NPO.net Leader Spotlight

Nathan Stevens, Project Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, City College of Chicago

Nathan Stevens leads the day-to-day operations for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at City College of Chicago, a program that helps Chicagoland entrepreneurs develop their skills and build a growth-plan to help take their businesses to the next level. He credits NPO.net with helping him land his first non-profit job and grow his career ever since. 

Why he loves his job

“I love the success stories of the clients we serve. I get to bring together so many different entrepreneurs—small business owners from Southwest Chicago, the suburbs, everywhere—and help them develop new relationships with others. In fact, 88% of our scholars and alumni end up working together; these are people who probably would have never met. I love to see them expand their networks and businesses and watch them succeed after they’ve gone through our program.”

Why non-profits

“I’m very mission orientated. I can’t work for a random company; I’ve attempted it and it doesn’t work. I went to film school and spent many years in the services industry, but mission-based work and social services were always important to me. I just really knew I wanted to work in a non-profit.”

How NPO.net helps him

“NPO.net is the first resource for anyone who is interested in working at a non-profit. For me, it’s changed the trajectory of my career. I’ve found jobs where I’m gaining more responsibility and growing as a person. The site is always up-to-date and it has a lot more of the industry departments broken down than the other sites, so it’s very user-friendly. I also follow NPO.net on Twitter, which makes it really easy to see what new opportunities there are.

How his past experiences have helped him be successful in the non-profit world

“So many of my experiences in other industries have been applicable. I went to film school and learned how to identify a story and tell it effectively. There is a story in everything we do. In my role, I can see how a small business’ financial data tells the story about its growth. In film school—and particularly in service where I was constantly meeting so many people—I also learned how to interact with different audiences. I developed the ability to understand a particular audience and play different roles based on that audience and what I need to convey. This has helped me tremendously as I work with small business owners and Executive Directors across different industries, program officers, funders and others.”