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Nonprofit leaders: Mission May Not Keep Them


010: Mission May Not Keep Them with Jennifer Singer






Click to tweet: IMPACT Listeners,  Jennifer Singer tells us why Mission May Not be Enough on FaithFactorIMPACT click here:


Highlights from the interview

Jennifer's Journey:

  • A family history of loving nature and being leaders in the Nevada community since 1950 
  • Worked with a youth leadership program in the summer during college 
  • Graduating from college, searching for what she would be when she grew up and deciding to return home to continue working with the youth program 
  • After a few years, determined that nonprofit work was where her heart was and going on to pursue her masters in nonprofit management as well as a certification of fund raising executives
  • Looking back after 20 years and reflecting on the early begins when the nonprofit was literally operated from the kitchen table 
  • A true grassroots effort that no one involved could have imagined how far they would have come, how much they've accomplished and the number of girls that have been 


Valley Moment:


  • Losing a number of staff members in a short period of time
  • In 2010 beginning to have doubts about whether she could continue to lead the organization
  • Unclear about the direction the organization was heading and feeling dark and lost
  • Connecting with her board of directors to develop a vision for the future.  Who they wanted to be? What staff they needed on the team?


IMPACT Nonprofit Leadership:


  • Greatest influence on her leadership was in the early days of being a part of the youth development program - California Association of Student Councils
  • Taking on on increasing leadership roles and remembering the power of all the people that believed in her
  • Studying abroad during college and seeing so many in poverty.  Many of her friends stating 
  • In last few years learning more about strength leadership and the importance of embracing who you are
  • Must have nonprofit leadership skills: collaborative mindset to reach further and vision that inspires and gives people something to believe in
  • The Don'ts of leadership:  
    • Don't allow fear to guide you
    • Don't Resist change
    • Lose sight of humanity
    • Think you are only
    • Try to do it all yourself
  • Jennifer's genius talent: seeing the other perspective that others bring to the table. Whats behind what people are saying


Strategic Partnership and Community Work:

  • Currently working on a sustainability plan with her board and other constituents 
  • Thinking forward and being very thoughtful about not having the organizations long-term success depend upon her
  • Cultivating a partnership with several organizations such as the local healthcare organization, junior college and other the local mentoring programs to collaborate, share ideas and develop stronger ties that augment The Friendship Club's program
  • How Jennifer is using data to determine their effectiveness:  every girl completes an annual interview with a series of questions to evaluate their perception of various programs
  • Using Facebook as a means of communication to stay connected with alumni and survey monkey to get a pulse for their needs
  • Using the online fundraising tool FirstGiving which helped them go from raising 15-20K to 80k 
  • When considering your communication, ask yourself, "What's the one action you want your audience to take". Focus on that and remove everything thing else
  • Advice she would give her younger self: Don't doubt yourself, change will come weather it but don't stop


Jennifer's FaithFactor 

Watching the girls she works with defeat amazing odds and overcoming those obstacles


2 week sprint to action 


Other IMPACT Resources & References


Link to Books mentioned:

Strength Finder 2.0

Now, Discover Your Strengths 


Link to Resources & Articles mentioned:





Link to find Jennifer: 

The Friendship Club


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