Charity Navigator: Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey

Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month, we introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.

Growing up with a Montessori education alongside family values of tikkun olam encouraged me to participate in the nonprofit sector at a young age. My childhood and young adulthood are filled with countless memories of volunteering at various nonprofits, including food banks and homeless shelters. This pastime eventually led me to a career at our nation’s largest nonprofit evaluator, Charity Navigator. 

My name is Julia Bieniek, and I’m the program manager on our Culture & Community team. My day-to-day role involves driving the evaluation of methodology around nonprofits’ organizational and cultural health. Our team evaluates how organizations engage and foster strong connections with their internal and external constituents. 

Before joining our programmatic team in the fall of 2021, I sat on our operations teams. I joined Charity Navigator as an Administrative Assistant in 2017, working closely with our CEO, C-Suite, and Board of Directors. The partnership I developed with our executive team led me to a Human Resources and Operations role. I had the privilege to build our human resource management foundation and the opportunity to design, develop and implement systems and processes, including hiring and recruiting, performance management/organization development, and creating the infrastructure to support our growing organization. I’m passionate about people, processes, and creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels comfortable using their voices. As our Encompass Rating System grew, I moved to our programmatic team to apply my project management and human resources skillset. Now I aid in evaluating constituent feedback and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices at nonprofits. My team is also leading efforts to include Human Resources Management as an additional domain. 

The Charity Navigator community, in tandem with our exponential growth and changes, energizes me. Charity Navigator folks are a bunch of animated and dynamic nonprofit professionals who deeply care about our work and sector. We are a small staff of approximately thirty individuals who have created a giant footprint in the philanthropic community. We sit at the intersection of nonprofits and donors and successfully drive donors towards impactful nonprofits. 

My interest in community engagement brought me meaningful experiences throughout our global community. I have lived, studied, and volunteered at non-government organizations in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile, and Israel. Before joining Charity Navigator, I lived in Tel Aviv and interned for a program that promoted co-existence throughout the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region using the power of citizen journalism and social media. Prior to this position,  I served as a coordinator at a nonprofit that provided resources to individuals with HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions. I received my Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Social Work and International Relations from Syracuse University. Outside of work, you can find me on my yoga mat or hiking local trails. 

Written by Julia Bieniek, Ratings Program Manager at Charity Navigator.

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