DePaul and Nottingham Students at the Art Institute

It's a small world after all...

Lisa Fav Painting at AIC plus students

With students from DePaul University and Nottingham Business School viewing my favorite painting -- Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

DePaul students with Nottingham Faculty at the Greater Chicago Food Depository JPG

DePaul University students with Nottingham Business School faculty, Lyza and Ofelia, at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Learning with the Chicago White Sox

Learning why the Chicago White Sox care about giving back and how they do it.

Lisa Dietlin and Dr. Maija Renko at the Coleman Entrepreneurship Lunch forDePaul and Notttingham students TWO

With my friend and colleague, Dr. Maija Renko, the Coleman Chair of Entrepreneurship at DePaul University, who hosted a lunch for the students.

Great Britain, Poland, Ukraine, India, Nigeria, Bangladesh, the United States and a host of other countries were represented in late April during the joint GLE (Global Learning Experience) between DePaul University School of Public Service and Nottingham Business School/Nottingham Trent University. This program affords students the opportunity to connect with other students globally without the cost and commitment of a formal study abroad program.

Students from both DePaul University and Nottingham Business School spent a week together exploring the nonprofit world in Chicago. Together, they visited the Art Institute of Chicago to learn about the business side of running a museum; volunteered at the Greater Chicago Food Depository to learn about the importance of giving back; attended a luncheon hosted by the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center where they heard from social entrepreneur, Leeatt Rothschild, founder of Packed with Purpose; and enjoyed a Chicago White Sox baseball game gaining a better understanding of the role philanthropy plays in Major League Baseball.

The week culminated with public presentations at McDonald's World Headquarters of real life case consultancies by the students for seven (7) amazing nonprofit organizations - American Red Cross of Illinois River Valley; HealthQ; Mercy Home for Boys and Girls; The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe; STEP Foundation; Rush University; and Lever for Change. Each nonprofit organization shared with their student group a challenge they were facing and the groups comprised of nonprofit students from DePaul University and business students from Nottingham Business School worked to present possible solutions for consideration.

An amazing week that created friendships to last a lifetime.

A week long journey filled with laughter and learning.

And finally, a realization that it is truly a small world - one full of surprising connections as well as fun and teachable moments!


Careers in the Nonprofit Sector


Nonprofits need professional staff and volunteers to accomplish their mission.


There are many different types of jobs within the nonprofit sector. Is there something for you?

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From the American Red Cross to...

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...zoos (this is the Tulsa Zoo) and everything in between, nonprofits exist in all areas of society.

Did you know the nonprofit sector is the 3rd largest employment sector in the US

Every position that exists in the "for profit" sector exists in the nonprofit sector. Use your skills for good.

Have you considered working in the nonprofit sector?

Most people don’t realize that the nonprofit sector is the third largest employment sector in the United States after retail and manufacturing. This means more people work in the nonprofit sector then work in the oil and gas industry, the automotive industry and even the electronics industry. Yet, no one grows up thinking they are going to work for a charity.

Here are some numbers to consider:

There are an estimated 1.6 million charities in the US (not counting churches and houses of worship or nonprofits with an annual budget under $25,000).

More than 12 million people are employed by nonprofit organizations which is almost 11% of the US workforce.

Jobs range from leadership positions, fundraisers and program staff to support positions such as research, janitorial services, accounting, IT, human resources, marketing, administrative, and more; every type of position that exists in the “for profit” world also exists in the nonprofit world.

Working at a nonprofit often means you can have a job AND fulfill your passion.

Nonprofit organizations are scattered throughout the country in cities, suburbs and rural areas. They serve communities, address problems and build assets in diverse ways. Surveys show that most people feel the nonprofit sector does the best job of helping people and handling resources, better than corporations or the federal government.

By working for a nonprofit, you can choose to work in an area that you care about deeply.

For example, if you are passionate about feeding hungry people in this country, you could explore job opportunities within the food bank community, starting with Feeding America (

If you care about the welfare of animals, you might choose to work in one of many animal-focused nonprofits such as the United States Humane Society ( or the World Wildlife Fund (

If you are committed to improving the environment you might consider the Sierra Club ( or The Nature Conservancy (

The list is endless, especially for those interested in fundraising, with jobs available in the arts, healthcare, education and social services sectors among others. In other words, you can do what you love and the money will follow!

