The Landscape is Changing For African American?s in Nonprofits

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Margaret WardCareers in the nonprofit sector are becoming increasingly popular. For African American?s, the change has been even more significant. Margaret Ward, Development Manager, for The Seed School of Washington D.C. reflects over her 17 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. ?There has been a significant change in the roles and responsibilities of African American?s in the nonprofit sector.? Ms. Ward stated.

Ms. Ward began her career in the nonprofit sector over 17 years ago after her graduation from Mount Vernon College. Working for a cause and helping people is what has driven her to succeed. Ms. Ward started as an intern in organizations such as The Torpedo Factory and The Arlington Arts Center working as a membership coordinator.?

?I remember when I was told that I could never be a fundraiser because I didn?t go to an Ivy League school,? laughed Ms. Ward. Through the years she has held positions such as Development Director and Facilities Director at the Historic Lincoln Theater.? She has also served as the Development Director for the Dance Institute of Washington Institute.

What changes has Ms. Ward seen over the years of experience in regards to African Americans in a nonprofit career?? Back in the 90?s there were very few minority development directors.? This has changed significantly.? There are now more minorities in significant positions within larger nonprofit organizations.?

?I had reached a point in life where I asked myself, is this all there is?? questioned Ms. Ward, ?Doing this type of work makes me happy to get up and start my day every morning.? You need to find a job that is fun and entertaining, while devoting yourself to a cause that you truly believe in.

The day in the life of a Development Manager is hectic. Each day brings a laundry list of items to complete. Tasks such as writing reports, writing grants, working with program directors preparing for grants takes most of the day. Follow that with spending time on the phone with donors, researching grants and the day is packed. What makes this exciting? ?It?s most exciting when we receive a grant,? reflects Ms. Ward, ?But never the less, each day is exciting because you never know what the day may bring.?