Have a nonprofit intern? 5 assignments to benefit you and your intern


It’s likely that as the holiday season draws nearer and the pressure to bring in donors’ gifts is getting hefty, you could use the help of an intern. This is a great idea in theory, but simply having someone come in and make coffee runs or manage mundane tasks won’t benefit your nonprofit in the long run and may actually hurt it. You want to make the most of the internship for both your intern and your nonprofit.

Consider this: you could have an intern that takes care of a lot of your day-to-day tasks about which you just don’t want to worry. They leave the internship with something on their resume, but they also didn’t learn that much about the nonprofit world and don’t feel grateful for the opportunity. That’s one less advocate for your nonprofit or one less potential donor / volunteer down the road.

Alternatively, you take on an intern and invest an initial amount of time into planning out their internship and acclimating them into your nonprofit and they leave with a huge amount of gratitude for your organization. They may even be in a position where they could step right into a real role on your team.

5 tasks to complete with your nonprofit intern

1. Give them your nonprofit’s story

I have been thrown into a couple of internships with a long list of to-do’s and no context for why these are being done. More specifically, the organizations didn’t tell me why they do what they do or take time to explain their process.

If you don’t take the time to sit down with your intern and explain your nonprofit’s purpose and / or what you hope to achieve by hiring them as an intern, it will be difficult for them to see their value at your nonprofit or leave feeling like your nonprofit is of value to them.

Talking more with your intern will also benefit them if they are asked to partake in blog writing, events or outreach. They will better be able to articulate aspects of your nonprofit in a way you would yourself.

2. Integrate them into the team

If you have your intern jump right in on the first day without introducing them to your team, it’s more likely your team won’t integrate with the intern. Point out who is responsible for what and how the intern might be able to work with any of those roles. Ask your team if they are willing to step in and help the intern when need be.

The intern will leave their position feeling like they were really a part of something and with a list of connections. Plus your employees could gain fresh ideas by working with the intern.

3. Have them review your copy

There’s nothing like a set a fresh, recently-graduated eyes to review your content. Have them assess your blog, social media, grant proposals and other website copy. If your intern is a strong writer, ask that they contribute to these areas as well.

4. Finalize a project that’s been on your back burner

We all have those wishlist to-do’s we never have time to tackle. Determine your intern’s strong suits and if any of those fit your wishlist item, have them take it on. Just be sure to allocate enough time in your own schedule to give feedback and review their work.

5. Create a valuable piece of content

Your intern is coming fresh off the press of college education plus is of the generation that is tech-savvy. Assign them to creating an ebook or infographic on your organization. This will help them learn more about your nonprofit, challenge themselves to use digital tools, and leave you with a nice new piece of content to work with on your website.


3 creativity boosters for your nonprofit marketing strategy

Although the school year or start to a new season can be rejuvenating for some, it can cause others to need some serious creative inspiration. I recently took a trip to Europe, starting my fall off with more umph than ever before. Looking around such innovative cities – namely Berlin and Amsterdam – I returned with a fresh perspective on my marketing work. Upon doing some further digging to see what others were saying, I discovered some concrete ideas to support these creative juices. Here’s a few to consider applying to your nonprofit marketing work.


1. Reflect: Why should people care?

There is so much content out there already. So many creative minds promoting their brands. How can you step out in front of the rest?

I received advice on my plane ride home from Amsterdam, from an architect. The following can be applied to any creative effort, but for our purposed think of your nonprofit:

First, reflect on what’s out there. What’s working for other nonprofits? How are they approaching a marketing trend or new social media platform?

Then, ask yourself how you can take these ideas and improve upon them. How can your nonprofit make people care? Why should people care?

Thinking about this last question can bring you back into focus when your ideas get murky. If you don’t know why you’re working on such and such marketing campaign, how can you expect people to care about it?

2. Focus: Where are you applying your ideas?

Seeing as people can skip over your ads and choose to ignore you as much as they want, it’s not enough to produce a creative marketing ad, blog or image. You have to look at where your ad is and what makes it useful to someone. Then adapt your ideas to that context. See an example below or read more in this post on Medium, “Rethinking creativity in marketing.”

3. Represent: How can your brand be the center of your marketing?

Just as many people love tourist attractions like the Berlin Wall and the I Amsterdam sign, they love identifying with recognizable, important pieces of culture. This is where branding, at its core, comes in. People like to be a part of a brand like Nike or showing that they took part in a cause like fighting cancer. Read more about creative branding and how this works in the post, “Work with creatives to get your branded content noticed.”

If your nonprofit can keep your brand and goals consistent and clear, volunteers, donors and users will more likely be proud to be a part of it. When you are working to find a creative solution to your marketing, always come back to how it reflects on your brand. This will give you some helpful parameters when you are revamping your creativity.

If you’re still looking for ways to get more creative this season, consult with our team – leave us a message here to let us know what your project is and we’d be excited to help!

10 nonprofit website best practices + more – September Nonprofit Marketing News

What if you could show your donors first hand the problems your nonprofit is seeking to solve? Well HOPE International is doing exactly that with virtual reality. You can read more about the cool concept and impact here.

– The Nerdy Nonprofit – September 2016 –

Software: Does your nonprofit need marketing automation?

From HubSpot

Marketing automation software can be an awesome tool but is definitely overkill for some. [Read More]

Branding: Stop bragging, start storytelling

Post by ArcStone

“The Millennial generation will not sit there and pretend to be moved by something they are not interested in.”  [Read More]

Best Practices: 10 website design and email marketing best practices

Post from Nonprofit Tech for Good

10 straight forward tips to improve your website and email efforts. [Read More]

Promotion: 8 unique and valuable ways to promote your brand new website

Post from ArcStone

Your new website is finally complete. How do you successfully promote your new marketing machine? [Read More]

Have a website redesign or new marketing campaign on the horizon? Contact our team today to discuss a few ideas.