My entry into the nonprofit sector was both unexpected and serendipitous. Looking back, it makes perfect sense how I ended up where I am now with the Idaho Nonprofit Center - and I couldn’t be happier. My decisions in life have always been guided by my passions and growing up in a household of musicians naturally led me to an interest in the arts. Following in my parent’s footsteps, I began performing and teaching guitar at a young age.
As my passion developed, I began seeing how I could share this interest with others. Whether it be performing at local fundraisers or cultivating others’ passions through teaching, I loved how impactful the music could be. I knew from this that I wanted a career where I could enrich the lives of others.
In the spring of 2021, I graduated from Boise State University with a Master of Business Administration. Because of my background in music, I immediately had my eyes set on joining the arts community. After countless hours of research, I discovered that these local arts organizations I admired were all part of a larger whole: the nonprofit sector.
It was during this time that I met the interim CEO of the Idaho Nonprofit Center, Sheila Hennessy, who opened my eyes to the vast range of work of the nonprofit sector. From arts, health, and economic development, to education, it was obvious to me that the services nonprofits offer society are critical to the health of communities.
According to the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s Economic Contributions and State of the Sector Report in 2020:
While these numbers are impressive, they still don’t paint the full picture. Our local communities benefit from nonprofits every day, whether it’s saving lives in our hospitals; providing shelter and resources for the homeless; or providing vast contributions to our society including recreation, arts, entertainment, education, and advocacy.
Working with the Idaho Nonprofit Center is a dream come true for me, not only because I am able to help support the arts, but because I am also able to help support the work of other nonprofit organizations as they provide the vital foundation for building strong communities. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in a position that allows me to utilize my business background and the passion for helping others I developed from playing music.
Since joining the Idaho Nonprofit Center in August of 2021, I have enjoyed connecting with a number of nonprofit organizations and hearing about their contributions as well as their challenges. We live in such a diverse state and all 44 counties have their own unique set of obstacles.
One theme I constantly see is a need for increased resources and support as nonprofits continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The continued need for resources illustrates the passion and vision organizations have to achieve their individual missions. It's exciting to be a part of that journey.
It is my hope that our upcoming programs will create a bridge for collaboration among these hard working nonprofits. Through increased unity the sector will be stronger and more effective in the communities we serve.
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