Five roles every not-for-profit needs
Google employs "Geniuses" instead of programmers, and I keep getting emails from a "Director of First Impressions" at my local gym (she is genuinely a great receptionist). The Our Community office boasts a "Chaos Controller" and a "Thinker-in-Residence", and one of my friends, a full-time mum, refers to herself as "Household CEO". It got me thinking about job titles in the not-for-profit world.
"Chief Soothsayer" (Board Member)
Bonafide fortune tellers make the best board members. Their crystal balls swirl with experience gleaned from past mistakes, and their tea leaves are data in disguise. They know which fundraising waves are coming in, and when to start paddling. They can predict how fast the ice caps will melt and incorporate the numbers into the organisation's risk management plan. They can foresee the public outcry that will follow a controversial social media post, and know exactly how to handle it. Always looking ahead, they're the ones who will keep your organisation relevant and sustainable long into the future.
"BFF" (Volunteer Manager)
These folks have an uncanny ability to recall information about you that you can't remember ever sharing with them, and they consistently ask questions in a way that's warm and caring out of all proportion to the amount of time you've spent with them. They might ask you how your move went last weekend, or whether that strange spotty rash you had has cleared up, or how much you still miss your pet pig, Fred, years after his untimely death in 2004. They answer the same dullard question 437 times a day, then happily ask, "Can I help you with anything else?" Supporters keep coming back for the "belonging" feeling that these folks create.
"Charlotte" (Director of Development)
Particularly apt if your DD's name is actually Charlotte, but I'm referring to the one from the much loved Charlotte's Web. Unrelentingly positive, they respond to all concerns about unmet fundraising targets with an encouraging, "Chin up, chin up!". Eager to form relationships with everyone they encounter, they build networks like orb-weavers build webs. Make sure you treat them nicely, because they're the ones always telling the public how TERRIFIC and RADIANT your organisation is, saving you from the chopping block.
"Head Inquisitor" (Chief Finance Officer)
The majority of their contact with the rest of the office takes the form of questions: "Does anyone know who charged $500 worth of clipboards to the Visa card?" and "Who spent $3.50 at Bruce's Convenience last week?" (That was the CEO, who needed a Kit-Kat Chunky to get through the rest of the afternoon after Wednesday's fundraising strategy meeting). They are renowned for their scrupulousness and inscrutability.
"eThrifter" (IT Officer)
The main thing that differentiates a not-for-profit IT officer from their commercial counterpart is their ability to make 10-year-old technology function like 2017 technology. Like the hipster in the house down the street who is always behind on the rent but wears the latest specs and shoes, your IT officer has a talent for fashioning fully functioning websites, databases, CRMs and office networks from the smell of oily rags. Google would be lucky to have them.