That’s a Wrap on Fall 2020

11 Dec

When I started to think about having a professional career in nonprofit and fundraising, I certainly did not expect and would not imagine to do all the fundraising work online. Certainly, it is not an easy time for a performing arts organization when you can’t put on live performances. Meanwhile, for me it is a unique time to work with American Ballet Theatre as a development assistant intern. It has been so nice to see everyone here at ABT development department keep the work going by being adaptive and creative and embracing the virtual platforms, so I have learned a lot this fall.

As a development assistant intern, I mainly have been working with my supervisor Kaitlyn. Throughout the three months, I have assisted in multiple projects, for example, research on nontraditional performance venues, taking development committee meeting minutes, organizing donor/board member files and acknowledgement letters. All these projects are practical and will be useful in my future career but personally, I find taking meeting minutes interesting since I only have learned about the role of board members in nonprofits in class without knowing much details. It is great way to observe how trustees work with ABT staffs and the significant role they are playing in ABT’s fundraising.

Since this is a virtual internship, I truly appreciate that Kaitlyn would always check in with me and spend time to write down the detailed information to explain project-related content that I am not familiar with. I am also invited to join the weekly development department meeting as well as the monthly education and development meeting. These meetings provide me an incredible chance to learn about the planning and decision-making process within ABT and how everyone in the development department, though play different roles, manage to work together on various projects from the beginning.

Besides my work with development department, the intern meetings have also made this internship a unique experience as Dennis manages to invite ABT staffs from different departments every week to share their experience at ABT and their career path. Through the meeting I am able to learn about the role of different departments at ABT which gives me a more comprehensive perspective on how these departments work together within a large performing arts organization.

So, that’s a wrap on Fall 2020, thank you ABT for this experience, and special thanks to Kaitlyn for being incredibly supportive. I’m grateful to still have the opportunity to learn and grow during a time when uncertainty is the certainty. It has given me a different view to think about the significance of fundraising and to reflect on my future career choices. Can’t wait to see the world come back to normal and the dancers will be performing on stage in front of a full house of audiences!

Anna Zhao

Development Assistant Intern

Fall 2020

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