Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Lauren McCafferty

Lauren McCafferty

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.

Lauren McCafferty works as the Communications Specialist for Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), a small nonprofit based out of Northwest Ohio. BSBO teams research with education to promote conservation of birds and their habitat. The cornerstone of BSBO’s year is the annual Biggest Week in American Birding festival, which they plan and host. 

And this is her typical day:

Before 8:00 a.m. – I find it helpful to start my day with some mindfulness. I give my cats some lovin’ before a quick yoga flow and 10 minutes of meditation.

Then I eat breakfast, toss together something that vaguely resembles a lunch, and pour my daily ration of cold brew coffee.

If I’m out the door on time, I can take a spin through The Marsh before heading to the office, and see what birds are out and about today.

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – I’m most focused early in the day. This is when I look at the projects that require the most brain power.

Right now, I’m working on our editorial calendar and communications plan, since we haven’t had one until now.

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – One of my favorite things about my agency is that we have a very purposeful and mandatory no-work lunch hour. We all take 30-60 minutes to unplug and sit and eat together. We try to keep ‘shop talk’ to a minimum.

I know this is not a luxury that all NPs have, but for our small staff of 7, it works well to re-energize.

12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – After lunch, I am usually feeling creative. I use this time to work on any social media posts, monthly eNews design, infographics, or newsletter articles.

We just wrapped up our big event, The Biggest Week in American Birding, so I’m adding event photos to the galleries on our site.

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – I know that my energy starts to dip around 2, so I save the small, mundane tasks for this time period: updating our contact lists, working on mailings (yep, we still lick envelopes), and helping out with office chores (we are all part-time janitors!).

After 4:00 p.m. – I’m all about self-care and boundaries — which my ED respects and encourages — so I usually leave the office between 4 and 5, and rarely check work emails from home.

I’m lucky enough to work on Lake Erie’s beautiful shoreline, so I love to bring my stand-up paddleboard and unwind with a paddle around the marsh on my way home.

After all, I have to check in on our REAL “clients” — the birds! I say hi to the egrets, herons, eagles, and shorebirds before calling it a night.

Thanks for sharing your day, Lauren!

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



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Author: Kristina Leroux, Community Engagement Manager

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

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  • This all sounds very laid-back and manageable. I wonder if there are any communications specialist like me that have so many hats they wonder if any person could realistically manage them all and stay ahead of deadlines?