Rene Fong: Voices of Silicon Valley
Just as nonprofits cover a variety of social issues, those who work at these community-based organizations (CBOs) come from a variety of different backgrounds that led them to the nonprofit sector. Everyone I’ve talked to and had the privilege of working with in this position brings a different perspective and experience that has encouraged them to advocate for their individual causes. One thing they all share is passion; a passion for equity and to support under-served areas. With all the challenges that come with operating within the philanthropic sector, it would be difficult to stay without having that intrinsic motivation of true belief in the causes being advocated for. I find that in my own work, knowing that I am adding to causes that I believe in brings weight and meaning to every assignment and project because I recognize the impact even smaller tasks can have for SVCN and the communities being served by its members.
At SVCN I have the privilege of being able to hear from a diverse array of voices about topics ranging from housing to behavioral health to health equity. I consider it a key benefit of my position to be able to interact with different leaders and directors of Silicon Valley nonprofits and to see firsthand their drive and leadership in pushing for change in communities and through legislation.
In observing the work of the policy team in particular, I see many business skills that I’ve been taught at SCU being practically demonstrated, such as team management, leadership, and presentation skills. But, from my time at SVCN, I’ve seen communication skills be particularly helpful and important in the organization especially in dealing with all the different member organizations and even within the team itself. Throughout the staff, from the CEO to the interns, I see communication and fellowship fostered and demonstrated to create an environment that I believe reflects the good faith we put into our work as well.