151: Engaging Volunteers to Make Your Nonprofit Vision A Reality (Diana Zhang)
Do you consider your nonprofit leadership a calling? Perhaps you saw individuals on the precipice during the pandemic, and simply had to do something. Like other talented professionals who have joined our ranks as a “lateral entry”, Diana Zhang recognized this crisis as a call to action and left her successful 15-year hedge fund career to co-found the nonprofit organization called NeighborShare. In episode #151 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we discuss what it takes to pivot mid-career and launch a successful nonprofit startup. Diana shares the challenges she faced, the lessons learned and the humility required to seek and accept strategic partners for assistance. She has valuable lessons for every nonprofit leader regardless of where your nonprofit is in its life-cycle, and other potential lateral entries will get great advice about understanding the skills they’ll need to transfer from for-profit to the nonprofit sector. As the head of an almost exclusively volunteer organization that now operates in 26 states nationally, Diana discusses the three key elements of their value proposition and how this structure engages and retains excellent volunteers.
Diana Zhang is the CEO and Co-Founder of NeighborShare, a rapidly-growing direct giving approach that empowers our communities’ frontline heroes to help families through critical moments of need of $400 or less. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in strategy and operations as an executive at Bridgewater Associates, a premier asset management firm with $150 billion AUM. Outside of work, Diana is passionate about food and advocating on behalf of those who lack access to it. She serves on the Board of the Connecticut Food Bank / Foodshare.
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