“It’s entrepreneurial but it’s also public service. And you could call me an executive recruiter, but with every professional placement, we yield priceless community benefits,” says Kevin Donahue ’11, when describing his job. As Regional Director of ReServe, Donahue is building a presence in Newark and the surrounding community for this innovative non-profit organization.
Founded in 2005, ReServe matches professionals, age 55+ (known as “ReServists”) with rewarding part-time service opportunities at nonprofit organizations and public institutions, while paying the ReServist a modest stipend.
Donahue explains the ReServe mission: “Nonprofit organizations with critical gaps in staffing and resources need experienced professionals for everything from financial management and marketing to fundraising and even community outreach. But many don’t have the financial resources to hire these roles as full-time positions. Enter an energetic and growing population of Baby Boomers who want to give back and remain active, and that’s where ReServe steps in. It’s a win-win: professionals can contribute their time and energy to a worthy cause. And the organizations have the benefit of calling on professionals who bring years of experience, and in-depth expertise.”
As an attorney himself, Donahue sees an added benefit for lawyers who want to take on new challenges later in their careers. He says, “ReServe often places attorneys in rewarding but non-legal professional roles, such as grant writers or communications consultants, that give them an opportunity to try a new kind of writing or a chance to experiment with a new field.”
Public service is the hallmark of Donahue’s career. With a Masters degree in theology from Seton Hall University, Donahue served in several campus ministry roles: at a Catholic high school, at two secular universities, and at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Mountainside. He saw law school as a natural extension of this dedication. He says, “I came to law school to become a more powerful advocate for social justice, and to have greater impact on the lives of the less fortunate.”
As a Seton Hall Law student Donahue served as a research assistant to the New Jersey State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and was named a Seton Hall Law Center for Social Justice Scholar in 2009-11 with a focus on Urban Revitalization. His work contributed to the recent settlement that requires the improvement of jail conditions in Passaic County, and he also provided legal advocacy for victims of predatory lending.
Unlike his service in ministry, today Donahue fills more secular needs, but those needs are great. He says “With the economy so strained, nonprofit organizations are struggling to provide services, and the numbers of people who rely on those services have also grown.”
As the nexus of resources and organizations that need the expertise, Donahue invites calls from Seton Hall Law graduates, 55 and older, and organization leaders alike. He says, “I am happy to talk with anyone who wants to explore the ReServe option, whether it’s to explore a new career or to talk about the resources we have available to fill your organization’s staffing needs.”