Project S.H.A.R.E. it can be much harder to follow through and abide by all these rules. In the end, it was my experience outside of the classroom which taught me how to take what I knew about nonprofits and transform it into something more tangible than words.