We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Hinderliter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have devoted my entire career to nonprofit management with an emphasis in resource development. I believe it is truly a privilege to connect individuals, organizations and resources to the programs making a difference in our community. I had a little experience with consulting as a side-hustle over the years but had been afraid to take the plunge and commit to consulting work full-time. In 2019, I decided it was time for a change and left the Executive Director position I’d held for the prior 7 years. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next, but colleagues reached out about interim work and it seemed like a good fit while I figured out what I wanted to do long-term. In February 2020 I landed my first new client that I didn’t have any previous connection to and completed the paperwork to form my LLC, Mile High Nonprofit Solutions. When COVID hit I found myself uniquely positioned to support the nonprofit community that I love. Over the past year, I’ve worked with a number of organizations in all stages of their development from start-up to well-established. I’ve loved the variety of projects that I’ve had the opportunity to work on – including developing fundraising and communications plans, overhauling websites, grant writing, creating board handbooks, and HR support like creating employee handbooks and employee engagement surveys. The flexibility to work from home while still doing the type of projects that I love has been a big help to my family, as well. I was here to help my kids figure out remote learning and provide moral support and troubleshooting assistance. When the kids were little, I often felt the “mom guilt” about working long hours away from the house while the kids were in childcare. I’m so grateful that my consulting work now allows me to spend a lot of extra time with them.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After college, I did a year of AmeriCorps service and it was like a nonprofit sampler for me. I got to experience everything from disaster relief with the American Red Cross, to supporting a team at the Special Olympics to working alongside adults with developmental disabilities at an organic farm, I knew from that time that I wanted to have a career in public service. Over the past 20 years, I have worked at a variety of nonprofit organizations – most of that time focused on providing exceptional educational experiences for kids. I’ve worn all of the nonprofit hats at one time or another during my career and have learned how to navigate the ins and outs of nonprofit life from scarce resources to keeping volunteer board members engaged. In a field where it feels like there is never an end to the workload, I’ve learned that it’s important to celebrate your successes along the way. I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing, dedicated people and together we made a difference in our community – it doesn’t get better than that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We moved to the Denver area in 2006 and quickly felt right at home. We like to camp a lot as a family and are working our way through all of Colorado’s State Parks. So far our favorite is Ridgway State Park, north of Telluride. When friends visit us from out of town, we always take them to visit Union Station and the Tattered Cover. We’ll also spend a day in Boulder and do a hike up at Chautauqua. Out of towners love the variety of things to do in Denver and the proximity to the mountains. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shout out to Nia Wassink from Mission Launch, a fellow nonprofit consultant. We met through a peer group when we were both nonprofit Executive Directors and over the years, she became a trusted colleague and friend. Nia had made the leap from nonprofit staffer to consultant several years before and showed me that it was not only doable, but possible to thrive in this new role!