YNPN Orlando had the opportunity to dine with Mark Brewer, CEO of the Central Florida Foundation, in July. This intimate Lunch-and-Learn gave us outstanding insight into the executive perspective of nonprofits, beyond simply the common desire to do good in our communities.
Beyond a great lunch and executive knowledge, Mark Brewer showed us how to really think like leaders. Here are 5 Quotes of Nonprofit Wisdom for Young Nonprofit Professionals, straight from Mr. Brewer to the YNPN Orlando community –
- Focus on Social Impact. Nonprofits should ask “Does what we do matter? Are we getting closer to solving the problem? Do we treat social symptoms, or the actual illness?” Nonprofits must get out of the mindset of “programs”, and refocus on Social Impact.
- You don’t need experience to get started. Many jobs ask for “experienced” applicants, but experience is only relevant to mid-level and higher positions. Typically, at this point in your careers (young professionals), your education and skills will place you in positions where you are learning (ie Operations).
- Don’t take all of your education from Baby Boomers. The current generation of leaders is phasing out. They only know how to do things one way (ie – golfing with a donor). Know your style, know your generation, and take risks.
- Stop calling your companies NonProfit. Nonprofit is the only sector known for its tax status. No one calls Florida Hospital “that nonprofit hospital”! We are a sector responsible for creativity and innovation. We are not driven by money. We do what other sectors won’t and can’t do.
- Dare to make your own rules. Should you be a jack of all trades? I’ll say this – Be specifically focused on social change, whatever that means to you.
What are your thoughts on Mark’s advice? Let us know in the comments section below!