Dear PANO staff,
I cannot express how gracious I am that you have given me the opportunity to be an intern at PANO. I am not only grateful for the experience but for the opportunity to meet and get to know each and every one of you. Each of you have guided me through this internship and taught me skills I will be able to use now and in the future. Through your leadership and instruction I have become a better candidate for a potential job and that I believe is what an internship is all about. You all have such a passion for working in the nonprofit sector and that shines through in all the effort and work that you put into this organization. You are all continually looking to improve not only the work that you do but the work that PANO does as a whole. You do this work because you are ardent about the sector, not because of the paycheck you receive and to me, that speaks volumes. You have been tremendous role models for how I aspire to be in the workplace and I hope in the future I can reflect all your values and ethics. I have never witnessed an organization where the staff melds so perfectly together. You support one another in ideas and encourage each other to push your limits to make great service, exceptional service. I could not have imagined a better internship this summer. This has been an exceptional first experience and it will certainly be something I will not forget. I hope I leave you all in high regards and I promise to send your wonderful photos of me doing the coolest things in Germany. I will have to stop in when I return and tell you the tales of my travels. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
As a final shout-out, I want to thank the Internship Grant committee for gifting me a grant this summer. Without the grant, I would not have been able to make this internship possible. I am incredibly grateful.
I can’t believe I am in my final week of my PANO internship. It is insane how quickly this summer has gone by. I know that my posts these past few weeks haven’t been a list of my projects that I have been working so I’m going to give you an updated list now as I start wrapping up my final projects.
After completing the PA nonprofit sector infographic, I was recruited to complete a communications audit of all the touch points PANO sends out to members whether it was their welcome packet after becoming a member to renewal notices. The main theme that was discovered was the lack of consistency in benefit language. Often times descriptions of services were not clear, or they were worded differently in the various publications. I was able to assist Lauren on drafting some new benefit language and helping organize benefits in a more concise manner.
Intermittently I have been spending time working on updating PowerPoints for Tish. She uses these PowerPoints for webinars and trainings and she asked me to make them more visually friendly. These were rather time consuming as each presentation have 20-30 slides usually and formatting them could have its problems.
Next I started working on a project that future interns will have to complete. The IRS each month updates a list of all of the new 510(c)s that have registered in the US. They have it listed out by state, and each month PANO is looking to compile a list of these new nonprofits and send them a welcome letter inviting them to join PANO. My task in this was to figure out how to access the list, create a list of applicants, write up a set of instructions, and then develop a letter that was going to be sent out. It was a really great project to work on and certainly something I will be placing in my portfolio.
There have been other smaller projects as well such as updating the CEO search list, creating some graphs for Tish to use, writing a blog post for the PANO blog, and created a list of potential gift items for new members.
Needless to say, I have been kept quite busy these past few weeks at PANO and I am quite sad to be leaving (even though I depart for Germany in 11 days.) The staff here has been nothing but wonderful, inviting, encouraging and helpful in so many ways. This isn’t my final post so I can’t get to sentimental yet but I am so grateful for the time they have given to teach me this summer.
Kevin and I were able to celebrate our birthdays with the PANO staff. We ate cake and they sang to us and we chatted. It was really thoughtful of them. I think Kevin’s birthday is the 22 and mine was the 27. It the perfect break from lunch. (Side note, please excuse how awful I look, I wasn’t ready for the picture, she didn’t give me time to fix my hair.)
Okay there are a few things I wish for.
Well on that negative note why should you consider reading this blog. Well how about you keep reading and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I have been obscenely busy this summer between my internship and my second job. This is honestly my schedule:
So as you can see, I have no social life. But it’s worth it (at least I think so anyway.)
On to my next wish, GAS PRICES. As that political party would say, “The rent is too damn high” well gas prices are “Too damn high”. However, I am so incredibly grateful for my internship grant this summer. Honestly, they gave me enough money to cover gas for the whole summer. If I didn’t receive that grant there is no way I would have been able to afford an unpaid internship with an hour commute. Thankfully, for the next year of my life I will be living without a car so I won’t have to worry about gas prices anymore!
And finally, speaking of the next year of my life, August 31 is when I leave for an adventure of a lifetime and I will be studying abroad in Bremen, Germany for an entire year, literally, August to August. I CANNOT WAIT. I have a little over a month left and I’m starting to freak out a bit, but the excitement is also building.
I should probably also blog about my internship since this is what this blog was designed for, (not my every day musings and complaints). PANO has certainly been keeping me busy. I have been working on a membership communications audit, guinea pigging a project for future interns, which is developing a list from the IRS of newly registered nonprofits in the state of PA and sending them a welcome letter and information on PANO and then there are a few other here and there projects that I complete as they come up throughout the week.
Well I think that is all for now, Auf Wiedersehen!
