We specialize in gathering and presenting information for nonprofit professionals so they can make quick, smart decisions.
Our goal is to support the work of nonprofits and charities so they can serve their communities better. We think the best way to do this is to equip the people who work in the industry with the tools and information they need so they can be effective and efficient in conducting their work. We equip nonprofit professionals by presenting access to information in a clean, clear, and comprehensive format.
History: How it all started
After my last year of school was finished, I started working full time for the company I had spent the past couple summers with. The job was fine, it was in the food industry, and the people I worked with were great. I was learning a lot, but the work did nothing to fulfill me. I had no interest in the industry or my role in general. I needed more. I needed to contribute more meaningfully to the world. On one particularly gloomy day, I was given a sheet of paper telling me how I could convince people to buy processed, unhealthy snacks instead of healthy whole foods they were seeking. ‘You want an apple, how about this apple sauce instead?’ That was the end for me.
A professor in school told me to follow my bliss; but my bliss wasn’t hiring. Or at least, wasn’t hiring me. I had barely heard of the nonprofit industry. Sure, I know about many different charities, but I didn’t know how many different types of jobs there were available. We learn about maybe 40 or 50 different career paths in high school, but in actuality, there are thousands of different career path out there.
Eventually I learned that Sales is called Fundraising in the nonprofit industry and was able to land an entry level job fairly quickly. I also learned that coming from a big company meant there was a potential for a new corporate sponsor, and that’s almost always a hire for a Fund Development Manager.
On my first day I was being trained by the person whose job I was hired to take over. She showed me all around, and bestowed all of her knowledge. There was a magnet on the filing cabinet for another charity. I asked why it was there. She told me on occasion, people in the community would call for particular support services. Our employer did not provide such services, but the charity from the magnet did, supposedly, so she’d pass along the phone number. “Wait, you say they provide that service, but you don’t actually know?” I asked, completely bewildered. How irresponsible? Referring someone to something that may not be correct?!? I told myself that would be one of the first things I would do, learn where to refer people.
I was in that role for a year and a half, and I never learned where to refer people. And I handed out that other number frequently.
Over the next few years as I grew within the nonprofit industry I realized just how strapped organizations and their employees are. The work is never ending and the judgement from the community, donors, and public is unrelenting. The work of a nonprofit professional is a constant hustle.
It quickly became clear to me how much time the employees of charities spend on non-mission related work. Finding quality resources takes a lot of time and can be quite difficult.
Effective charities specialize in one specific area; yet the people they serve have complex needs. The people reached by nonprofits don’t need just one specialized service, and it’s not always easy for a nonprofit professional to know where to go for help.
If, for example, a charity’s mission was to build a school in a rural area and it raised enough money to do so, the charity would quickly discover there is a lot more to learning than just a school building. Children also need books and other tools, the ability to get to school, support from their family or caregivers, adequate food and clean water, and access to a healthcare provider. As well, the school needs reliable electricity and a teacher. Charities can end up spending much of their time on non-mission related work to fully address the needs of their clients.
I thought, why not create an information centre that helps nonprofit professionals find solutions? You can tell us your ideas and we will help you turn them into realistic goals with a step by step plan, use our resources to find answers quickly, and make connections so you can speak directly with people who have the experience you’re looking for.
Services in Action has evolved over the years, but what has always remained is our passion for the civil society and our belief that the people working in the sector are our chance at a better world -if only they are given what they need to get their job done.