Getting in the Trenches: Junior League Seattle and the importance of nonprofit collaboration

With more than 90 years of dedicated volunteerism and leadership, Junior League of Seattle (JLS) has been an instrumental community advocate and nonprofit supporter. We (W) were fortunate to discuss the importance of nonprofit collaboration and the impact of JLS in our community with current JL President, Megan Isenhower (MI) to learn more.

W: How has JLS impacted our community as a whole?

MI: We focus on preparing women to be well-trained volunteers who can make an impact on our community. Through JLS, members get first-hand experience with various nonprofit roles to develop their management and leadership skills. This allows us to not only enter the nonprofit sector with important leadership capabilities, but also to connect to our community and gain valuable insight.

W: In your current leadership position, what have you learned about nonprofit collaboration?

MI: It is imperative to collaborate with our community to understand our community’s needs and help develop programs to take back to nonprofits to work together to serve all of our goals.

W: Wellspring and JLS have been long-time community partners. What does JLS find compelling about Wellspring’s work?

MI: Just like Wellspring, JLS strives to build emotionally healthy, self-sufficient families. One of the ways we both do this is to help youth overcome barriers to become healthy members of society. In order to have a successful society, it is important to have successful families and children.

W: JLS focuses primarily on volunteerism and women in leadership. What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever heard?

MI: Definitely to lead by example. Nobody ever said that directly to me, but it is based on the things that I see. Leadership isn’t about making followers; it is about inspiring others to lead. You have to be in the trenches, making an effort to help others with any task, so that you can inspire others to lead.

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