Here is the latest submission for our Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator series. This series lets you describe your workday in your own words.
Emily is the Fund Development Coordinator for Wisconsin Youth Company, a nonprofit that works to engage children in opportunities to be their best selves and help them thrive beyond the school day.
Emily is a Chicago native, born and raised, but now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, dog, and two cats. She received her BA in Theater with a concentration in Theater for Young Audiences from Northwestern University.
Before moving to Madison, Emily was the Associate Development Director for Mudlark Theater were she also wrote, directed, and taught for after school and summer camp programs.
In her spare time, Emily love to bake, make, and create. She has never met a craft project she didn’t like and loves playing board and role-playing games with family and friends.
She is working at home and this is her typical day:
Before 8:00 am: The days starts at 6am. After my alarm goes off, it is a mad dash of feeding our two cats, back up stairs to get ready for the day, then taking the dog out for her morning walk.
Then it’s coffee or tea and half an hour to sit and read for fun (if I don’t make time for it it just won’t happen.) I’m currently re-reading “Sabriel” by Garth Nix.
I usually have oatmeal or some toast with fruit and then make my way to my workspace with a cup of hot coffee to start work at 8!
8:00 am to 10:00 am: I take the morning to check emails, gather my thoughts, and put dedicated time into community outreach and donor prospect research. To help me keep track of my time I like setting timers on my phone.
To get better at interacting and using different social media (especially LinkedIn) I’ve taken to putting on a timer for 15-20 minutes and trying to post a meaningful comment on as many posts as I can. My rule is that I only interact if I am genuinely drawn to the content.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm: I am very reliant on my notebook and rainbow of colorful pens. If I don’t write something down I can often lose track of it or forget about it easily. For some things, like monthly reports or follow-up with donors I like to add a reminder into my calendar. I used to be all about the physical paper calendar as well, but have since switched to all virtual calendaring. Personally I use Google, but all of my work events and tasks are through Microsoft, so I often wind up inviting myself to any important events that take place outside of my normal work hours.
12:00pm – 2:00 pm: Monday-Thursday are the days that I often have meetings in the afternoons. I try to reserve Fridays and not schedule anything so that I can really dedicate some mental space to getting solid work done.
I also find it hard to be creative when I have a million meetings with little 15-20 minute gaps in-between. I need that mental space to let my mind wander to think about all the possibilities and creative solutions to a given problem.
2:00pm – 4:00 pm: I will sometimes take a 20 minute power nap at 3pm. If I can’t fit in a nap, then coffee is a must.
I like spending the last 30 minutes of the day to sort of review what happened and jot down any important action steps for the next day, or send off a few emails I may need to follow up on.
After 4:00 pm: I try to end my work day around 4/4:30, but usually it ends at 4:45 when the alarm to feed the cats goes off (this is a necessity because otherwise the hours between 2pm-5pm would be an utter anarchy of caterwauling.)
After work ends, I take the dog out for a walk. I usually try to get in some form of a creative outlet at the end of the day – drawing, reading, playing music, etc.
Thanks for sharing your day, Emily!
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