Hidden conservationists

Behind the scenes at WILD with Jennifer Meyer, Chief Operations Officer

We are all conservationists when we use our unique skills to help protect the natural world around us.

That’s why we’d like to help you discover the different nature conservation professions that help make the world a better place but aren’t always in the forefront of the environmental world.

Meet Jennifer Meyer, WILD’s Chief Operations Officer.

What does your work actually entail?

Jennifer Meyer - WILD Foundation

My contribution to WILD is pretty multi-faceted and changes every day, which I love. I’d say my main role is to make sure projects and the organization as a whole have the administrative support they need to keep the work going. That means financial reporting, legal documentation, recordkeeping, taking care of donor questions – things like that. But another huge part of my job is to connect with staff at WILD to 1) make sure they are getting the support they need and 2) we’re keeping the ball rolling no matter what may be in our way.

I like to call myself a professional problem solver, but everyone at WILD is like that. And why is it important? Over the years, I have learned that my work is very important. The truth is many of the projects wouldn’t be able to focus on what they are good at without someone like me keeping what some may call “the boring stuff” going. Administrative work is tedious, but you can’t avoid it – especially at a nonprofit.

What do you like about your job?

I love knowing that I am contributing to good work that takes place all around the world. Wildlife – check! Ocean – check! Advocacy – Check, check! It fills my cup to know that I play a part in that.

Can you tell us about a moment/story that stood out to you with your work? Maybe something that left you inspired or pushed you to grow.

Jennifer Meyer - WILD Foundation

Oof, this is a tough one. I can’t remember when this happened but at some point in my 8 years at WILD, my thought process on how I serve WILD shifted in a big way. When this happened I wanted to share it with others. Shift their mindset to how they mattered and how we’re all conservationists contributing to a wilder world.

Working on such a big vision is hard work, and let’s face it, we have no idea how things will turn out – but the most important thing to me is that each of us understands with our whole heart that we contributed.

Whether that is submitting a financial budget to a grantmaker, mailing a thank you to a donor, showing up to the COPs, or creating social media content – We are all playing a part in this work and it’s all important.

What advice would you give to others who are searching for a job with purpose?

Figure out what issues you are passionate about. Volunteer, a lot. Check any ego at the door. And finally, dive in. We need you! But really, if you’re looking for something “bigger” give nonprofit work a chance. Yes, it’s true, you’ll probably take a pay cut but what you are paying forward to others is priceless.

Learn more about Jenn and WILD’s staff.


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