Nonprofit on the Rocks - Heidi Johnson - Founder of Charity Matters
Season 3, Episode 4
“You cannot lead unless you serve.”
Matt talks to Heidi Johnson, founder of Charity Matters, a nonprofit (and podcast) whose mission is to share the fascinating stories of innovators, entrepreneurs, and modern-day heroes who set out to solve the problems of humanity with their incredible journeys of service.
After tragedy struck Heidi’s life, she was struck with the notion that the best way through her grief was to get outside of herself by helping others. And thus, a life of service, and connecting people to causes, began.
What is your favorite thing about being an executive director?
My favorite thing is honestly, working with incredible people and being in a privileged position to see the change that we can actually impact.
I mean, we truly create change and I get to see it. And now after eight years, I can see it in the kids that we taught eight years ago that are now out of college. And I understand why people get into teaching because it's such a gift to see that we have a small little piece of planting a seed of compassion in thousands of children every year.
And one of the huge things that we teach and the reason I took the job at task was to plant the seed of compassion and service. We teach kids, you cannot lead unless you serve. You cannot lead unless you serve
Well, that's really important for people to hear. I also think by the way, that's a huge part of, of Charity Matters. I mean, it just kinda all goes together to me.
You know, a lot of what we talk about on the show is people getting into executive director positions and wanting to be an executive director. So, I hear your favorite thing about being an ed. What is your least favorite thing about being an executive?
It's wearing so many hats, right? I mean, it's so exciting to wear so many hats and it's so exhausting to wear so many hats. There are not enough hours in the day. Anyone who works in a nonprofit will know this, whether an executive director or not, because it's not like we're making pencils or widgets, we are serving human beings. And when we go to bed at night, someone isn't getting educated, someone isn't getting fed, someone is getting health care. Someone isn't having a chaplain by their bedside. Someone isn't being served in some way they need to be served. And those people are on our backs. And that is an enormous responsibility and it, and it's something that I take incredibly seriously.
I think about the faces of all those kids that we serve. And it is a lot to carry that, but the blessings that come with it are worth all of that.