AMI, the Alliance Management Institute through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, is a conference for nonprofit professionals and students entering the nonprofit world to network and learn from each other. For someone so interested and involved in the nonprofit sector in my area, what could be more amazing. You, however, might not find nonprofit administration and social issues the most interesting topic in the world. Maybe you prefer to think about and enjoy discussing classic literature. There’s something magical there.
Here at AMI, I’ve found over 500 people who love the nonprofit sector and working towards correcting/bettering social problems. I’ve found people who are very interested in my thoughts and ideas about foster care, my theories on program planning, and my near obsession with volunteer and donor engagement. But here’s the magical thing I think you need to know: Whatever it is you love, someone else loves it too and would love to discuss and explore it with you.
Side Note: This post was originally titled “Wrapping Up Salt Lake City.” I planned to give you a run-down of what I ate, what I did, where I shopped, where I stayed, and show a ton of pictures. However, I felt this lesson that I learned was more important. I will, however, share some photos from the trip throughout because why not? So let’s do this.
Remember, for the sake of this post, you enjoy discussing classic literature. Many of you may already know this, but there is a website called Goodreads. This is an amazing place to go and find people who also love classic literature. I can think of one person, Climbing the Stacks on YouTube, who, almost exclusively, discusses classic literature from a more academic/literary point of view.
Also on YouTube, as I’m very intrigued by the community most of my examples are from there, I know one person who loves film and would likely talk film with you all day about it. I know activists, travelers, mechanics, writers, and entrepreneurs who love to meet others interested in their chosen expertise and love to talk about it and make connections within the field. Maybe not a professional field as in a job, but a field of passion. There are organizations, groups, clubs, meet-ups for all kinds of things. For heavens sake, my medium/large town has a store entirely dedicated to yarn and another dedicated to people knitting together.
No matter how “strange,” “off the wall,” or “unusual” you think your interest is, you can find people who also love those things. And, I think, it’s vital to pull together and create groups, online or in-person, dedicated to your passions. There is nothing more motivating or challenging than to hear someone else’s views and opinions on something you are passionate about.
As Mandy puts it in her 2015 Goals, “Find [Your] Tribe”! Even if that relationship lasts no further than that one passion/interest, it’s worth it. I promise.