By Josh Womack, head writer at Laugh Staff
I was fresh out of college and just wrapped up an internship. I needed a place where I could learn, grow, make a few mistakes…and did I mention, learn?
A friend from high school, who just happened to work at United Way, introduced me to the Loaned Executive program. They say it’s not what you know; it’s who you know, right?
Through that friend, and the interview, I learned that LE’s (as they’re called) are exposed to a variety of business settings, such as problem solving, strategic planning and public speaking. These were all skills needed to help United Way raise funds throughout workplace campaigns in the community.
The more I listened during the interview, the more I realized this is exactly where I was supposed to be: a professional, nurturing environment where I could give back, and in turn develop the skills needed for success. Here’s a little more about the exciting role of a Loaned Executive.
The Role of Loaned Executives
Loaned Executives are seasonal temp employees who help the fundraising staff (better known as Resource Development) at United Way. With thousands of workplace fundraising campaigns happening all over Cuyahoga County, Loaned Executives are a combination of:
- Executives from the community ‘loaned’ by their respective companies
- College grads looking to gain experience in non-profits and fundraising
- Established professionals who want to give back to the area
LE’s manage fundraising campaigns, speak to groups in various business sectors and act as a feet-on-the ground representative supporting United Way’s mission to advance education, income, health and basic needs in the community.
You’ll get a lot for giving back
Like I mentioned in the beginning, United Way’s LE program was a great way to learn about Cleveland and philanthropy. More importantly, it provided me with the skills I could utilize throughout my professional career. Here are a few opportunities being a Loaned Executive offers.
Networking – I can’t think of a non-profit better connected to Cleveland’s movers and shakers than United Way. The people you’ll meet at events like the United Way Annual Meeting and Campaign Kickoff are second to none. Better yet, like you, they’re determined to make Cleveland a better a place for everyone. Over 90 volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee and hundreds more throughout the organization! Many of the professional and personal relationships I have today are a direct result of my experiences at United Way.
Problem Solving – As a LE, you will work with not only United Way staff, but also with the Employee Campaign Managers at companies throughout Cuyahoga County. Together, you will learn about the company culture and help inspire and motivate people to believe in United Way’s mission and vision. Developing working relationships with the Employee Campaign Managers gives you great experience in account management and interpersonal communication.
Public Speaking – I saved this one for last because I know it scares some people. Don’t worry! United Way’s Resource Development staff will coach you up on how to convey the importance of donating. Speaking in front of groups in manufacturing plants and boardrooms helped my confidence grow. It can do the same for you! You’ll be well versed in passionately communicating gratitude, facts and urgency behind the organization’s mission.
Ready to make a difference? Apply today to make an impact and leave your mark on the community!
About the Author
Josh Womack was a Loaned Executive for United Way in 2007. He currently lives downtown and is the head writer at Laugh Staff and a copywriter for Progressive Insurance. He also recommends eating at Juji’s.