Catherine Johnston

Poste occupé:
Communications Coordinator
Santropol Roulant
Type de formation (1):
Formation universitaire (Maitrise)
Programme de formation (1):
Masters Degree in Social and Culture Anthropology
Types de professionnel-le:
Professionnels-les dans les OBNL et OBE
Secteurs d'organisation:
Soulagement de la pauvreté
Types d'organisation:
Oeuvres de bienfaisances (OB)

Can you present yourself?

My name is Catherine Johnston, and I have been the Communications Coordinator at Santropol Roulant since the spring of 2018.

What brought you to work in the philanthropic sector?

Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to work for the Non-profit sector and NGOs to try to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Can you define and explain what your activity and/or position consists of within your organization?

As the Communications Coordinator at Santropol Roulant, I am responsible for all the online and on-site comms related to the organization. I manage all the social media platforms and the website. I also write the bi-weekly newsletter that informs our community of all the various activities and events happening over the course of the year. Lastly, I coordinate the development, design, and distribution of print communication and on-site communication.

What is your professional education? Is it relevant in the context of your philanthropic involvement?

I have a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social and Culture Anthropology, which is related to my work. Anthropology is a very large field that involves many different aspects related to humans and therefore as long as I am doing work that revolves around others, I feel extremely satisfied.

Talk to us briefly about your professional background?

Since graduating from my degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology in 2016, I have worked for a few different organizations including World Vision Canada, The Society for the Protection of Animals, The Convention on Biological Diversity (UN Environment), and currently at Santropol Roulant, which are all somewhat similar, but fighting for different causes.

What are the challenges and issues related to your position in philanthropy?

As the Communications Coordinator, I am mostly involved with the online community, and do not get to work on a hands-on level with other people, which can be quite challenging at times. Interacting with other people face to face is a huge part of Anthropology that can be somewhat lacking while doing online media.

How would you define philanthropy today? How does this definition influence your working methods?

In today’s digital world, philanthropy seems to be moving towards the online world, where people try to make a difference behind their screens. However, my job is to try to get people to come out and create connections with others in person, and intergenerationally as we are an intergenerational community. This space creates an environment where young and older can interact where they normally wouldn’t be able to.

What advice would you give to someone who wishes to pursue a career in your profession/activity?

In order to thrive in this sort of environment, you need to be absolutely passionate about a certain cause, and to wake up every day wanting to make a difference in people’s lives. Most people that I have encountered are completely exhausted but are motivated to keep going because of the people they get to meet with on a daily basis. However, this work isn’t for everyone because the pay can be quite low and the hours somewhat outstanding, but the outcomes are highly rewarding.

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