Why I Give to NPCA: Jonathan Pearson
By Guest Contributor on Thursday, November 21st, 2013
“If the Peace Corps played such an important role in your life, would you not want as many people as possible to have that chance today?’’
Jonathan Pearson is the National Peace Corps Association’s (NPCA) Director of Advocacy. He and over half the NPCA staff are members of the Director’s Circle which demonstrates outstanding support and loyalty.
“I support NPCA because there should be maximum opportunities to serve. I want more people to have the mindset of donating to NPCA. An organization that supports the ideals of the Peace Corps ought to be worth what we spend on four or five cups of coffee over the course of a year.”
At this time of year Jonathan sits down to write checks for end-of-the-year donations. NPCA is at the top of his list for several reasons. First, the Peace Corps was a transformative life experience. Jonathan taught and worked in community development in Micronesia on a very small island named Lamotrek. In 1987-89 there were only 300 people on the island. Jonathan recalls, “You could walk around the island in less than an hour. The supply ship came every six weeks. It was really isolated.” Jonathan returned seven years after his service and says the reception he received was “fantastic!” Of course, he had to stay for six weeks until the next ship came, so there was plenty of time to renew his ties with his community.
Making Every Penny Count
Second, Jonathan knows firsthand how hard his colleagues at NPCA work. “I’m lucky and proud to work with such a great group of individuals who are so committed to the Peace Corps ideals and the spirit of Peace Corps service. They work really hard to deliver the message in so many ways, such as communication, education, social media, and meeting with members of the NPCA and Peace Corps community while promoting and sharing the success stories of member groups.”
Jonathan says, “I am a member of the Director’s Circle and fully believe in this organization. I know from personal experience how hard everyone works with the help of interns and volunteers. They use dollars very efficiently.” Some staff time is spent applying for grants and trying to find sources of revenue. That takes time away from the time Jonathan and his colleagues could use to further NPCA activities. “An hour we spend looking for $100 is an hour we aren’t doing advocacy work on Capitol Hill or highlighting the work of a member group.”
Jonathan came to NPCA ten years ago from a nonprofit background in advocacy. He reestablished NPCA’s advocacy program, growing the annual Day of Action into an activity that brings 100 NPCA members to Capitol Hill, supported by thousands across the country sending messages to their Congresspersons. The 2014 Day of Action is set for February 27, and will be a well-organized and robust effort thanks to Jonathan’s hard work over many months.
A final word from Jonathan: ”Consistent funding is critical. We could do so much more if NPCA had more resources.” And that means more support from all of our current and prospective NPCA members.
Thanks for your leadership Jonathan!
To learn more about the many ways you can support the National Peace Corps Association, visit our Contributing page. Or to make a donation online now, click here. Learn about NPCA’s recently launched Next Step Travel program here.