Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Daniele Berman
Kristina Leroux, COO and Community Engagement Manager
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.
Daniele Berman is the Communications and Events Manager for Book Harvest, a North Carolina nonprofit headquartered in Durham whose mission is to provide an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to families and their children from birth and serve as a model for communities committed to ensuring that children are lifelong readers and learners. When Daniele isn’t working, you can find her running her kids all over town and watching their various sports and activities, enjoying the incredible food and drink scene in Durham with her husband, or rehearsing and performing with Oxente, a Brazilian drumming band.
And this is her typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – Email! First thing I do as soon as my alarm goes off is grab my phone and check my email. I never know how my day’s plans may have changed based on what happened overnight! There’s usually something that needs a quick response before I get up.
I check my calendar, too, to make sure I know what to expect for the day. And yeah, social media. I know I’m not the only one!
Then I need to get myself and my kids ready for whatever the day holds and deliver my kids to their activities: today, my son is headed to his internship downtown and my daughter is headed to ballet camp.
Coffee time for me is while I’m driving — I make a cup before I head out the door, and I finish it by the time I arrive at the office. And decaf only, please! The last thing my craziness needs is caffeine!
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – Until our monthly staff meeting starts at 10, I’m catching up on email and social media. I’ve been trying hard to avoid checking email on weekends when I’m not working (*trying!*), and this past weekend was one of them — so I’m making sure I’m all caught up this first hour of the day.
Our social media is buzzing as we had a huge community event on Friday evening and lots of partner organizations who attended have tagged us in posts. So I’m doling out a lot of “likes” and “loves” and “thank you” replies this morning!
I’m also unloading tons of stuff from my minivan since I didn’t get back to the office to unload over the weekend.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Staff meeting! Once a month we all gather to talk about what’s been going on and what’s coming up. I’m always particularly focused on gathering stories from our program staff to help fuel my work throughout the month, so I’m focusing on recording “mission moments” during this meeting.
I was also in charge of the event this past Friday afternoon, so I’m gathering feedback from all the staff who worked at the event to see how it went for them. Following staff meeting today, we’re having a potluck to welcome a new staff member. That’s a refreshing change from my usual reheated-leftovers-in-front-of-my-computer lunch!
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m – After the potluck, I’m headed home to work. Since our office space is not only open concept but also open to the public, I can get much more thinking work done in the quiet of my house.
In particular today, I’m following up with our graphic designer about a translation project she’s working on for us, creating an infographic with data from Friday’s event, downloading and organizing the event photos, creating a survey for partner organizations who attended, working on sponsorship information for our next big event, and preparing for a one-on-one meeting with my supervisor, our executive director, tomorrow.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m – My “afternoon break” comes in the form of collecting my kids from their activities and setting them up at home with snacks and — let’s face it — screen time. I’ve got more work to get done!
I also take this time to listen to a webinar about creating event sponsorship materials that I missed live last week.
After 4:00 p.m. – The perk of frequently working from home is that I can get dinner started while I’m still working. Tonight, I’m lucky: neither of my kids has any evening sports practices, so I’ve got dinner on the stove and I’m finishing up a blog post about our event.
I’m also planning out the next couple of weeks’ worth of blog posts because I’m headed out of town soon, and I’m getting a draft of our monthly email newsletter ready to go out just before I leave, too.
I try to always close my computer in time for dinner, but I also almost always end up answering some emails on my phone after my youngest goes to bed. Not once I’m *in* bed, though! I’m done with email until tomorrow morning as soon as my head hits the pillow.
Well, I’m done *sending* emails, anyhow…I may write a few in my head while I’m drifting off!
Thanks for sharing your day, Daniele!
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