After 8 years of building up NWF’s social communities, I have decided to leave to help run the social entities at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I wanted to share with my beloved online friends what I shared with my colleagues at National Wildlife Federation– as much of the words ring true for the people I worked with while I was there.
So, to all of my nonprofit techies and counterparts, to the incredible coalitions, partners and groups I’ve had the pleasure to work with, and for the absolutely amazing and inspiring group of NWF supporters I’ve gotten to know over the years, please read these words and know how grateful I am. I will continue to pledge to do the best work I can for both the communities and wildlife.
Thank you all for being wonderful to work with for wildlife.. I’m looking forward to working hard at USFWS to make a difference.
To My Dearest NWF Family,
I gave serious consideration to writing a “goodbye tweet” instead of email, but the truth is, I have loved this place for so long that 140 characters isn’t going to cut it.
My last day at NWF will officially be October 29th. That being said, I will continue being an avid fan and NWF supporter in my personal life until the end of my days.
The truth is, working for NWF had always been my dream job since childhood and I’m incredibly honored and humbled by what I was able to accomplish while I was here, with the help of all of you. You’ll get more details in one of my lengthy quarterly reports (coming soon)— but we’ve made impressive strides blending fun content, our mission and the passion of people online to see real results and learn valuable lessons. I’ve learned so much about each facet of how we do business here thanks to the 14 bosses, 4 departments and 6 job descriptions I’ve had since I started back in 2006. I look forward to following the future growth of NWF and hope to work with all of you at some point in the future.
I’m not going far. Starting November 3rd, I will be working at the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
I thought it only appropriate that I write a blog for you all about what I loved about this place and what I will miss.
5 Reasons I’m Thankful for the National Wildlife Federation
1. The People: You are the smartest, most talented and hilarious colleagues a person could ask for. I have always loved wildlife, but it’s impossible to work for NWF and not love the people too. You all do incredible work and should feel validated daily by the strides you are making for wildlife. The amount of work people do in this organization is astounding and you should be proud of that. I feel so fortunate I got to work with everyone from regional staff, affiliates, partners, board members and more to figure out how we all could use social media for wildlife. I loved that the online world reminded us that we weren’t so far apart after all.
The HQ building served as a constant reminder why I work here and not some for-profit muckity muck :). It was behind our building I spotted my first pileated woodpecker cavity nest, noticed dwarf ginseng in impressive numbers and spent hours observing for wood frogs, box turtles and various snake species (I’ve seen 6) as I thought through our social strategy and how to bring offline-online. I took walks with Craig Tufts and spent time investigating trees and noticing nuances during various check-ins or after rigorous meetings. This building has been a source of inspiration and a great reminder as to why we have to create a space for wildlife in every day life to be happy.
3. You Let Me Try Out New Ideas – My job as a social media nutcase got grounding back in 2006 when Kristin Johnson gave me control over our Myspace page with 25 friends. The rest is history— we are now well over 1 million fans and followers across platforms. It takes an amazing organization to accommodate a change in the way NWF did for someone like me. It is because of this our work is mentioned in dozens of books and hundreds of articles around our leadership in social media. As many of you know, I present about 25 times a year about using social media and NWF was always incredibly supportive and a true thought leader amongst nonprofits in this realm. I am impressed with any place that adjusts to changing times. I will certainly miss how innovative this place is!
4. I Got To Make Friends for a Living – This one is pretty self-explanatory, but one of the best social media concepts I learned while at NWF is to treat social media supporters just like your friends. That means- banish the use of the phrase “PUSH IT OUT” and think of connecting with people on social media as making new friends. My job at NWF taught me how to never forget that real people are behind social media handles and that if you treat them with respect and communicate with them in ways they want to be talked to— you can empower so many.
5. The Mission: All for Wildlife – I’m so grateful I got to communicate on wildlife issues in funny ways, serious ways, and informational ways, all while experimenting and working with our programs and initiatives to introduce our work to our online supporters. We were constantly working to make our work more relevant and approachable. I am so honored I got to hold a position where I had an excuse to talk about amazing wildlife and ecosystems.
You all are in fantastic hands with Dani Tinker when it comes to social media as she’s been an astounding help when it comes to community engagement and content creation. I’ll be around through the end of the month so please reach out if you need anything. Looking forward to staying in touch.
All for Wildlife,
I promise to stay goofy despite this change. :)