Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Seth J. Katzen
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.
Seth J. Katzen is the Chief Executive Officer for the Jewish Federation of Delaware. As the chief professional, he is responsible for providing visionary leadership, management and strategic direction toward the fulfillment of the
Federation’s mission and goals. Since his arrival in August 2010, the Federation has been recognized by key charity evaluators – Charity Navigator/Four Star Rating, GuideStar/Platinum Seal of Transparency and Great Nonprofits/Top-
Rated Award – for being a trustworthy and transparent organization.
And this is his typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – I wake up at 6:45am.
I check overnight emails before getting ready and typically depart for work by approximately 7:30am.
My routine is to pick up coffee on the way to the office.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – I pick up the daily newspaper that is out front of the office every morning and turn on the office lights. I sign in to my computer and review my weekly schedule for appointments and meetings as well as review my weekly task list I develop every Friday afternoon.
Pending the weekend emails and voicemail messages I update both accordingly. I also subscribe to a number of blogs and daily feeds that keep me updated and inspired as it provides my Monday Motivation.
We hold our T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More) meetings every Monday at 9:30am. After a review of meetings we go around the conference room table for each staff person to provide an update on an activity and if they need any assistance with a particular project or assignment. (Note – on other days of the week I try to schedule coffee meetings with donors as early as 8:00am).
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – I schedule bi-weekly meetings with my CFO at 11:00am.
During the off week I try to meet with other staff during this time frame for periodic updates, supervision, and provide insight where applicable. I also respond to several emails received during the TEAM Meeting.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – If I do not have a donor lunch appointment scheduled I will usually eat at my desk while continuing to work.
I try to attend 1-2 webinars per week with times that vary between 11am-2pm.
I also make a point to get up from my desk and walk around the office as it forces me to stretch but also interact with my TEAM.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – I often meet with my Senior Development Director and staff on active projects and initiatives. We find this time to work best for strategic planning and brainstorming.
I also check in or receive a call from my Board President in the afternoons.
After 4:00 p.m. – I am usually preparing for my evening meeting(s) that week which are comprised of monthly Executive Committee and Board of Directors, as well as various Committees (Finance, Campaign, Facilities, HR, JCRC, Israel & Overseas, etc.).
I try to attend these meetings to support our lay leadership and staff when availability permits. Evening meetings begin at 7:00pm and I am usually home by 8:30-9:00pm.
Thanks for sharing your day, Seth!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.