This week, Cory speaks to business woman and social leader Aria Finger, who is best known for her role as the CEO of DoSomething.org, which is one of the world largest organizations for young people and social change, boasting over 5 million members in over 131 countries. In this weeks episode, Aria talks about her 12-year journey from joining as an associate to becoming the CEO, she also shares her method of overcoming hard decisions, the importance of transparency and her thoughts on the future of non-profit organizations.
Aria Finger (@AriaIrene) joined nonprofit DoSomething.org in 2005 as an associate with a dream of changing the world, a tongue ring, and a resume that she posted on idealist.org. Ten years later she became the organization’s CEO and has led DoSomething to engage millions of young people in making positive changes in the world.
DoSomething.org uses tech and a growing team of passionate employees to reach and activate youth in activities from clothing the homeless to sending happy Ramadan cards to mosques throughout the U.S.
In this episode with host Cory Levy (co-founder of After School, Internapalooza, and DoSomething.org board member), Aria shares her story of how she got started with DoSomething.org, advice on how to keep great employees, her thoughts on the future of nonprofits, and her advice for people who aren’t quite sure what they want to do with their lives. “Go all in on what you’re amazing at and then you’ll be the most successful that you can be,” says Aria.
Since her start at the organization, DoSomething.org has grown from a team of around 10 to over 60 employees. Asked about how to retain great employees, Aria says that there are three key factors, including that the employee feels like they are doing important work that they are personally contributing to, great perks, and their co-workers. Aria credits her success to developing strong bonds with co-workers. “Create deep relationships with your peers and support them, because then they will support you.”
Aria talks about how she got started with DoSomething.org 12 years ago, going from an associate to the position of CEO
Aria talks about former CEO and Crisis Text Line Founder Nancy Lublin
How to tell the truth without offending people
How Aria makes hard decisions. “I do think that you need to figure out what information you need, and it’s never 100%…then move fast.”
Aria discusses how to recover from mistakes made within a business
Aria talks about transparency
Challenges facing today’s CEOs
How DoSomething.org and Aria retain talent
Aria discusses her bad habits
Aria on her teenage years
Aria gives her advice to someone in college who is just graduating that doesn’t know what they want to do
The future of nonprofits “I think we’re going to see consolidation in the space”
The ineffective habits of Aria and her peers
DoSomething.org and controversy
“What’s something controversial today that you think won’t be tomorrow?”
Advice for people who want to work for DoSomething.org