Today’s Buzz is by Kevin Teater. Kevin Teater is the executive director of the Beaverton (Oregon) Downtown Association, a candidate for Beaverton City Council, a City of Beaverton planning commissioner, and an ELGL member since 2017. Connect with Kevin on Twitter or LinkedIn.
- What I’m Listening to – Coldplay
- What I’m Reading – A heck ton of endorsement applications and policy documents
- What I’m Watching – Madre Solo hay Dos (Daughter from nother Mother)
- What I’m Doing – Campaigning for Beaverton City Council
Running a nonprofit is hard as heck.
Recently, a fellow downtown director asked a small group of us what made us quit these jobs. Turnover is high in Main Street programs, and most of us have a story about what made us walk away or what made us stay. Here’s mine.
I thought about quitting when one too many businesses were being bullies. I thought about quitting when my board members kept resigning before their terms were over (many with valid reasons, but it can still be discouraging). I thought about quitting when I saw how much I could be getting paid leading a different nonprofit. I thought about quitting when I struggled to get the funding I want this organization to have.
But I stayed.
I stayed because I love public art. I stayed because the immigrant business owners are so loving to me. I stayed because I helped people find the support they needed when nobody else did. I stayed because my board believes in me. I stayed because I love the challenge. I stayed because I am making a difference.
Good lord, this work is hard.
I stayed because I saw when business owners wanted to quit. I saw their breakdowns. And I saw them keep going. And so, I wanted to keep going with them.
As hard and as challenging as it is, this is why I love public service.
It’s about the community.
And I won’t quit on it.