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.
Sheena Abraham loves telling stories and crunching numbers.
She is the Communications Director at Second Mile Mission Center, located in one of the most diverse and fastest growing counties in the nation. Second Mile provides basic needs, educational programs, and spiritual care for impoverished families in Fort Bend County.
Sheena’s job includes helping set strategy and managing community partnerships. She writes direct mail appeals, designs print pieces, and helps donors and volunteers use their strengths and resources to do good.
She earned her Public Relations/Advertising degree and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Houston. Her most memorable job was working alongside NASA astronauts as a publicist.
Both Sheena and her husband of 9 years were born and raised in Houston. In her free time, Sheena makes fun videos documenting her life, reads books, and writes articles about persuasion and human behavior.
And this is her typical day:
Before 8:00 a.m. – My morning ritual is to dry roast cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom and then pour in milk and water to prepare a steaming cup of chai.
I sit down at my breakfast table to eat two fried eggs, sip my warm chai, and write in my journal. I take up to 30 minutes to reflect, write aspirations, and review my priority list for the week.
I get my two little ones to school and head to work by 8.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – We have a staff meeting at 8:30 every morning. Then, I respond to email, read articles, return phone calls, and update my to-do list.
I remind myself to focus on the “big rocks” and not spend too much time on emails. I call a few donors to thank them for attending our banquet. I take note of some who requested on a response card to talk about volunteer opportunities.
I’ve got a library book on my desk, The Upside of Irrationality. If my computer gets slow, I take a 5-minute reading break.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – I get up and walk around to get some steps on my Fitbit. I like to socialize and see what’s going on around the building. You never know what opportunities may arise when you get up from your desk!
I start plotting out our next few email newsletters. I keep an inspiration file and ideas for future emails in Evernote.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – For lunch, I munch on a salad and some leftover Thai curry and rice.
I get started on a grant request to a family foundation. I reach out to staff to get their insights. They always have the inside scoop and touching stories of people finding hope in dark times.
I briefly speak with a visitor asking about our free health clinic.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – I print fliers for an upcoming food fair. I work on answering data questions from a funder. I take another quick walk around the building and chat with staff.
I make an effort to “pre-crastinate” and plan ahead for tasks that need to be completed in the coming months. I will be out of town during one event, so I’m looking to identify and train a volunteer to take my place.
After 4:00 p.m. – I make notes on what items got done and what needs to carry over to tomorrow. It feels so good to make a check mark on a piece of paper! I subscribe to a service called iDoneThis. Every day at 4, iDoneThis emails me asking “What did you get done?” and I respond. They put all my “dones” in a database I can search anytime.
I try to block out time in my Outlook calendar too for the big tasks I want to get done.
I usually leave around 5. My husband picks up the kids, which gives me some flexibility to stay longer or run errands if needed.
Thanks for sharing your day, Sheena!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.