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.
Stacy Kocur is the director of communications and development at Fortress Youth Development Center. She is passionate about urban ministry, at-risk kids, parenting her own two tween boys, and the mountains. Creativity isn’t merely something she enjoys, but something her heart and soul requires. She loves that her job as a nonprofit communicator provides constant opportunities for her to exercise her creative muscle. She’s addicted to grace, music, and iced coffee, and she always chooses joy.
Here is her typical day:
6:45 am. My iPhone alarm goes off with a sudden “Whah whah whah whah”. I could change it to something more delightful-sounding, but I need the jarring wake-up call, otherwise I’ll snooze right through it. Yes, it’s true. I sleep with my iPhone. It means I can check email, Facebook and Twitter before I even lift my head from the pillow. Is that job dedication or what?! 😉
8:00 am. I’ve gotten in a power walk, a shower, and am ready for work before I wake my middle-school aged boys, who don’t have to report to classes until 9:10. Make lunches, throw some Frosted Flakes on the table, feed the dog, remember to make him go out one last time, and hit the door at 8:50. Stop at Starbucks more mornings that not, even though the act of forking over 4 bucks for liquid energy makes me twitch.
9:20 am. Arrive at the office. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, and nonprofit blogs that I follow. Tweet about the latest study on generational poverty, because it’s Monday, and today is “Tweet About Our Mission” day. Discover a cool quote about volunteerism, and schedule it for Wednesday, “Connect With Volunteers” day. Prioritize tasks for the morning and vow not to open Facebook again until lunch. Fail within 20 minutes after discovering that one of the after-school teachers needs a class set of books for the Literacy Lab. That’s an easy ask on Facebook, so I log on. Sure enough, within a half hour, the need has been met by a church group in Austin who volunteers annually at our organization. Yay, Facebook!
11:00 am. Senior Staff Meeting. What went well last week? What obstacles do we anticipate this week? Does anyone have a funny quote to share for “Quote of the Day”? Which staff member are we highlighting on the blog this week? Gather stories of courage and change to blog about later in the week.
11:45 am. Start checking things off the to-do list: touch base with auction chairperson regarding procurement committee assignments – check. Confirm site visit schedule with The Foundation – check. Write recommendation letter for last summer’s college intern – check. Return call to donor regarding the delivery of school supplies and backpacks – check. Work on new website – meh. I’ll get to that later.
12:00 – 2:00 pm. Spend the afternoon putting the finishing touches and edits on a grant that’s due this week. Need a little more data to make the ask more relevant to our mission, so hit Google with a vengeance. Realize I’m on Facebook again and honestly can’t remember even clicking on the tab.
2:00 – 4:00 pm. Worked through lunch, so grab a Jif To-Go cup and a spoon from my stash. Hey – it’s protein! Log on to GreaterGiving.com for a webinar on effective procurement strategies. The auction is only 7 weeks away – it’s past crunch time! Draft and mail some new letters using ideas I just gleaned from the webinar. Post a reminder on Facebook that we’re seeking creative, one-of-a-kind items for the event. Brainstorm with auction chair – who do we know who has hotel connections in California to pair with the Disneyland tickets that arrived in today’s mail? Meander through the after-school program intent on capturing a photo and caption that tells the story of our organization. Happen upon a mentor who’s laughing and cutting up with his 4th grade mentee who earlier was having a really bad attitude. Snap the pic.
After 4:00 pm. Pack up and head out at 4:15 to pick up boys from school – today’s my day for carpool. Have every intention of going straight home to continue working, but get distracted by the yogurt shop near campus. End up staying and chatting with friends for the better part of an hour. Check email from phone and fire off several replies. Realize how blessed I am to have the flexibility to be available to my kids, and vow to submit that grant application before I go to bed, a vow I actually keep. Homework, dinner, guitar lesson, bedtime prayers. Fall into bed, plug in phone, check Facebook. Remember that I never did post that adorable Photo of the Day. Log on to Facebook. Again. As I’m drifting off to sleep, remember that I still haven’t finished drafting the text for new website. Dream in 140 character increments….
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.