Our summer internship program is in full swing!
Designed as a opportunity for students between their spring and fall semesters, our interns are taking their first steps into the fundraising world: representing our partners, connecting with great donors, while building their confidence and communication skills as they go.
The internship program runs from June 6th to August 10th. It's a short period of time to master the core skills of fundraising, but such are the demands of college semester schedules! With our time crunch in mind, we developed a structure for the first week of the internship. We wanted our interns to transition smoothly into the world of fundraising, and start building their fundraising skills immediately. Our Recruitment Manager, Julie Teague, was the mastermind behind the structure of the program.
"Our main goal this summer was to design a program where our interns had the opportunity to learn practical skills, develop personally, contribute to our mission, and collaborate with our leaders," Julie says. "We created a strategic communication plan leading up to their first day and implemented in depth trainings during their first week to ensure we set them up for both success and fun on our teams. With such a short ten week program, we knew we needed to implement a top notch training schedule within the first week including classroom training, coaching from our leaders, and practical field experience. All of these components did lead to heightened impact and immediate success.”
We started the interns off in a new kind of classroom: the Client Orientation.
Day 1: Client Orientation
On day one, we focused on the basics. Interns got to know their teammates, their leaders, and most importantly, the cause.
Good fundraisers need to know every detail about the charity they represent, but with partners that have such a huge impact, like ours, that's a lot of info! In Client Orientation, we focused on our partner's core mission, their impact, and answers to donors most frequently asked questions. Financial information, program outlines, and impact statistics are a great starting point.
After a short lunch break, we got into pitch structure, and practice.
Practice makes permanent, but perfect practice makes perfect! We focused our training on taking it slow, working to make sure every part of the pitch has an impact, not just that it's memorized. We followed practice up with some drilling on more advanced skills, like handling frequently asked questions, and using our WAYSACT fundraising software. Finally, we hit the field!
Nothing like experiential learning to understand a subject! Now that our interns had gotten their feet wet, it was time to celebrate with a team night!
Our teams had the chance to introduce ourselves, get to know each other, and of course, bond over a little after hours fun!
Day 2: Into the field!
They had learned the basics, and now it was time to put things into practice!
The New York City intern teams were paired with their Team Leaders and hit the streets to represent the ASPCA.
Jensen's team, Team Panda:
Ray's team, the Top Dogs:
Maria's team, the Pet Protectors:
After a short morning meeting, they were off, with their Team Leaders close behind, to give them the support and field training they would need to conquer the day!
Karina, one of the Pet Protectors, was a little nervous on her first day.
"I was extremely nervous to even approach people, but the pressure made me even more focused. When I finally got someone's attention, that first wonderful donor gave me a chance and listened. When she finally signed up to donate, I thought "Wait, me? I did this!" It was so rewarding"
Maria was proud!
"This group of interns are the cream of the crop. They come from so many different backgrounds, and they all came super prepared and super motivated. There is so much potential in each of them, and as the weeks pass you see it come out in every conversation and successful donation."
We're proud to see our interns taking the challenges of fundraising head on, and thriving! We'll be updating on their progress as the weeks go by, so stay tuned!
If you'd like to know more about our teams, and our career opportunities, check our careers page, here.