Charlotte Zhang: It’s Better to go Together than to go Alone!
At the end of the day, nonprofits and for-profit organizations are all made of teams of people. Through my time at Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (SVCN), I’ve realized that the people are what sets any organization apart from the others. For those trying to make a positive impact on their community, their team — the blend of their competencies, how they show up for each other — are what really makes them successful.
The close-knit culture at SVCN has directly translated into the agile efficacy that its team boasts, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing how a close team can prove to be unbending under pressure. When an event is soon or sudden changes need to be made to a newsletter, small conversations where I Slack my manager about pomegranates can quickly transform into a quick turnaround for adding newsletter sections and making corrections. Being able to talk to each other and share information big and small matters, and it allows members to align together and react to sudden situations well. For many nonprofits like SVCN where teams are small and close, working with speed is a great strength. I feel lucky to have been able to meet the rest of the team on multiple occasions and participate in team bonding and be part of such a committed organization.
Outside of the soft measures in place to enable us to do the best work, I have also put my classroom learnings into practice and created real outcomes from my own contributions. When I help send out newsletters to thousands of members and can actually understand what’s going on in our Social Media reports, I feel a swell of pride from using the marketing concepts I learned in class. My workplace has enabled me to take the skills I have cultivated and really build off of them to do terrific work and succeed. When I measure that most of our guests come from Google or think about how to tailor our landing pages for the best user experience, I feel myself growing in confidence and comforted by the knowledge that there is much that I can contribute to. That my degree was worth it; that putting my ear to the ground and listening to people and supporting them is applicable anywhere.
I think any organization, nonprofit or not, can do good for others. Coming in everyday to a team that wants the best for our community, feeling supported to go out and achieve whatever will best benefit those we serve, and feeling empowered and secure in the knowledge that our individual efforts matter are really all that anyone could ask for.