Dispelling Myths About Working in the Nonprofit Sector


The grass can be greener with a nonprofit job.

Here are some common misconceptions about working at a nonprofit!

YOU CANNOT EARN A SALARY WORKING AT A NONPROFIT: People who work for nonprofit organizations earn a salary, enjoy strong benefits (even retirement funds!) and have meaningful careers. In fact, even in a slow economy, U.S. News & World Report has noted that salaries in nonprofits are continuing to grow.
BUSINESS PEOPLE DO NOT WORK AT NONPROFITS: Many people who have graduate degrees and years of for-profit experience work at nonprofit organizations. The nonprofit sector needs business people.
THERE IS NO UPWARD MOBILITY IN NONPROFIT WORK: The nonprofit world provides many people with life-long careers and there are innumerable examples of those who started in entry level positions who have become Executive Directors or Presidents of large nonprofit organizations.
THERE ARE NO DIFFICULT PERSONALITIES IN THE NONPROFIT WORLD: Another myth! While there are a lot of nice people in the nonprofit world, there are also difficult personalities just like there are in other job sectors.
NONPROFITS ARE INEFFICIENT ORGANIZATIONS: While the measures for success are often different than in for-profit organizations, in order for nonprofits to get the funding that is their lifeblood – from individuals, organizations and agencies – they have to show that they are efficient, effective and can achieve the double bottom line (mission focus and financial focus).
NONPROFITS ARE NOT PROFESIONAL OPERATIONS: Most nonprofit organizations are very professional with how they operate, they have to be.
NONPROFITS ARE ONLY FOCUSED ON LIBERAL ISSUES; IN OTHER WORDS, CONSERVATIVES NEED NOT APPLY: With more than 1.6 million registered nonprofit organizations, there are causes on both ends of the spectrum (conservative and liberal) and at every point in between.
NONPROFITS ONLY NEED VOLUNTEERS: While volunteers are integral to the success of nonprofit organizations, nonprofit staff (think of the organizations mentioned above and examples like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center and Harvard University) are professional and paid.

A career in the nonprofit sector is a rewarding and positive experience that provides a vibrant and stimulating work environment, and it might be what you are seeking in your next job.

And remember, nonprofit, does not mean non-revenue!


Final Thoughts: Life can change in a minute

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Life can change in an instant...what you do today matters!

These days I have been thinking about how quickly life can change, having witnessed it with family members and friends. Life can and does change dramatically.

A reminder to focus on what is important. Do those things that bring you happiness and joy.

Take time this month, while you are witnessing the miracle of spring bringing the trees, plants and flowers to life, to figure out what brings you happiness and joy. Jot the items down, then peruse the list often as a gentle reminder to avoid it falling into a bucket of things you should have done.

Some of the things which I have jotted down that bring happiness and joy to me include:

▪ Walking daily in nature on my favorite walking trail - The 606.
▪ Drinking a great cup of coffee every morning - dark roast Starbucks is my favorite.
▪ Learning something new each day - being curious all the time. Recently, I visited the Pompeii: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry and learned so much!
▪ Making time to talk and connect with my friends and family members often.
▪ Watching old and new movies - streaming make them easily accessible.
▪ And yes, a fine glass of wine to end the day.
Walking daily in nature on my favorite walking trail - The 606.
Drinking a great cup of coffee every morning - dark roast Starbucks is my favorite.
Learning something new each day - being curious all the time. Recently, I visited the Pompeii: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry and learned so much!
Making time to talk and connect with my friends and family members often.
Watching old and new movies - streaming make them easily accessible.
And yes, a fine glass of wine to end the day.

What brings you happiness and joy? Life can indeed change in an instant and we see it daily happening to others, many of whom have dreams that will remain unfulfilled.

Do things that make you smile and bring your dreams to fruition!

Happiness & Joy Always!

lisa sig1
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