It’s been a few weeks since I actually wrote anything. I’ve been pretty busy which is why I’ve been doing the quick pictures or posts; I wanted to make sure I was keeping up with blogging but making sure I completed my work at my internship as well. I have a few spare moments on this Monday afternoon to tell you about what I’ve been up to! I’ve been continuing help on the executive search committee by compiling a list of candidates onto an excel spreadsheet with all their contact information. Good thing I have done hours of data entry in the Admissions office, so I knew what I was in for. This job has been pretty time consuming as there are a significant amount of candidates, all very eager for the position. There was also an important meeting held on membership two weeks ago where there was a round table discussion on ways to promote and retain membership at PANO. Some really great ideas have come out of these discussions, one of them being a communications audit to make sure PANO is effectively and efficiently communication information to all of its members and potential members. A couple of afternoons a week Lauren and I have been laying out the different types of communications that are sent out and reviewing content, style, graphics and the like. Finally what has been keeping me most busy these past few days is developing an infographic on the PA Nonprofit Sector. The reason why this is so important is because it is being presented to the Auditor General of PA: TODAY. I can’t believe a piece of work I created is going to him. This infographic is taking information on Nonprofits all around the state and compiling it onto a page where the information is quick and easy to read. This task proved to be a little difficult as 1. I have never designed something like this in my life, 2. I’m not very creative, and 3. There was a ton of information that had to be put on this infographic. Often times infographics are small pieces of information presented in a visually appealing way. I did my best and I received very positive feedback. There was even talk about putting this infographic on the website and distributing to all of the PANO members as a useful tool. This isn’t related to what I’m doing specifically but a fellow Dickinsonian, Kevin Wolfe, joined me this week for the rest of the summer at PANO. I believe he will be continuing his work into the fall where I must end my internship due to going abroad. I believe that is all for now, hopefully I can find some more time to blog in the next few weeks, because let me be honest, I just love to hear myself talk (or well write in this case.)
I was able to sit in on a brainstorming meeting about ways to garner membership and retain current membership. It was a really interesting way to put ideas into perspective and allowed the staff to prioritize the current ideas and it also sparked new ideas as well. The last picture is a copy of what the interim executive director passed out to all the staff including myself. He wants to cultivate innovation among the staff, and doesn’t want anyone to hold back and while he said this was a little tongue and cheek and said do try and take it to heart.
The first picture is a list of rules that was used during a meeting today. I really like these rules and I think they can be very helpful in the future and I will be able to use them in a work environment. I also created an info-graphic of the “buzz words” that I keep hearing at my internship. These words are important for various reasons and it is interesting to see the different contexts that they keep getting used in. (If you click on the them they become larger which is probably easier to read.)
It was Britton’s birthday so naturally we had to celebrate!
Okay, so I know this is a bit late but I had a very busy week last week, I was given plenty of projects some of which are carrying over into this week. But I promise to not forget this week, so I’ll be on double duty with blogging. Last week like I said was very busy. Probably my favorite project has been working with Jenn on the new Executive Director search. It’s exciting to learn about the candidates and be involved in this process. That project has been decently extensive so I’ve been spending a lot of my time on it, and the project will most likely extend the next few weeks, for as long as PANO is still excepting applications. This week I also was able to expand a few of my other skills as well. I had to contact a list of people who had signed up for an IRS tax workshop for nonprofits and double check that they received the message that the program had unfortunately been canceled. At the end of last week (well two weeks ago) I had been given a project to revamp a PowerPoint presentation and make it a little more snazzy looking. I had completed that project, which was actually quite fun because I could be creative and work on some presentation skills. Tish gave me some really positive feedback on the work I did and asked if I would do this to more PowerPoints. These are pretty extensive PowerPoints so it will give me plenty of things to do in my down time. There were a few other small things I completed this week from printing and scanning PDFs to helping organize information that has to be mailed out to all of the PANO members as an annual reminder. Again, there was another staff meeting this week with a bit more of a pointed focus on a topic called the Pollyanna Principles. This ties back to the webinar I watched a few weeks ago with Hildy Gottieb because she espouses these principles and suggests to implement them in the nonprofit world. This week looks like it is going to be just as busy but I am excited for the challenge and I’ll let everyone know how it went at the end of the week.
On a side note, I have been looking at where I might want to go after this internship (which I would claim is the purpose of an internship: to help guide you in a direction of potential future employment) and it’s interesting all the possibilities. I know I have always wanted to travel and there is a potential yearlong internship with a nonprofit called Soccer without Borders where I would get to be a team leader at their campus in Kampala, Uganda. That would be amazing, I don’t know that my mother would agree but I would love it. Oh these are the things I explore and think about in my down time.
This week again was a bit shorter as I was asked to return to Dickinson on Sunday and Monday to help work on the Sport Club Council. I was able to assist in writing the Sport Club Handbook, Constitution and Bylaws. While I know this doesn’t pertain to my internship it is still an exciting experience for me and it’s a pretty cool feeling to know that I am helping shape and change policy at Dickinson. But at my internship this week it became a more informative and educational week. My boss Jenn was at a National Council meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday and that left me under the direction of some of the other staffers for those days. I watched some important webinars that Jenn had sent me, and I continued to read the handbook binder on the Standards of Excellence®. I also continued developing a video project as part of PANO’s conference wrap up. On Thursday I was asked if I would like to sit on a webinar by Hildy Gottleib who is giving a presentation on Sustainability (how very Dickinson of her!). She talked about the longevity of nonprofits and how they can be sustainable with the materials they have. She takes questions and flips them on their head and asking not “What do we need?” but “What do we have and how can it be used to meet the needs of the nonprofit?” There was also a staff meeting held with the new interim Executive Director and I found this to be very educating. His leadership style is very animated. He is very aware of how is he presenting information and encouraging and inclusive of all the staff members. He talked about servant leadership as a way this organization functions and he wants to be sure that this culture stays the same here at PANO. I hope someday in the future I can find a company that is organized this way as it seems to promote such a healthy work environment. Overall, this was an exceptionally educational week, I can only imagine how much more I am going to continue to learn.