Ex-Craigslist Foundation director Darian Rodriguez Heyman on guiding nonprofits 

Darian Rodriguez Heyman, managing partner of the environmental consulting firm Code Green Agency, recently released the book “Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals.” He’s also the former Craigslist Foundation executive director and conducts a conference series, “Social Media for Nonprofits,” that will tour six cities this year.

How did you built the Craigslist Foundation from offices in your bedroom?

I actually restarted it, as it was dormant for a couple of years. I had to revitalize it with no funding initially, no programs, staff or mission. I helped come up with a focus, really leveraging Craigslist’s focus on people helping people, and started looking at flipping that to helping people help and connecting emerging nonprofit leaders to the resources they need to build their world.

Where do you get the drive and motivation for that type of project?

I consider myself a dot-com refugee. I started and sold one of the first digital advertising agencies, Beyond Interactive, right out of college. We grew that with no funding or background in advertising.

What philosophy do you work by?

The best way I have heard it put is, “Seek first to collaborate, only then to lead,” by Bill Clinton.

Do you enjoy your work?

I do enjoy my work. I also integrate a lot of music into what I do. I DJ in my spare time. I think it’s important to have grace in the journey and not just focus on the destination.

It seems like you have a lot of things on your plate. How do you create that work-life balance?

I think the work-life balance is more of a struggle for a lot of people than it is for me. I love what I do, so I really pour myself into it.

What has been your most challenging work endeavour?

The most challenging thing that I’ve faced as a serial entrepreneur was really around learning about the essence of leadership.

Who has influenced you the most?

I would say my mom has been my greatest influence. She was a middle school art teacher and started out teaching English as a second language.

Who do you turn to when times are tough?

From a personal perspective, I think that philanthropy does start in the home. I turn to my family for support, insight, love and comfort when I need it.

About The Author

Laura Colgan

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