This summer I will be working at AmeriCares in Stamford, Connecticut. AmeriCares is a nonprofit that focuses on disaster relief aid and on-going healthcare assistance domestically and worldwide. A large portion of their aid is gift in kind donations from pharmaceutical companies, providing life saving medicine to communities in need.
This is my first internship experience, so I had very few expectations going into my first day. After sitting in mind-numbing traffic for an hour, I showed up with even higher nerves, but I quickly learned there was nothing to be nervous about. The first thing to strike me as soon as I stepped foot into the AmeriCares building is how effortlessly they have constructed a homey and comfortable working environment. The warm colors and high loft ceilings were accented by tapestries or clay pots, even traditional armor in the lobby– artifacts, I would soon learn, that have been collected from sites they’ve worked around the world.
This week has generally been introductions to people around the office, and to the work that AmeriCares has done in the past and plans to do in the future. It’s an interesting time to be at AmeriCares because the organization recently got a new president and CEO, Michael Nyenhuis. The interns got the opportunity to sit down with Michael and he explained his vision for AmeriCares in the coming months. At the end we got to ask him questions; he was genuinely interested and very personable. I think he has some great plans to grow AmeriCares.
As far as my personal work goes, I have just been introduced to AmeriCares CRM system, which was probably my most daunting task of the week. I will be using the system to look up donor information for Institutional Relations and work on improving their donor database. I won’t really get into the nitty-gritty until next week so stay tuned for frustration. I also began working on my long-term project, which will be research for new online fundraising methods. This is personally interesting to me because nonprofits are beginning to see real benefits from online and mobile technology, and I would love to be apart of discovering new methods to improve or expand AmeriCares fundraising.
I am excited for the coming weeks and getting more involved in my work and the organization!