One of the unavoidable tasks involved with being an intern at a non-profit organization is fundraising. Considering I am the general intern this summer, as opposed to, say, a kitchen intern, I had to deal with (at least some of) the brunt of it.

At the onset I was concerned; I had despised going door to door trying to sell 20-dollar coupon cards for the annual Aurora Huskies Football fundraiser, but as it turned out, this event would prove to be a different sort of experience.

I began by calling people. Quite a few people; well over a hundred. I had started slower than I might have liked, but as the intimidation wore off I was able to tackle the address list. After having acquired a few items by these means I was able to move on to other prospects. Examples of the area items I was able to secure that hadn’t been provided before were popcorn from Le-Vi Kettle Corn in Giltner, as well as pizza waivers from the Sit-n-Bull in Giltner.

The next step was to develop packages, or “moments”, as we like to call them. This primarily involved finding items from hotels, entertainment facilities, and restaurants from different out of town or out of state cities which were to be lumped together and sold as a unit. I began in Kansas City with leads from my Aunt and Uncle who live in Overland Park. However, I wasn’t able to convince any restaurant in KC to donate as many limit themselves to the KC area alone.

Next, I focused on Omaha and Lincoln, where, after a while of sifting through a number of places who were mostly unhelpful, I was able to acquire a gift card to a southern restaurant in Lincoln, as well as tickets to the Henry Doorly Zoo. With help from Micheala, (in reality she nailed down pretty much all the hotel donations) we were also able to get hotel stays in both cities.

Another decent ‘moment’ package I was able to put together was a stay in Kearney, with a waiver to The Big Apple Fun Center, entry to the Archway museum over the interstate, and a free wings party at Buffalo Wild Wings which could be used in Kearney- but could still be used at essentially any other location, as well.

Finally, one of the last items I was able to secure was a modest sized charcoal grill from Schneider’s hardware.

Despite some difficulties, (hotel finding, low motivation to call over a hundred people, and so on) I was able to push through and acquire some items that we were able to use to benefit The Leadership Center in an overall positive manner.

–Joel

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