Experiential Learning Workshop Series: Getting Started in the Nonprofit Sector

Note: This post was uploaded on behalf of one of my awesome bloggers, Kristen Kerler. – Catherine Limcaco, Senior Media Manager
This past Saturday, September 10, 2011, the Haas Business School hosted their first Experiential Learning Workshop of the fall semester:  “Getting Started in the Nonprofit Sector” hosted by Darian Heyman and many great professionals talking about their experiences in different areas.

As someone who never quite considered a career in nonprofit, I decided to sign up hoping to learn more about the nonprofit sector. I walked in thinking “Hey, its always good to learn something new.” Little did I know, I would be apart of an eye-opening experience into the world of the nonprofit sector, learning from some of the best in the industry. In addition to our wonderful panel of speakers, it was wonderful hearing each attendee’s different stories and aspirations for the future. Their questions and input left me speechless as I soon realized that I was definitely in for more than I had expected.

The workshop began with an introduction by Darian Heyman, a tenured nonprofit professional and author of the book “NonProfit Management 101.” He began with an inspirational yet informative take on the common misconceptions about the non-profit sector. Although there may be many passionate people who want to start their own nonprofit, most of the time they are not equipped with the business mindset to officially run it in a way that will build success.  As Darian put it, the sector “tends to be over- led and undermanaged”. Additionally, the excessive amount of people starting their own nonprofit organizations leave an overlap in duties within the sector raising the question: Why not join a nonprofit that speaks to you and pursue an executive role? Essentially, everyone needs to work together to build a community that will efficiently move nonprofit success in the right direction.

The various speakers that participated ranged from diverse areas of the nonprofit sector:

Melanie Nutter spoke about her dedication to helping the  government San Francisco go green by implementing various green codes for businesses.
After leaving his job at Microsoft, Jeff Camp knew that he wanted to make a contribution to education development in the state of California. In 2002, Jeff become Chairman of the Education Circle and in March of this year he founded Ed100.org.
Lisa Glass Kornstein, Founder of The Solid Foundation, spoke about the mission of her foundation to provide healthcare-related and cancer -support services.
Susanne Revutsky, Founder of Butterfly Careers, discussed the significant steps one must take in starting a nonprofit by sharing her own experience and expertise.
After years of knowing that he wanted to start his own Microfinance company, Premal Shah followed his dreams and  co-founded Kiva, a microfinance website that raises nearly $1 million every 5 days.

This workshop was an intriguing and wonderful experience. The Haas Business School and Darian Heyman did a wonderful job organizing and presenting the event. I can now say that I know more about the nonprofit sector than I ever expected to learn and I couldn’t be happier.


Participant Shoutouts!:

David Motamed (Junior)

  • “I now have a directed frame of mind moving forward. This workshop provided me with useful resources and networking opportunities that I can use in the future.”

Marissa Lee (Junior)

  • “The nonprofit workshop helped me realize there are so many more options in the sector. It taught me how to leverage my education and make an impact.”

Aditi Mishra (Senior)

  • “This workshop was a good way for me to apply business skills to the social sector. Little did I know, the social sector is not much different than the profit sector. Organizations like KIVA make us see the potential in the social sector where we can see measureable results because what’s measured can be managed.”

For any readers who have further questions about the workshop or would like more information on volunteering and internships feel free to respond and I can give you some helpful websites and resources. Thank you!

Kristen Kerler
Class 2013
Business Administration

One Reply to “Experiential Learning Workshop Series: Getting Started in the Nonprofit Sector”

  1. This is awesome and well written! I just wanted to also add a couple more interesing quotes I came across from the amazing speakers:
    “Don’t ask yourself, what’s the meaning of life? Ask, how do I make my life meaningful?”
    And “Don’t just think it, ink it.”(=only 15% of people write down personal goal and of those, only 3-6% look back and reassess them. Those people usually end up making $1 million more.)
    “We shouldn’t look at production & consumption as the problem but as a solution.”

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