Friday night I came across an article- “what I learned in my first year on a nonprofit board”. Reading this, I thought it would be good for me personally to set goals for the board I just joined and in preparation for my first meeting on the Woman’s Advisory Board for the My Half Kitchen. I’ve never sat on a nonprofit board before and I’m eager for everything my journey has to unfold. Why did I want to join a nonprofit board? I never intended to join a nonprofit board- it wasn’t on my radar and this just kind of happened. For the last few years My Half of the Sky, a social justice coffee shop, became my home base for lattes and a comfortable co- working space. I love the mission of this social enterprise. My Half of the Sky has a non-profit, the My Half Kitchen, a registered 501(c)(3). The more I learned about the two, the harder I fell in love with the mission of the organizations. One day I was in a meeting with Renee Pollino, the founder of the coffee shop and kitchen, when the topic of the Woman’s Advisory Board came up. As I was hearing more about the board while seeing Renee’s passion and excitement, I wanted to be a part of that group fiercely advocating and dedicating their lives to serving and bettering the community and other women in need. I asked Renee right there if there was a position available for me to join the board and immediately replied saying she was about to ask me. We both excitedly started talking and going over the basics.
Why My Half Kitchen?
The My Half Kitchen equips, empowers, and employs women and young girls overcoming hardship such as human trafficking, trauma, or life as a refugee. The My Half Kitchen provides support and opportunity through healthy relationship building, job experience, developing skills, and encouraging hope for dignified work to begin a new and free life.
The goal I have in order to feel truly accomplished with my contribution on the board will be to have two new roles created and staff members. I decided on the number two as representation of the term commitment for my seat. If my efforts, experience, and skillset can help to create a minimum of one new job per year, I will call this a success. My Half Kitchen is unique because they are unashamed and willing to invest in women and girls lacking experience. Other organizations and employment opportunities I know of are “inclusive” as long as you skip the fine print. The main purpose of the kitchen is to provide employment and as a non-profit there are various obstacles to be aware of and in some cases preventing this from happening. At the end of my term I want to have had the chance to watch the lives of two people transform before my eyes and be a part of the group that took a chance- seeing the risk but not letting their circumstances define who they are or who they can be.
In order to achieve my main goal, there are a few mini goals needing to be achieved along the way. Below are a few of the supplemental goals I will be setting for myself throughout the duration of having a seat on the Woman’s Advisory Board.
Live Event Coverage
Of all the campaigns I’ve participated in, I’ve never been on the ground for live event coverage and have always wanted to do this! I can’t think of a better way to explore this professional goal than with a nonprofit I’m passionate about and that will help others.
Create and Execute a Fundraiser
I’ve planned a non-profit fundraiser a few years ago and loved reaching my goal. Unfortunately the team and I were not on the same page which was incredibly challenging. I’m excited to join a group of people prioritizing the mission of the nonprofit and spark this interest of mine, again.
Diversify my niche experience
I’ve only worked with those who are more intermediate to advance in the marketing and communication field. This will be a great opportunity for me to diversify who I am working with while challenging my skills as a team member to meet various experiences and levels of understanding. I may have to articulate things I am used to others in the room understanding- and this at times may be challenging. I’m excited to hear the ideas, questions, and how I will be stretched as a communicator and team player.