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Nonprofit program director: What I do and how much I make

Video transcript

My name is Kelly Peaton. I'm 27 years old. I'm the Director of Education and Workforce Development at the Silicon Valley Organization Foundation. And my annual salary is $110,000. The Silicon Valley Organization, and it used to be called the Chamber of Commerce, so it's a business organization, but it does a lot more than that. So we do policy and advocacy. We do community foundation work. We do economic development work, and we do political action. So, in my role with Strive San Jose, I'm in the non-profit arm of the Silicon Valley Organization. And Strive San Jose connects industry, businesses, to our school district partners, to connect students to work-based learning opportunities, to connect teachers to externships in industry, to help business and industry give feedback on curriculum, and to do everything related to career pathways. My main responsibilities are sort of bucketed into responsibilities for the program and responsibilities for the organization. So program wise, setting goals for Strive San Jose. Setting metrics, setting the strategic direction, and making sure that our programs are performing with the quality and effectiveness that we want them to. On the organizational side of things, there's organizational funding, occasionally doing grant proposals, reaching out to funders, thanking donors, and keeping those relationships solid. There's also coaching and managing my team. And then also doing all the little things that you don't think of when you're directing a program, like internal communications, and then also doing a lot of relationship building with our partners, school district partners, as well as business partners. You can succeed in this role with a variety of different skills because there's scope to accomplish these things in sort of your own way. But some of the skills that I'd say are absolutely necessary are project management, so being able to scope out a project, set intermediate deadlines and accomplish those things on time. Other necessary skills are communications. In the non-profit world, you have to work with a wide variety of stakeholders. So for me, I work with everyone from high school students, to business owners, to funders, and that requires being able to communicate with many different people, who communicate in different ways. Some of the mindsets that are important to succeed in a non-profit role like mine, are definitely having a growth mindset. There are going to be times when you make mistakes. There have been times when I've made mistakes. And you have to not let that stop you from going on, or the fear of making mistakes stop you from trying something new. Something that I think people don't think about in a non-profit world is that you fundraise for the entire non-profit budget. So if my salary grows over time here, it's because our fundraising has grown, and because the program has grown. So, opportunities for advancement in my salary and in my role really come from growing the program and growing the program's budget.
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