BriefCase: What Is It Like Working For A Non-Profit?

Posted: August 11, 2015

What is it like working in the non-profit sector? Meet Priyanka Singh, who has chosen to help others as a profession, working in the Canadian Red Cross Society.

In this series, BriefCase, we meet women at work in different fields, different roles, to gain insight into their lives and work. With more women joining (or aspiring to) join the paid workforce, we live in exciting times, and this is an attempt to chronicle those times, one life at a time.

Priyanka Singh works as a Manager, Legacy Giving in the Canadian Red Cross Society. She is also the Grants & Foundations Coordinator for the Canadian Red Cross Society. Previously she has worked with other non-profit organisations like Osteoporosis Canada and Plan India.

Priyanka studied Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics. She was always passionate about helping others and helping those in need stay hopeful. We spoke to her about her unique career choice and what motivated her to make that choice.

How do you describe yourself?

I think I am a very passionate individual, dedicated to the cause of humanity. Raising resources for people in need is what drives me.

Why did you choose this field?

I remember back in my school days I had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa; hearing her talk was very inspirational indeed. I was also involved in the National Social Service while in college, where we used to teach children coming from the slums in Delhi. Seeing the difference it made in my life, I decided to work for non-profits.

Describe your role so that it is understandable to someone who knows nothing about your industry.

I work for the Canadian Red Cross and am responsible for corporate fundraising in the province of Manitoba. I raise funds to help programs and services offered by the Red Cross in Manitoba including disaster management, bullying prevention, international disasters and injury prevention.

What is the most exciting part of your role and your field?

The most exciting part of my role is the interesting people that I get to meet. These people are very dedicated to the cause and are thus willing to invest their funds in making the world a better place. Working for the Red Cross gives me a tremendous amount of job satisfaction.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

Sometimes it is challenging to raise funds for essential services such as administration cost. I wish people would understand that non-profits have to employ people and pay them to do the great work that they are doing. Very few donors are sophisticated enough to understand this need.

What is the common misconception about your field?

Sometimes if one works for a large non-profit, such as the Red Cross, some people have the perception that such non-profits have a lot of funds at their disposal. This discourages them to donate to these bigger organizations.

If you had to change one thing about your field, what would it be?

If there was one thing that I would change, it is the pay scale. People in non-profits work as hard as anyone else and make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable people, but they don’t get compensated equally.

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