This week, I did a lot of reflecting on the relationship between non-profit organizations and money.
The organization that I’m working for does pro-bono legal work for low-income immigrants. This means that their funding comes from alternative sources and fundraising. One of my assignments this week was related to fundraising from the board of county commissioners. My organization must reach out to elected county commissioners and staff members in order to obtain funds to support their work.
This is a difficult task. I did extensive research into the platforms and backgrounds of all of the elected officials in order to find any ties (or hostility) that they might have to the work of my organization. I also need to identify the staff of these officials — a task that I have not completed yet. Beyond my work in researching, staff members of my organization will then use this information with the hope of obtaining funding.
This project demonstrated the difficult work that non-profits must do in addition to the actual mission of their organization. They have to spend valuable time and energy searching for the funding needed to run their business and pay their employees. This takes away from the important work that they do for vulnerable individuals. It demonstrates how precarious it is to work in the nonprofit world. I am continually inspired by the employees of my organization who believe in its mission and invest so much of their time and expertise.