Nonprofit on the Rocks - Lawyers Who Rock for Charity

Season 4 | Episode 9

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“Our mission is to promote music education and raise funds for local charities by hosting ‘battle the bands’ rock concerts starring legal professionals. And we do a tour of these all around the entire world, all starring mostly lawyers or other legal professionals who are also, like, undercover musicians--some incredibly talented, and they get to pick a local charity that they are passionate about and raise money for it.”


Matt talks to Omi Crawford, Director of Law Rocks, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote music education for underprivileged youth and raise funds for local nonprofit organizations by combining the power of music and the generosity of the global legal community.

The pair discuss the challenge of keeping an event-driven nonprofit afloat during the pandemic shutdown, whether or not celebrities are actually “silver bullets” of fundraising, the trials and travails of working parents – especially those running nonprofits, and how many lawyers are secret, undercover rock stars.


Matt:

You're a new mom. And I'd love to know as a parent, cause I am not a parent, how much of a pain in the ass is it to be a parent and the director of a non-profit?

Omi Crawford:

I liked how you phrased that. It's definitely challenging.  I'm kind of in awe of everybody who does this whole, have a kid and work and like, take care of yourself and live and have a marriage and do all the things. I mean, I've been hearing it my whole life, but now when you're living it, you're just like, Oh wow.

I mean, at the same time, I'm happy, I'm fulfilled. I adore my child. My kids also very awesome. So, I mean, maybe I'm biased, but she's a lot of fun. , so I think also I always in my head am like, actually when I was in a Mommy and me class at the beginning of parenthood, they said, Keep these two words in your mind throughout parenthood for.

Everything is for now. So my baby's not sleeping for the night for now, or whatever it is. And I think about that sometimes because I know that she'll only be so demanding for now. But the work life balance will probably always be challenging. I mean, I could get into a whole thing about our country and how we don't support parents or women or maternity leave or breastfeeding.

It's like very, very embarrassing. And , that's a cause that I could definitely get behind at some point. But you take it one day at a time and you do the best you can. Some days are really good mom days. Some days are really good work days. 

Matt:

That's okay. You had your daughter in Covid, right? 

Omi:

Right before, a little bit before, I mean, I was still in like a postpartum haze until like I just, when I started to getting together, it was covid.

So the timing was great.  

So I think,  again, the one nice thing about Covid was everybody was home, so at least you were able to be home, right? But it, it. Look,  I have a husband. We both have jobs. We don't have a child, and that allows me to do many things that a lot of my, , parent friends hate me for , like, for example, go to Italy and get covid on the way back.

But that being said, I think it is very challenging to be a,  parent.  and an executive director of a non-profit. And so if you were talking to somebody who was about to become a parent running a non, a non-profit, whatever that is, what advice would you give them?

I would say negotiate some maternity leave.

As much as you can. If you can get, do more than 12 weeks. Honestly, I feel like it's like six months. That would be what if we, in an ideal world, that it takes, I mean, you're healing, it's a whole thing. So that would probably be my first bit of advice is negotiate the maximum maternity leave that you can possibly take.

And Lot Rocks was awesome to me. I didn't even know how it was gonna be, but they were super supportive and have continued to be, but that would be my number one piece of advice is give yourself a little time and then, Upon return, ease back in as much as you can and  be gentle on yourself.

Matt:

Okay, so let's say that you have a very small nonprofit and you don't have staff that can really fill in for you and you're control freak because all of us who are executive directors, I'm sorry, were all control freaks. So what is the advice now that you give me this control freak over here who's running a nonprofit who doesn't have a lot of staff to take over for me, and yet I'm gonna go, you know, leave for a few for however many months?

What advice do you give me?  

Omi:

I think. You have to, I mean, a combination of preparation. Like I left extremely detailed notes for Ted and the woman who filled in for me for every event I tried to get everything as prepared as I possibly can.

Luckily, I actually had my daughter during our lull, , between the fall tour and the spring tour. But I think it would be as much as you possibly can get your ducks in a row and. You're gonna have to let go to some degree of something. You're gonna drop a ball somewhere, it's just gonna happen. , so I guess it goes back to prioritization and, you know, once you return to work or if you have to return to work sooner  than ideal, what is the absolute most important thing and just being okay, not getting everything done all the time.


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With offices in Los Angeles and New York, Envision Consulting works exclusively with nonprofits all across the country on executive and supported search, strategic planning and partnerships, and other organizational transitions, with diversity, equity and inclusion integrated into all of our practices.