By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
After 30 years of dedicating her life to serving nonprofit organizations, Maryland native Jaye Matthews is launching her own consultancy, The Nonprofit Doctor. The firm seeks to ensure organizations across the globe have the support they need to sustain themselves, thrive and fulfill their missions.
Matthews, who grew up in Cambridge, got her first job at 14. She was a camp counselor for Delmarva Community Services’ summer camp for youth with developmental disabilities.
She was paired with one young person, accompanying and guiding them through the activities of each day, and the experience ignited the 47-year-old’s interest in nonprofit service.
Although she followed a premedical track in her undergraduate studies at Morgan State University, as the time to apply to medical school approached Matthews said she felt there were more pathways to better people’s lives when a friend informed her of an opportunity to work in community organizing and case management in 1999 for a project to redevelop Broadway Homes, a housing complex in Southeast Baltimore.
The project was a private-public partnership involving diverse stakeholders, and ultimately, Broadway Homes was transformed into a mixed-use housing building with more than 100 residences.
After participating in the project, Matthews knew her profession would have to center on altruism.
“I knew that if a cent is connected to something that isn’t for the greater good of other people, then I didn’t want it,” said Matthews. “I have to be able to know that I’ve helped someone at the end of the day and that I’ve done good work for the betterment of the greater good.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Matthews said she thinks one of the biggest challenges facing nonprofit organizations is a lack of capacity.
The pandemic exacerbated community plights, like food insecurity, domestic violence, under and unemployment and housing instability, and nonprofits stepped in to mitigate these problems, serving larger populations than they were used to.
Matthews announced the launch of The Nonprofit Doctor in July during a party celebrating her graduation from Walden University, where she received her doctor of business administration in social impact management.
She came out in scrubs, signifying her commitment to caring for nonprofits with the formation of her firm.
The Nonprofit Doctor will partner with nonprofit leadership, staff, boards and stakeholders to ensure they are streamlining their services and operating effectively. Matthews will offer services, including strategic planning, financial management, fund development, program evaluation and gap analysis.
She credited much of her success thus far to her mother, Alma Boulden, who raised her as a single mom. Although she didn’t have an education herself, Boulden always ensured Matthews received the support she needed to thrive in her studies.
She also taught Matthews to refrain from making excuses, own her failures and use them to do better in the future.
Soon, Matthews will leave Maryland for Clearwater, Fla. where she will become the executive director of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), although she plans to continue expanding her work with The Nonprofit Doctor. Appointed by Mayor Frank Hibbard, she will start her role this December and support the city’s small businesses, ensuring they have what they need to thrive and serve their communities.
“Every gift that I have, every opportunity that I have, I always say, ‘God let me be a blessing or a help for something outside of myself,’” said Matthews. “I just want to be a light in this world, and I have been that way from childhood.”
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