Welcome to the latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators! This series lets you describe your workday in your own words.
A BIG THANK YOU to those of you who submitted your Day in the Life when I asked (begged?) last week!
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.
Cindy Schrauben is the Communications Manager and has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Kalamazoo, Michigan for nearly seven years. Prior to joining BBBS, she was a magazine publisher, worked in corporate communications, and owned her own communications business. Cindy is a wife, the mother of two college students, and wrangler of a bulldog named Gus and a cat named Mia. She is also a graduate student studying Strategic Communications at Michigan State University. Life is never boring!
And this is her typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – I get up around 6 and catch up on the news. About 6:45, my husband and I take our dog for a short walk (Gus is a bulldog so short is key!). This is important to us as it provides a distraction-free time to catch up and learn what the other has going on that day.
I might peek at my work email before I leave the house, but not always.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – I leave the house about 8 so I’m at my desk by 8:30. I go through email that came in overnight and quickly respond when possible.
On Monday mornings we hold a Leadership Team meeting at 9:30 to go over big projects and update the others on our priorities for the week. My priorities are designing five different billboards for our 60 Mentors in 60 Days recruitment campaign and begin to create/update marketing materials for several upcoming events.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Right after the Leadership Team meeting, I squeeze in printing and cutting invitations for a small upcoming event.
While I’m cutting, my next appointment – a new staff member who I’m having an initial meet-and-greet with – finds me.
These meetings are useful to get to know one another but I’ve known him outside of work for several years so we touch base on what my department is doing in regards to his.
Right after this, I go into a meeting with our Development Director about end-of-year appeal, marketing for a gala that happens in November, and another small fundraising event next month.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – At about 12:30 I grab my salad from the refrigerator and bring it to my first peer-to-peer mentoring meeting with another staff member. This meeting is nice because the only thing that is expected of me is to talk with her and get to know her better.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – I squeeze in a review of emails and write a bit of a tricky email that our CEO will send.
Then I head to a planning meeting for next week’s Back-to-School Celebration where our Bigs and Littles (mentors and mentees) come for games, food, and free backpacks filled with school supplies. This year’s event is a bit more elaborate because we’re celebrating our 60th anniversary so we’re inviting more donors than usual and the media as well as recognizing the Big of the Year. In addition, a state senator and a city commissioner will present proclamations for our anniversary.
After 4:00 p.m. – I write and send an email to our mentors reminding them to sign up for the Back-to-School Celebration. At this point, I realize that it’s 4:20 and I haven’t touched the billboard designs. I’m going to work on those until 5 and then go home to enjoy some time with my younger son who moves back to school in two days. While this means a half-day off work that I can’t really afford, it’s priceless time with him. So, there will be no working from home tonight or tomorrow!
Thanks for sharing your day, Cindy!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.