My mother has always told me, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While sometimes I believe that’s the case, I’ve come to the conclusion that 99% of the time it’s a hefty dose of both.
I am a “people person” by nature. Not only has The Cleveland Foundation connected me with a variety of incredible individuals in the nonprofit sector, but my placement at Social Venture Partners (SVP) Cleveland has also been advantageous. Whether it’s an early breakfast with the board or evening team meetings, SVP has put me in touch with countless individuals that are passionate about collaboration and innovation that has the potential to make our world a better place.
With a desire to give back to the community with more than just dollars, our Partners come from various educational backgrounds, life experiences, and professional accomplishments. Our nonprofit Investees receive consulting from our Partners to assist them with their own missions, improving our community and the lives of its residents in numerous capacities.
The passion and energy everyone brings to the table is beyond comparison. I can’t help but smile when I see my executive director’s eyes light up as she explains what we do at SVP. It’s energy and passion like hers that brings me to our office each day and makes even the most miniscule tasks valuable. At SVP, I not only expand my professional network on a daily basis, but I am able to take “what I know” and put it to use.
So what am I doing 40 hours a week? In an office of 3, including myself, I take on a little bit of everything. One of the most exciting projects I dove into was auditing SVP social media and creating a new marketing and communications plan. With that, I develop a social media plan each week, then monitor and manage our accounts. Priorities in our workspace can change in the blink of an eye, and I’ve become comfortable with flexibility. One minute, I’m organizing historical data, and the next I’m stuffing nametags for our summer social. This experience is further fueling my fire for the nonprofit sector and I wouldn’t have my #SummerOfPurpose any other way!
Shaylei Willadsen, a junior at Cleveland State University, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, majoring in Communication Management, is placed at Social Venture Partners. Shaylei is responsible for developing a marketing plan and assisting with implementation. She will also plan the organization’s showcase of innovation event – bigBANG!, compose grant proposals, attend planning sessions, develop social medial strategies and oversee an extensive survey for SVPs Partners.