I cannot believe my internship is over! This summer has moved way too quickly. I am so happy about my time at Green Light, and all I was able to accomplish. I wanted to learn about the strategic of fundraising and more about the day to day logistics of running a non profit. I definitely accomplished my first learning goal. All of my tasks were fundraising and development related. I got to plan and promote a percent night at the Blue Jeans Bar where we raised money through a percentage of profits that evening. I also spearheaded three promotional campaigns—reaching out to friends and family about Good Search (a charitable search engine that donates money to your organization of choice), reaching out to small businesses about partnerships and sponsorships, and writing a membership renewal letter to our existing members asking them to renew for the 2014-2015 year. So far—we have had quite a few membership renewals and made $350! I am very proud of that. I also asked to sit in on a couple staff meetings to that was helpful to get an eye into the staff discussions and logistics they deal with on a daily basis.
Going from here, I hope to stay connected to Green Light. First off, I hope to go back and visit the team at Green Light often. Also, I want to organize some students to volunteer with Green Light. The work they do has had such a great impact on this city and our plant (see my first post for statistics) and I want to contribute to that effort more. Hopefully through philanthropy with my sorority!
Because I am so experienced after my 8 weeks (ha!) I will give out some advice for any future/potential GLNO interns. I would say do not be afraid to ask questions about things you are curious about and make sure to take every chance you can to talk and brainstorm with the other staff members. Everyone is so friendly and smart—it was great to work off their energy and ideas.
I really enjoyed my time at Green Light and was proud of the work the organization does and the work I was able to do to contribute to that.
Thanks for reading my blog, enjoy the rest of your summer!
Hi again from Green Light!
As we are hitting mid June (wow time moves fast) I figured it is time for an update. Most of my work so far has been development and fundraising. We even decided to change my internship title from Assistant Membership Coordinator to Assistant Fundraising and Developing Coordinator. My job title is wonderfully concise and transparent. I am only the second person to have this job so from the beginning we knew it was a “figure out as we go” kind of position. I am really happy with the work I have done so far. My two main projects have been writing a campaign about GoodSearch.com and creating promotional materials for our percent night at The Blue Jeans Bar. While interested by fundraising, it is easy to be discouraged, especially within non profits because the money is often scarce and getting people to donate is quite a hefty task. However, I experienced a small personal victory early in my internship. GoodSearch.com is a search engine that donates a penny to your organization of choice every time you search something. I sent a letter out to family and friends hoping to get new supporters for GreenLight. 5 new people signed up after my push! It is not a lot, but for my first effort it was a happy outcome. My job so far has been a lot of writing and research –which is great and what I was looking for, but last week I got a fun change in pace.
As I mentioned before, Green Light installs CFL bulbs and backyard vegetable gardens for free for local community members. Last week I got to participate in both of those programs. On Monday and Tuesday I installed two backyard gardens. I have never worked in a garden before and certainly do not have a green thumb. But, it was really fun to get my hands dirty and see the benefits of the fundraising work I am doing. My favorite part was exploring new parts of the Greater New Orleans area and meeting new neighbors. As a Tulane student, I fall victim of the university bubble and am happy when I get outside of that. Building the garden is a couple simple but lengthy tasks. First we dig a 4×4 hole about 6 inches deep (which takes up about an hour and fifteen minutes of the hour and a half usual garden building time), then pour 7 bags of mulch into the hole, plant and water the seeds and seedlings. It was cool to see how simply starting your own garden can be done. On Wednesday, I went around with some of our NCCC Americorps volunteers and installed lightbulbs. I had done this service before and enjoyed it so was happy to go out again. Green Light may be a small organization but their impact is vast and impressive–I feel proud to be on this team.
I think that is all I have for now. I will continue with updates as the summer goes on. If you are reading, live in the New Orleans area and would like to participate in either of these free programs, please visit the links below to sign up!
CFL bulbs: http://www.greenlightneworleans.org/greenapply.html
Garden Project: http://www.greenlightneworleans.org/gardenapply.html
I have finished my first week with Green Light! I only work Monday-Thursdays and this Monday was Memorial Day, so it was quite a short week. I have really enjoyed my first week. By the looks of it I am definitely going to be getting lots of experience with fundraising and campaigning. Both things I am hoping to learn more about in my learning objectives. Stated simply, my learning objectives are pretty concise. I want to learn effective vocabulary, language, and tools to help gain attention and support in fundraising. I want to practice and observe effective office communication techniques. This will be my first time working in an office setting and I am hoping to learn effective tools of communication, especially between superiors and those who work under them. Finally, since I am working for an environmental non profit, I am hoping to learn techniques to make my lifestyle more environmentally friendly! I am conscious of how my actions impact the environment, but I think there is a lot I can learn to make my behaviors more impactful.
Im looking forward to working on the projects I have ahead. My work will be focused around writing campaigns to promote different fundraising efforts and to find local businesses, organizations, and individuals to partner with and help us continue to help people and the city of New Orleans.
Thats all for now!
Today was my first day at Green Light New Orleans. My position is the Assistant Membership Coordinator at Green Light New Orleans–an environmental non profit that works on sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint in the greater New Orleans area. This basically means I will be assisting the Director of Development in fundraising and development goals. Some examples of those tasks are promotional events, running the membership program, and finding new sources of donations/funding. Green Lights main task since its birth in 2007 has been installing energy efficient light bulbs in residents homes. I volunteered with GLNO through my sorority in the winter of 2013 and loved the organization, its mission, and its design. I knew I wanted to work for them, so I hopped on the opportunity this summer.
My first day went great. I was definitely overdressed but relieved to look around and see the more casual-yet-professional apparel of my coworkers. I am happy to dress it down. Since it was only my first day, I do not have a huge amount to report back, but I thought I would take the time to tell you guys about the history of GLNO. Green Light was started by Andreas Hoffman. Andreas, originally from Switzerland, was touring with his band in Europe and decided he needed to do something to offset the carbon footprint his band had created due to their tour. After some calculations and generous donations from friends, Andreas returned to New Orleans and replaced friends and neighbors light bulbs with the energy efficient CFL bulbs. Word got out and more friends and even strangers asked him to do the same in their homes. From there, Green Light was born! This organization was a happy accident and indeed, happy it was! So far, Green Light has replaced bulbs in 23,000 homes, saved 23 million dollars in monthly utility costs, and greatly decreased the carbon footprint of these homes and the city of New Orleans. Today I met with my supervisor Rachel. After going over the details of the internship we went through tasks and jobs I would be responsible for this summer. It was fun, productive, and informative to talk about these tasks and trade ideas. Be on the look out for promotions of the 10% night at The Blue Jeans Bar (date to be determined)–my first task!!
I will check back in at the end of the week with more details about my first week and my objectives for the summer.
Thanks for reading!