The Not For Profit Podcast Ep 07: Thinking Strategically in a NFP

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In life, there are different phases and stages we go through. No matter what phase or stage you are in, you will always look forward to that “one step higher”. But getting there is not by chance. You have to think strategically and be passionate about what you’re doing.

Today, Julia Mckenna, Owner and Chief Financial Officer of Friends with Dignity will tell us about her story. She will share with us how passion and sacrifice brought her to where she is right now. Furthermore, Julia will reveal to us what it truly takes to build something for the next level.

If you’re at a point where you’re ready to take the next step higher—listen and tune in to today’s episode.

Julia’s Backstory(1:45)

  • Julia recounts starting as a volunteer in the NFP sector.
  • Julia used to belong to the corporate industry as an international investment banker.
  • Julia explains that Friends with Dignity is an NFP that assists men, women and/or children who have been victims of domestic violence.
  • What experience did Julia go through that made her stand strongly for an NFP such as Friends with Dignity?
  • How Julia managed to take the leap of faith from a well-paying sector(the corporate world) to the NFP sector
  • Julia gives a little insight about how passion and sacrifice both come together for the sake of pursuing advocacy in the NFP sector.

The Hardest Role in Being the Founding Director and CFO of Friends with Dignity (8:44)

  • The difference of working in the corporate world in contrast to Julia’s role at Friends with Dignity.
  • What are some of the hurdles a volunteer-based NFP has to face, especially when talking about availability and time?
  • Julia shares the struggles they are currently facing—the transition of one person taking on multiple roles to bringing in a team that will take on individual roles.
  • Identifying the tipping point—Julia talks about what made her decide to bring more people in to do the individual tasks.

The Startup Stage: How did Julia coordinate with her co-directors? (13:49)

  • Tailoring one’s skills and capabilities according to the needs of the different sectors in the business.
  • Julia emphasizes the importance of auditing in the startup.
  • Transparency and excellent communication was and still is the vital element that allowed Friends with Dignity to work and grow.

Time Machine: If Julia was to go back, would she change anything? (17:19)

  • Hiring more specialists.
  • Having an in-depth understanding of their NFP organization.
  • Taking the AICD course earlier—Julia recommends it.

Julia’s Piece of Advice (19:16)

  • Take the AICD course.
  • Think more strategically about who you have on the board.
julia mckenna

Who is Julia Mckenna?

Julia Mckenna is the Owner and Chief Financial Officer of Friends with Dignity. For Julia, NFPs have been her passion ever since she started volunteering at a young age. After experiencing a tragic loss because of domestic violence, Julia pushed for assisting men, women, and children who have been victims of domestic violence.

Contact Julia Mckenna:

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