People who have known me as a long-time volunteer and nonprofit employee are surprised to hear about my new job, as a consultant at World-Class Industrial Network (WIN), until I explain how I got here. I’ve decided, therefore, to take advantage of this blog posting to explain why I’m excited to be at WIN - not in spite of my background with nonprofits and volunteering, but because of it.
After I graduated from Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA) with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, I decided to attend Villanova University (Villanova, PA) for a Master’s in Psychology. Together, I long expected these psychology degrees to help me to pursue a career that built on my volunteer work at multiple youth-serving organizations. Specifically, I planned to explore how intersecting identities (e.g., race and gender) impact the experiences and relationships of individuals, especially adolescents. While one obvious path could have been pursuing a PhD in psychology focused on that research area, I decided to shift my focus to utilize the skills I’d gained through my education to make a social impact among organizations that were already doing “the work.” Thus, I moved to Pittsburgh to earn my MSW from the University of Pittsburgh; I intentionally focused my classwork, research, and internships on the “behind-the-scenes” elements of the social service sector, so that I could most effectively integrate my research skills into the sector where they were most needed. After graduation, I conducted independent program evaluations for a number of local youth-serving organizations and served as the Program & Evaluation Director of Amachi Pittsburgh, a local nonprofit serving children of the incarcerated. Each of these opportunities enabled me to connect my academic background and skills with the needs of charitable organizations as they aimed to collect program data, analyze it, and share their results broadly with the community to raise awareness about their important work.
While at Amachi, I was engaged in a project working closely with WIN consultants to implement Salesforce as a data management system and quickly became excited about the many opportunities it held for nonprofit organizations. In addition to the Salesforce Foundation grants that enable small nonprofit organizations to access sophisticated Salesforce tools at little to no cost, Salesforce is highly customizable and integrates with a myriad of applications that many organizations already use, such as Google and Constant Contact. As a program evaluator, I saw how inadequate, inefficient tools hinder data collection and waste time for many organizations; Salesforce can address these problems. I recognized that, like any system, Salesforce would take time and effort to configure and would require some staff training. But, overall, I felt compelled to join the WIN team so that I could bring Salesforce - paired strategically with my program evaluation experience - to a broader network of social service organizations. I’m excited to help organizations reach more people, make a more lasting impact, and tell their story better… please reach out to me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about why Salesforce can help your nonprofit grow.