Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Taleah Valles-Peters
Welcome to 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.
We’d love to feature YOU in this series! Don’t be shy – tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.
Taleah Vallés-Peters is the Director of Development at Madison Academy. She has worked as a non-profit communicator for six years and has recently added fundraiser to her job description. She is loving the new challenge! She loves talking to people, Kombucha brewing, Oxford commas, and biking with her husband.
And this is her typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – I wake up at 5:02 a.m. (because I have a weird thing about waking up on odd numbers or numbers divisible by five) and hype myself up for working out. I usually do a YouTube workout with @MillionaireHoy or @HASFit for about 30-40 mins.
Then I shower, get dressed, do my hair and a bit of makeup and head out the door by 6:40. I work at a Christian Seventh-day Adventist high school in Nashville, and staff worship starts at 7:30, and I live about 40 minutes away, so I need to head out the door early to make it to work on time. While commuting, I listen to my bible reading for the day and NPR.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – Classes have just started, and I can start my routine in peace. I make a hot beverage, update all my page-a-day calendars (I have four, It’s Different Everyday, Bible Verse, Brain teasers and Dilbert) and then read my blogs. I typically catch up on non-profit blogs on Tuesdays and Fridays and finally check my email.
Then at 8:30 the real work starts to happen.
I just sent out an alumni newsletter mailing last week, and have received a few returned pieces. I’m new to the job, and the school hasn’t had someone to keep the database clean and up to date. One of my goals this year is to call all 3,000 of our alumni. The returned mail will give me a great reason to check in on some alumni.
I then log-on to my JotForm account to see if Alumni has updated their contact information on our website. I have a new one!
I check the school’s Facebook page. We have a soccer game today and we have some new photos to showcase when we advertise the games. This current photo is getting a great response (a very dramatic night shot of the entire co-ed soccer team) hopefully we will have many attend the game today.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – I start drinking my green smoothie (banana, spinach, vegan protein powder, frozen tropical fruit, hemp, chia, and flax) and finish updating my database and issuing some receipts to donors and reconcile my spreadsheets with the business office.
Along with fundraising, marketing and recruitment I teach one class at school, News Writing. My students have their first drafts for the March issue due today, and I know only half the class will be ready to turn in this assignment. Last week was spring break, and a majority of the students went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. They built a church, held medical clinics and VBS. The students got in late last night and I’m sure didn’t remember to bring their articles.
I prep for that class at 10:30 and teach from 11-noon. During today’s class, we will be going over some grammar worksheets.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – I’d love to say that I take a regular lunch break, but I don’t. I just finished my giant green smoothie, so I’ll just proof some of the articles the students wrote and prep for my next meeting with our registrar.
The registrar and I are planning on going over and updating our recruitment plan. My previous job was in higher ed enrollment, so I am looking forward to bringing some fresh ideas to this meeting.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – I’m working on two major projects. One is a feasibility study for a new STEM wing, and the other is creating a new brochure for the school that I will use for donor purposes.
I have some calls to my committee members to make and content writing to create.
After 4:00 p.m. – I’m scrambling to finish everything by 4:30 p.m. I I know that I am going to have to meet with a donor tomorrow afternoon, so I need to make sure that I have all the information that they will want today.
Tomorrow will be incredibly busy. I try to be in the car no later than 4:45 and start my 40 min commute home. I’ll listen to an audiobook (I’m obsessed with Audible and Over Drive) or call my grandparents.
By the time I get home, I’ll spend 20 mins checking my Facebook and Instagram (I love this part of the day).
Then I warm up dinner for my husband and me (I cook giant batches of food on Sunday to heat up throughout the week, this week our two entrees are Afghani split pea soup and Roasted vegetables) and we eat while watching a show on Netflix or random YouTube clips.
Thanks for sharing your day, Taleah!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.