Running a non-profit was a new experience for all every person on our team; we had varying levels of work experience, volunteer work and board experience – but actual experience running a non-profit?! None. What we did have is a deep desire to help our local community, a great team and plenty of zest (this is the key ingredient). Starting a non-profit is a ton of work. And it takes a while before you actually help your first organization, person or group. Hence the need for zest – it is a marathon, and you need to stay committed to finding new ways to reach out to the community. We asked our team to share some key learnings over the last year.
Britney – Chief Marketing Officer
- It’s hard having essentially two jobs at once
- Working for an organization with the soul mission of giving back is crazy rewarding
- Working with new people is amazing – it’s the best way to grow and develop as a business person/ human
- If you believe enough in something, others will follow
- Crazy and stressful first year full of ‘mistakes’ and learning, and I am so thankful for every second of it
Megan – Data Management Associate
- Don’t lose sight of your mission and take pleasure in the small achievements.
- In a growing company, it’s necessary to wear multiple hats where needed
- There is not much data out there about the remaining amount of money left on gift cards in Canada
Sarah – Chief Communications Officer
- The non-profit sector in Calgary is truly amazing – making connections in this space has been inspiring
- Working within a start-up, non-profit has been a large learning curve but it develops such a valuable set of skills
- Communicate and be vulnerable with your team – we all wear multiple hats within re:give and our lives, and it was so important that we could tell one another if we were feeling overwhelmed or had extra time to help on projects
Alix – Graphic Designer
- Being with re:give has really been a light in the past crazy year for me! To see a group of empowering women come together to do something amazing, and do it so well, has been an absolute honour to be a part of
- I got to help visualize the bright brand image of re:give and watch it continue to grow by the efforts of everyone else involved
- I’m thankful I’ve got to make new friends and connections through being a part of this team. Thank you everyone!
Andrea Co-Founder & CEO
- How, despite the pandemic, businesses and people are still passionate about giving back to their communities. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about launching our non profit during COVID, but the support we have received has been overwhelming
- Surrounding yourself with team members/people that have different skill sets than you is literally THE BEST thing you can do for yourself. I have learnt so much from the team, and re:give’s success is solely due to the different opinions, backgrounds, and knowledge of each member
- This is a vulnerable one: learning to trust myself and confronting my struggle with imposter syndrome. I think many people struggle with this, especially young professionals. While I can’t say I know everything, and I will still make mistakes, I have grown to be comfortable in decision making spaces and feel confident that my perspective holds value
- I have learned so much about governance frameworks, and policies that ensure our organizations compliance with non profit status. Still not one of my strengths (shout out to Jenna), but I feel so thankful to have been able to have the opportunity to broaden my knowledge on all the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff
Jenna – Co-Founder & COO
Above all, starting re:give has shown me how truly generous the Calgary community is and how most people will take any opportunity to help. We received a response much larger and more positive than we ever expected when we launched this July. In light of COVID-19 we expected it to be difficult to get buy in from the small business community because they have been hit hard by all the restrictions but there was no hesitation at all! I am reminded all the time why we started this organization when we interact with a new person or business who is excited by the idea and interested in helping out. Of course, I have also learned lessons about flexibility, hard work and persistence but those tough lessons are outweighed by my complete gratitude for the re:give community we have built so far.
A massive thank you to everyone who has supported re:give and our mission. We are excited for our continued outreach in 2021 and cant wait to see how we grow!