Written by: Kim Schmahl
I’ve blogged a lot about my experience working at the ALS Association this summer, but I haven’t written much about the other part of my internship. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that it was a part of the Columbus Foundation’s inaugural Summer Fellowship Program, where the Foundation paired 11 summer fellows with 11 local non-profit organizations for the summer. In addition to interning, as fellows, we had several other activities as part of the program.
Throughout the summer we had information sessions to learn more about the non-profit world. Topics at these sessions included how non-profits are funded, board governance, grant writing, and how non-profits differ from corporations. At some sessions we had speakers, while others were more discussion based and representatives from each of the participating non-profits were able to show how each topic relates to their own organization. At one, we had lunch with Douglas Kridler, the president of the Columbus Foundation, and had the opportunity to hear his story of how he got to where he is today.
Working at the ALS Association gave me an in-depth insight into one organization, but the info sessions gave us fellows a more broad view of the non-profit community. The organizations we worked at were all so different from each other in size and scope: Some of the others include Columbus Housing Partnership, Consider Biking, HandsOn Central Ohio, and Phoenix Theatre for Children. It was really interesting to learn about the other non-profits and hear about what my fellow fellows were doing at their own organizations. (Check out the Summer Fellows Blog to learn more about how the other fellows spent their summers!)
Being able to learn about not only one organization, but the entire Columbus non-profit community, is what I think made the Summer Fellowship Program different from any other internships. The Columbus Foundation put together an excellent program and I’ve had a great experience participating in it this summer!