What does it take to succeed as a woman leading a nonprofit organization in Milwaukee?
We interviewed Sanders on her work in the sector, and she provided some advice to women aspiring to be nonprofit leaders like her:
Sanders: When I first took on this role, Safe & Sound was facing several challenges: programmatic, financial, strategic and more. I’ve had the opportunity to work with an amazing board of directors and staff to restructure the organization, shift our revenue model, build awareness of Safe & Sound and more. Now our strategy is evidence-informed and was validated by an independent evaluation.
NPC: What does receiving the Driven to Achieve Award mean to you?
Sanders: Personally, this award means a great deal. I’m raising three young boys, who I hope will be inspired and driven to see their mom be recognized by such an amazing leader like Donald Driver, who—with this award and the work of the foundation—is modeling a spirit of giving back. And, it’s the closest thing to a sports award I’ll ever receive!
NPC: How will the Donald Driver Foundation’s $40,000 donation help Safe & Sound pursue its mission?
Sanders: The donation that comes with this award is amazing! It will support programs like Project 943, which addresses reckless driving; Face 2 Face, which breaks down stereotypes and brings people together to combat racism; and block parties, which bring together residents to build up the trust and cohesion that neighborhoods need to be successful.
NPC: Why did you choose to work in the nonprofit sector, and how has it inspired you?
Sanders: The nonprofit sector is an immense force—addressing society’s challenges and bringing out its best. From social service agencies addressing basic needs to educational and cultural institutions that help us define our human selves, nonprofits are such an important—and often overlooked and undervalued—part of our society. I’m inspired by the thousands of nonprofit professionals who dedicate their careers to the betterment of the community. And I’m proud to contribute to my community through an amazing, unique nonprofit here in Milwaukee.
NPC: What advice would you give to young women aspiring to be nonprofit leaders in their community?Sanders: It sounds corny, but you can do anything you set your mind to. In this role, I have had to do so many things I never thought I could do. Surround yourself with friends, colleagues and family who can challenge and support you. Develop a thick skin. You will get knocked down, but you will get up and you will win the next round. Just believe in yourself!