GuideStar Blog

Abigail Wade

Recent Posts by Abigail Wade:

What I Learned from My Nonprofit Internship

After 16 years of schooling, there is nothing more boring for me than sitting at a desk and taking notes. Something I love about internships is learning through real world experiences, rather than through a book. Internships have allowed me to try on multiple “hats” as I’ve narrowed my career interests and developed my professional skills.

When I first started at GuideStar 11 months ago, I was a different person. The work I’ve done, the people I’ve met, and the opportunities I’ve been given have shaped the way I think about myself and my future career. I wanted to share just a few of the lessons I learned.


How You Interact with Nonprofits Every Day

When I first applied for an internship at GuideStar last fall, I wasn’t even 100 percent positive it was a nonprofit—that’s how little I knew about the nonprofit sector at the time. Although I had made a few donations, volunteered a bit, and could name some large organizations, I thought of nonprofits as charities like the Red Cross or the Humane Society of the United States and didn’t understand what role a nonprofit information database played. I didn’t know anything about the different actors in the nonprofit sector and how their work affected my life, whether I was aware of it or not.


Nonprofits and Generation Z

As the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, millennials are a trendy topic to write about. Nonprofit and for-profit professionals alike want to understand how consumers and employees in this age range operate. Whether they’re praised for being “tech-savvy” or criticized for being lazy, millennials are all over the news. In their shadow, however, lies Generation Z, which is preparing to make a name for itself.


Narrating the Numbers: Getting to Human Results Through More Powerful Data Stories

On Wednesday, June 21, GuideStar partnered with Atlantic Media Strategies, the creative consultancy of The Atlantic, to present “Narrating the Numbers: Getting to Human Results Through More Powerful Data Stories,” a panel of leaders from across the nonprofit community. Panelists included Jean Ellen Cowgill, President of Atlantic Media Strategies; Lori Kaplan, President & CEO of Latin American Youth Center; and Rella Kaplowitz, Evaluation and Learning Program Officer at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Jacob Harold, President and CEO of GuideStar.

“No numbers without stories, and no stories without numbers,” GuideStar President and CEO Jacob Harold explained as he introduced the panelists.


Common Misconceptions about Working at a Nonprofit

As a student who lives in Washington, DC, year-round, it’s funny to see how the city changes once the summer interns arrive. After Memorial Day, the sidewalks are full of nervous, bright-eyed college students wandering around the city with their eyes glued to the maps app on their phones, hoping they don’t get lost on their first day of work.

Whether I meet them on the Metro or at networking events, I’ve found that most of these interns have a genuine interest in getting to know the city better and, like myself, are desperately searching for what purpose they can serve in the professional world. Although they come from all over the country and intern in different sectors, there is one thing they all have in common: they love to ask me the same questions when I tell them I intern at a nonprofit.


How Students Can Prepare for a Career in the Nonprofit Sector

Accounting for 11.4 million jobs across the country, nonprofits make up 10.3 percent of all private sector employment, and with more than 150 million nonprofits in the United States alone, it’s no surprise that these jobs differ vastly from one another. Someone who works at a small, local organization faces different challenges from someone who works at a larger, national organization, and someone who works for a nonprofit arts center in Kansas has little in common with a marketing coordinator for a foundation New York City.


What Your Organization Can Learn from Nonprofit Employment Practices Surveys

Employment practices in all industries offer numerous lessons. The nonprofit sector is no exception. There are takeaways in how to correct the weaknesses of certain practices and how to amplify the success of certain strengths. Plus, comparing nonprofit and for-profit practices contextualizes what the nonprofit sector does well and why it does it well. The benefits to the sector expand when individual nonprofits contribute what they have learned from their own practices, allowingt other organizations to apply these lessons to their own practices.

Taking the 2017 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey is a great way to share your organization’s experiences.


Demonstrating Commitment to Nonprofit Excellence

On an organization’s GuideStar Nonprofit Profile, visitors can view Third Party Ratings, Accreditations, and Awards. Here, potential donors, volunteers, and others interested in nonprofit performance can learn if an organization has received recognition other than the GuideStar Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Seals of Transparency. The Standards for Excellence Institute, a national accreditation that supports organizations in implementing nonprofit best standards, is one of the accreditations listed. Established in 1998 by Maryland Nonprofits, Standards for Excellence accreditation is available to any 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or 501(c)(6) nonprofit that undergoes an independent third-party review of its policies, procedures, and practices.


Three Things to Consider in Mid-Level Donor Communications

Imagine giving $1,000 or more to an organization you faithfully support, but you stop hearing from them one month after you give. Worse yet, what if you never heard from them at all? This scarce communication provides no incentive for you to give again, yet many organizations are neglecting mid-level donors in this exact way. Stuck in donor purgatory between the communication strategies for small and major donors, mid-level givers like you fall into a communications black hole.


Four Ways to Make Your Organization Stand Out to Millennials

Image from World Bank Photo Collection (flickr)

There’s no shortage of names for them: millennials, Generation Y, echo boomers. No matter what you choose to call them, it’s a well-known fact that they’re highly sought after by organizations who want them to care about their cause.


  Your Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar has a new Demographics section.