When Junior year of college came around and I knew securing an internship was right around the corner I felt utterly lost. I had no real idea of what I wanted to do or where to start looking. As a political science major, I applied to government agencies and offices just as my peers did but it didn't feel like something I would be genuinely interested in, instead, it felt like the path I was supposed to take because of the degree I was seeking. In the fall of 2021, I had served as the vice president of community relations for sorority life on my campus and had started working with nonprofits and hosting fundraisers for them so when I applied to internships I made sure to apply to a non-profit just to see what would happen. After taking a fundraising course I felt more confident in my choice to intern at a non-profit organization. When I interviewed at the Hospitality House I instantly knew that they were the place I wanted to be. I loved the mission but I also liked the culture of the organization and those who worked there.
As a fundraising intern, I have spent most of my time in our office and away from the shelter except for a few visits here and there. By being in our office I have learned so much about what it takes to make a non-profit organization run. Behind moving someone into their own home are the hours that it takes for staff to look for housing, visit the location and help clients apply for all that is needed. Behind opening our doors for meals every morning is the countless hours and sometimes gigantic amounts of paperwork that go into staff applying for grants which keep our organization running. Behind any fundraiser is the countless amount of volunteers that make it happen. I have never seen such dedicated staff (who sometimes would come in 7 days a week or be here until 10 pm) who help support the day-to-day of a nonprofit.
My main task has revolved around the annual hope online auction which is the biggest fundraiser of the year. In this role, I did things I never thought I would, such as going door to door to businesses to see if they would donate to the auction, and organizing a spreadsheet with every donation we received (which can be hard for an unorganized gal like myself) and even trying my hand at social media. I think that through the amount of independence I have been allotted I have grown tremendously as a person and with future skills needed for my career.
I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had, this internship made my summer and will no doubt help me further my career in the nonprofit world. And it definitely doesn't hurt that I made a few friends along the way as well!