Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Theresa Casey

Theresa Casey

Theresa Casey

Here’s the latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators, where we ask you to describe your day in your own words.

Theresa Casey is a very new nonprofit communicator (just about 8 months) and fundraiser for Kids Hope USA, a national nonprofit based in Zeeland, Michigan. A Grand Valley State University grad, she received her degree in Public Relations/Advertising and worked a rigorous sales job for a year before entering the nonprofit sector. She loves the communications and fundraising world, and you can easily become her best friend with a cup of coffee and some good conversation.

Here is her typical day:

Before 8:00 am: Open my eyes reluctantly at 6:30 am when my husband’s alarm goes off. Jump in gym clothes and arrive at the gym by 7:00 am. Shockingly enough, I’ve found that working out early keeps me more alert during the work day!

8:00 am – 10:00 am: I head home from the gym at 8:00 to shower and feed my pup, Bradi. I usually check my iPhone for emails and check for online donations while I make a smoothie and get ready for the day.

I have yet to find a way to divert my eyes from our online donation database when I’m not at work!

I’m in the car (ideally) by 8:45 and am at my desk by 9. Coffee time!

The morning consists of emails, social media updates, and getting started on the first item of my to-do list. 

10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Mid-morning’s usually consist of working on our most recent fundraising communications piece, (Appeals, email updates, newsletters…) donor phone calls or a donor meeting.

I’ll usually touch base with the college student collaborating with us on an IndieGoGo.com campaign via text and make sure everything is still on schedule to launch on time. 

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Our organization is great at coming together for the lunch hour to take a break.

Afterward I start back up on communication pieces and take a look at today’s gifts from donors. I’ll track incoming gifts for certain appeals and compare with our goals. That’s when I start writing hand-written thank you notes to appropriate donors or make “Thank You” calls.

Summer is particularly busy with event partnerships, so I’ll often be organizing for those as well.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: At 2:00 pm our Development Team comes together for planning and updates – we’ll hash out strategy, brainstorm next steps and evaluate what we could change.

If I’m done by 3:00 I’m back at my desk. This is when I’ll finalize any projects that need finishing up and check again on our social media outlets.

After 4:00 pm: I’m still at work at 4:00, but am usually able to head home by 5:00 (depending on if we have a large mailing or event coming up.)

Just before 5:00, I look over my to-do list, transfer everything that is not finished on to the next day, and head home.

Yes, the work-day stops then, but it’s pretty common to find me on my phone continuing to check email, social media and our online donations into the evening!

Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.

Author: Kristina Leroux, Community Engagement Manager

I am the Community Engagement Manager at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.

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