“Endeavour had a dramatic impact on clients’ issues.”

Written by Banu Raghuraman

The opinions are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of Endeavour.

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Steven Ayer is the Founder and President of Common Good Strategies, a market research and strategic consulting group that specializes in research for the non-profit sector. He is also the chair of Endeavour’s board of directors. In this article he shares his thoughts about his career in non-profit and experience with Endeavour.

 

 1. You have had a very focused career in the non-profit sector. What made you choose this path?

In school, I liked solving really complex problems. In not-for-profits (NFPs), we are faced with complex problems that need effective and creative solutions. . The process of resolving and coming up with results is very rewarding. As well, I am able to work on a broad variety of tasks and gain a lot of skills.

In terms of volunteering, the NFP sector gives us a choice on where we want to volunteer – whatever we are good at or wherever we want to gain experience in a particular skill. We have exposure to various aspects of the job. The skills we learn are transferable to other domains, such as marketing and/or technology.

2. You mentioned you worked on a variety of tasks. Is there one particular area you became more interested in?

Not really, as they all tend to overlap – research, business planning, technology and implementation.

3. What attracted you to Endeavour and your eventual decision to join as board member?

Endeavour presented itself as a microcosm of all the difficult tasks I was trying to solve but at the same time had a dramatic impact on clients’ issues.

I started off training the volunteers – which was an opportunity for me to share what I knew and also learn from other people. I was motivated and inspired by others who had similar thoughts and did similar actions as myself.

I was invited to join the board and since I enjoyed what I had done until that point, I knew I would also enjoy being on Endeavour’s board.

4. How do you complement the board of directors – essentially what kind of skills or viewpoints do you bring to Endeavour’s board?

I have to say that I am very impressed by the skills and experience of the other board members. People come from different organizations and have a lot of great skills.

My skills and viewpoints overlap with many others, such as the experience and familiarity of working in the non-profit sector and a great interest in constant improvement of other non-profits and of Endeavour itself. So, my general philosophy meshes well with that of Endeavour’s.

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