Network For Good Staff Profile: AJ Johnson
The idea of being able to help someone attracts AJ to nonprofits. From an early age, they were involved with a Golden Retriever rescue organization and co-founded a satellite rescue facility. Working remote in Florida, you’ll find AJ at one of the awesome parks in Orlando, FL on their days off!
“Nothing brings a smile to my face more than when I watch our customers have that “a-ha” moment in real time.”
Q&A with AJ Johnson, Customer Success Manager
What do you do at Network for Good?
I currently work as a Customer Success Specialist on the Welcome Team! I like to tell my customers that I’m a little bit like a driving instructor – I’m here to help them understand not only their product, but how the different components work together to help boost their fundraising. I get to work with folks for their first few months so that they’ll have a point of contact for their questions, and make sure I can provide them with the resources they’ll need to be successful after my time working with them ends.
What is your experience with nonprofit organizations outside of Network for Good?
I’ve always been involved with the nonprofit world one way or another. When I first heard about the 9/11 attacks, I immediately asked my parents how we’d be able to help the families who’d lost a loved one. After my family adopted a golden retriever from a small rescue while I was in middle school, we became involved enough to co-found our own rescue, using a network of volunteers, fosters, and transport specialists (#adoptdontshop, always!). I raised money through donations from my Bat Mitzvah for the rescue’s benefit, and I even ran their fledgling social media accounts for a while in high school! My passion has always been with the LGBTQ+ community, though, and I have volunteered with various queer organizations (and I do, to this day!). My focus has always been making sure people across the gender spectrum have access to safe, comfortable, and affordable medical care.
What attracts you to nonprofits?
I just love the concept of being able to do everything in your power to help someone. I’ve found motivation in helping those who maybe don’t even realize that they might need help, and I’ve found motivation in giving voices to those who maybe don’t have the capability to speak up. It’s that motivation that moves me to incorporate service in all parts of my life – work, play, and everything in between.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Nothing brings a smile to my face more than when I watch our customers have that “aha!” moment when I’m on the phone with them. When everything clicks together for them, in that moment, it’s easy to see their excitement grow – they often are realizing exactly how they’ll be able to use the system to reach more donors with their message. Nonprofits are people’s passions, their hearts and souls, and being able to see it all click as they use their new system is just so fulfilling. I also love the exposure I get to nonprofits and causes that I’d never heard of – there are so many incredible people doing incredible things and it’s inspiring to see the kind of solutions people can find and the real magic they can do.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I live (and work remotely) about 30 miles south of Orlando, and I’m a huge adrenaline junkie, so on my days off, there’s a good chance you’ll find me at one of the theme parks in the area. I’ve got annual passes to Universal, Sea World, and Disney World, but I’ve always been a Disney kid at heart, so sometimes I’ll just go to the parks to grab a Mickey pretzel with cheese and people watch. Universal is great, too, for when I need a little Hogwarts magic to get through the weekend, and you’ll catch me most nights during the fall at their Halloween Horror Nights, hiding behind my partner from all of the scares! Sea World has become a recent favorite, though, because you can actually feed some of the little rays some anchovies, or watch the baby dolphins as they play tag and chase each other in the nursery. No matter which park I’m at, though, I’ll be somewhere near those roller coasters!
Dream vacation? A full European adventure. I took Italian in high school and fell in love with the language, the culture, the architecture, the art – but if I’m headed on a dream trip, why only include one stop on the tour?
Most recent book read? I’m currently reading Retta’s memoir “So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know” and I haven’t been able to stop laughing. She’s funny and poignant, and it goes so far beyond her time on Parks and Rec. I love to read though, and I’ve got over a thousand physical books at home – don’t even ask my about my Kindle.
Last movie seen in movie theater? The last two have been Aladdin and Toy Story 4 – I wasn’t kidding about being a Disney kid!
Theme song? “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” by Panic! At the Disco.
Favorite color? Blue!
All time favorite athlete? Right now, it’s Coco Gauff – she’s an honest-to-goodness inspiration. At fifteen, she’s competing in Wimbledon against her all-time hero – at fifteen, I think I was working part-time at a water park! She sets such an example for anyone who wants to follow their dreams, as cheesy as it sounds.