Farah Ng admits that her reason for being in nonprofit may be a bit selfish – but in a good way. Growing up painfully shy, Farah found that she was able to contribute something of value by volunteering.  “I feel really good knowing I am making a small difference in someone’s world,” she says. “I also love being surrounded by people who feel the same way.”

While completing her degree in political science and criminology at the University of Toronto, Farah’s plan was to be accepted into a social worker program. However, when that didn’t work out, she pursued her back-up plan of corporate communications. “I remember it felt so much easier writing my admission statement. Even then, it just felt right. I always knew I’d end up in a field that involved lots of writing,” says Farah.

Today, Farah is the communications associate at Saint Elizabeth Health Care in Canada.  Saint Elizabeth sends healthcare workers, like nurses, rehab therapists and personal support workers into home and clinic settings in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. “It’s rewarding to know we are helping individuals receive top notch care in a place they call home,” she says.

She helps promote brand awareness through online and traditional media. She also does a lot of writing for internal communications, which presents challenges of its own. “This is an organization of 7,000 employees spread out across the country and one of the most challenging roles for me is engaging this diverse internal audience,” says Farah.

Farah and the communications team at Saint Elizabeth remediate this by not only sharing information with the employees that will help them better serve their patients, but by also reminding them of the impact they have. “We share recognition stories to honor the fantastic work we are doing in the community,” says Farah. “With everyone so busy with their responsibilities, we don’t always remember that together, we’re making a big difference for so many families.”

An award winning team

Last year Farah and her team won the “People’s Choice Best Booth” award at the Ontario Hospital Association’s HealthAchieve conference. She says, “I’m super proud of this because everyone on the team worked hard to make this booth fun and interesting. It’s nice to see our efforts were recognized by the top healthcare executives who attended the conference.”

Building the value of technology in nonprofit communications

Farah was part of the recent launch of Seneca SoMe, a new post-graduate program in social media. Seneca SoMe is the only higher education institution in North America offering certification in Radian6 and Sysomos, two of the most powerful tools nonprofits can use to analyze how they’re reaching supporters. “The world of social media analytics has come so far from simply counting followers and retweets.” She explains, “It’s not just about knowing how to crunch data, but learning how that data can inform strategy.”

Social media is just one way that technology influences how nonprofit communicators work. Most communicators also take on website maintenance and e-newsletters which means knowledge of coding is important. Farah says that she began teaching herself HTML coding at 12 years old and that it has helped her at every role she’s had. “You don’t need to be a professional programmer,” she says, “but today’s nonprofits need professionals who aren’t afraid to question how technology works and how it can better serve our causes and supporters.”

Linda Alberts

Linda Alberts

public relations coordinator at National Alliance for Youth Sports
Linda Alberts is a communications professional, with a focus in public relations. She is currently the public relations coordinator for the National Alliance for Youth Sports headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla. In addition to her work in youth sports, Linda enjoys reading, baking, gardening.
Linda Alberts
Linda Alberts