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Monday, June 28, 2021

Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey - Lazar Nikolovski

Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we will introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. Millions of visitors come to 
Charity Navigator annually, and they may be surprised to learn that we're a staff of 25! We often proudly state that we are a "small yet mighty team"-- achieving a lot with the resources we have, while staying focused on our mission. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.

Hello, my name is Lazar Nikolovski, and I am the Executive Assistant at Charity Navigator. In that capacity I provide multi-level support to the President & CEO, act as the liaison to the Board of Directors, and perform several finance and operations functions in the organization. 

My career has focused on operational roles since 2012, when a call for employment at the Permanent Mission of Macedonia to the United Nations enticed me to transition to the public sector. I found it to be a great opportunity for a recent U.S. immigrant with a degree in linguistics and career in publishing to explore a different career path. The “die was cast” and looking back, I’m extremely pleased with the decision I made, and I would definitely encourage others to consider an industry or sector shift in their career. Since joining the nonprofit sector in 2012, the importance of making a positive social change has deepened my desire to contribute to the creation of a better world. 

My interest in nonprofit management and operations has increased over time, which made me pursue a secondary degree in a related field. In 2017, I left the U.S., and after spending two years in Germany, returned in 2019 with a Masters degree in Public Policy. I have remained in the nonprofit sector holding similar roles since, and my previous experience and the research conducted as a part of the Masters program helped me to gain a better understanding of the modus operandi of charities and the impact their work has on social issues. 

After a couple of operational roles in international non-governmental organizations, I joined Charity Navigator in July 2020 - in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, in those difficult times my transition into a delicate role such as Executive Assistant came with a challenge. Fortunately, a mature organization such as Charity Navigator already had systems in place to allow for a remote work environment, and the team offered a great deal of support -- which was extremely beneficial. 

I have never been a part of a technology-focused organization, so this has been a learning curve. Over time I am becoming more cognizant of the various technology elements embodied in Charity Navigator’s products. Moreover, and in parallel, I am realizing how technology reshapes the social sector and the potential it has as a tool for making a positive social impact. 

At the time of joining Charity Navigator, I was aware of the significance of giving in exerting social change. I was also aware of the important role Charity Navigator plays on that collective journey. I find that providing millions of donors with the tools to make an informed giving decision is a necessity. Use the tools, follow your passion, make a change! 

Written by Lazar Nikolovski, Executive Assistant at Charity Navigator.

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