How I became an advisory board member for a nonprofit

Twenty Ten Talent - How I became an advisory board member for a nonprofit

Finding the right charity to align yourself with is just as important as picking the right job offer to accept; the two are too similar to take the decision lightly. Your charitable work, whether you are a volunteer or board member, won’t take as many hours out of your week as a full-time job, but it will come close.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years that salaried employees stay in a role is 4.2 years. And in my experience, you will stay with a non-profit organization for two to five years. During that time, you will network, stay up late to finish PowerPoint presentations, beg your current friends for donations and make new friends.

In my life, change comes in waves. I will get a new job, new apartment and a new mentor all in the span of months. So when I started a new job with a startup, I was also looking for a new charity to work with. I like to use to search for local organizations that align with my passions – fashion, entrepreneurship, startups and diversity and inclusion. But I wasn’t finding anything that was the right fit until I was invited to a panel discussion that SheSays Chicago was hosting. One of the panelists was the founder of My Favorite Outfit. When I began researching the panelists prior to the event, this particular charity seemed like a good fit for me. I sent a note to the founder letting her know that I’d be attending the event and I’d like to chat with her afterwards. She was lovely and, fast forward to present day, I’m now an Advisory Board member. The time I took to find the right fit has been fulfilling for me.

My Favorite Outfit uses fashion to empower at-risk girls through self-esteem building, mentoring and skills-based learning to help them succeed in middle school, high school, college and beyond. From its beginning in 2014, My Favorite Outfit has used in-school workshops in Chicago’s underserved communities to educate girls on how clothing and self-esteem intersect.

Now, My Favorite Outfit is expanding upon our 27 school partnerships in Chicago and bringing our pop-up workshops to Los Angeles for the 2017/2018 school year. California has the highest percentage of low-income students in the country and the achievement gap rate for these students is startling. In order to help close this gap, there needs to be a change. This expansion is a very exciting crossroads for us and we could use your help.

In order to expand to Los Angeles, we have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Causevox. It costs $35 to sponsor a student through the program. So a donation of any size makes a big impact. We have the support of our past partners, including Athleta, Vineyard Vines, Cusp by Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s to name a few. We are also the current philanthropic partner of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s Fashion Club in LA. We hope to gain your support as well.

To learn more about My Favorite Outfit, visit and check out this video.


Post by Christian McKenzie

Christian McKenzie is a retail marketer who has worked for Macy’s, Sears Holdings Corporation and Pear (formerly Apparel Media Group). You can follow her journey on Twitter at @xian_mckenzie.

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