Hi! I’m Abby, VBSRM’s Fall 2018 Non-Profit Management and Fundraising intern! I started about a month ago and it has been quite the learning experience for me.  From cold-calling local businesses to sending massive email blasts, I have been thrust into the world of non-profit money raising. Being thrown into the deep end was both stressful and rewarding.  I love being able to have a direct impact on what I’m working on, even if there is a high rejection rate. This internship is not only giving me valuable job experience, but also a thicker skin.  

A bit about me – I recently graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Political Science.  During my three years at ODU, I was a member of the sailing team and a volunteer with Rise Against Hunger.  I applied for this internship at VBSRM because I would love to work for a non-profit one day, focusing on either hunger or education.  All non-profit organizations survive off the generosity of their donors, so learning the ropes of fundraising seemed like a great step for me to take!

Even though I grew up in Virginia Beach, I had never been inside the museum.  When I came in for my interview, I was shocked to learn that it was run by only two full-time staff members and volunteers. The walls were covered with a history of my hometown that I had never heard.  The tower provided a view of the oceanfront I had never seen. The museum opened my eyes to a Virginia Beach I had never thought about; the Virginia Beach of the past. While all the exhibits in the building help to preserve our history, my job is to help raise funds for the future.  

My first internship assignment was to collect donations for the silent auction that will be held during our Annual Pig & Oyster Fest on October 21st.  The event is raising money this year to help fund our new educational programs. I have spent the last month reaching out to businesses in the Hampton Roads community asking for items to auction off, reaching towards a specific monetary goal.  After a few weeks of work, I am happy with the success that I’ve had, and I’m still working towards my initial goal. I hope to see you at the Pig & Oyster Fest later this month.