A leading nonprofit scholar, Joel Fleishman notes, “The greatest threat to the not-for-profit sector is the betrayal of public trust, the disappointment of public confidence.”
After spending a week analyzing the inner depths of OANO’s Standards for Excellence Educational Packets and codes, I can honestly say I have never felt so appreciative of the extraordinary amount of effort nonprofits must dedicate towards stewarding public trust and confidence. While I’d started this fellowship with a sufficient amount of knowledge regarding the nonprofit sector due to my studies at Ohio State, I now realize I wasn’t aware of even half of the amount of steps nonprofits take to ensure accountability and ethics within their operations. Seriously—disclosure policies, personnel policies and practices for employee evaluation, ethical ways to report financial improprieties…the list goes on and on! By Friday, I felt like I’d turned into a “How to Manual for Nonprofits,” able to recite various facts about standards and expectations for these organizations at the drop of the hat!
The literally hundreds of principles nonprofits must ascribe to in exchange for public trust are by no means an easy feat to accomplish, but the extreme amount of effort required is certainly indicative of the passion of the sector as a whole. Even by week three, I know in my heart I am in the perfect sector for me, where people strive to perform at their highest capacity to further the missions of causes they truly believe in. I love the idea of heading to work in the morning excited for the day because I genuinely value the work I am doing and even more so, I love the idea that thousands of other working Americans are headed to their nonprofit jobs feeling the same. I’ve never totally bought the idea that a job needed to be purely about work. Instead, I think that having a job should be about passion and if I’m dedicating nearly one-third of my life to the confines of an office, you better believe it’s going to be for an organization that I believe in!
Lucky for me, the work of OANO is some of the most valuable work in the state. I have never seen such a small staff work so tirelessly on behalf of others and the passion and enthusiasm of my coworkers inspires me to achieve on a daily basis. I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to explore my passions this summer and I cannot wait to watch my fellow colleagues do the same!