From my internship experience in the nonprofit sector, I have learned that nonprofit organizations rely on collaboration and have a need for funding. Our innovation is based on the need for funding. In implementing projects and providing services, nonprofits rely on support from groups and individuals, and there are different ways to cater to each. Our group's idea for a website is to cater to individuals who may not be as well informed of the nonprofit's work as community and corporate groups may be, but who still have a desire to contribute to their efforts.
However, my work with my internship involves empowering people by making them aware of social issues and giving them a voice. I am not involved in the financial aspect of this work. We blog and create videos as well as provide technical services to help community groups implement their projects in the community.
Work Style Evaluation
If I were going to describe my work at Voice Male Magazine, I would say that it is a intertwinement of collaborative and individual work. Much of what I do during the day is done independently, like finding contact information or updating our database with new information or subscribers. However, once a task is completed, my supervisor and I will go over what has been done and discuss what might be the next task for me to complete. Some tasks--like preparing envelopes to ship out individual copies of the magazine--are done almost exclusively as a collaboration, where my supervisor and I are working of each other and relaying information back and forth between one another. This variety in work style helps keep my work at Voice Male new and interesting, making the internship that much more rewarding.
Firelight Initiative Idea
The idea we've come up with so far is to create a website (though we won't actually create the website, just present the details of how we envision it). This website would function as a sort of umbrella organization for non-profits in the Pioneer Valley. We thought about what it means to be empowered and thought about giving. Our idea is that people are more likely to give if it's easier for them to get involved and find out what's going on with different non-profits.
Our organization/website would help with that. On this site, people would be able to learn about the different non-profits in the area - what they do, what they're currently working on, how to get involved, and how to donate. We would provide a link to each organization's individual website on our site, so that if people want to donate they can do so directly. However, if people visiting the site are unsure of who they want to donate to, because they read about so many and don't know who to help, they can donate to our organization/website instead, which would then take the donations received and distribute the money amongst the participating non-profits as needed.
As we're working in our different organizations we've come to see how important funds are to keep certain programs running. We've also seen how some programs have to be cut or downsized due to lack of funds. With our organization/website, the donations received would be given to the non-profits in such a way that the organizations that need the money the most can receive it when they need it.
We're still working out the details of our idea, but that's what we have so far.
Empowerment Group Idea
Our innovative idea is to create a Facebook-like website specifically designed for the working/business world. The main page will have the company nam, links to information about the company, and any big announcements that all staff members should know. You can create a "project page" where people who are involved in running a project can post their progress for everyone else in the group to see. People who are not involved in the project may also be able to see what's going on. You can also create an "event page" where everyone can see the details for any upcoming organization-wide events. Evaluations of projects/events will appear on the same page after the project/event has ended, so everyone who was involved (and even those who were not involved) can see the reviews, know what worked or didn't work, and post suggestions for improvement in the future.
This website will also provide a chat system that everyone in the organization can use to keep in contact with each other. There might also be a video chat, so coworkers can chat face to face with each other to save time typing.
If two particular nonprofits wish to collaborate on a project/event, it might also be possible to create a "partner nonprofit" page, where the two organizations can communicate with each other to plan a specific project. People from both nonprofits would be able to see what is going on in the project, and who is responsible for what parts of the project. The two groups would also be able to chat with each other and hold "meetings" online.
This idea connects to our E, empowerment, because such a website would help everyone in the organization stay connected with one another (and even stay connected with other partner organizations). The lines of communication will be open and contacting coworkers will be much easier to deal with than trying to communicate by paper or phone, which can be unreliable at times. People will feel empowered when they can find all the information they need about what their coworkers are working on and what the details of a project/event are at the click of a mouse. Everyone in the company will be able to know who is responsible for what in each project/event, thereby greatly reducing the chance of confusion, and increasing the organization/efficiency of the nonprofit group.
I think my work style is relatively collaborative. My boss will give me tasks, like researching a program, drafting a document (talking points, fact sheet, etc.), editing existing documents, or updating the website. With documents, my coworker and I usually work together on editing them, so it'll go back and forth between us a couple of times before I send it to my boss and he okays it. I'm given a lot of independence, though. We have several meetings during the week, at which time I'm given tasks and can ask questions.
I would describe my work style as precise and systematic. I am very conscious of time deadlines and work better when prioritizing my work by importance and due date. Although I do not mind working independently I enjoy working with others in small groups as long as those individuals share the same time consciousness. I think my happiness, and therefore overall work ethic, improves significantly by engaging in social contact with others. Thus, the majority of the positions I have applied for in the past involve communication and/or public speaking.
Work Style - Week 2
I think my work style can overall be described as very methodical, thoughtful, and organized. I tend to make a lot of lists and write down everything I'm worried about forgetting. Not only do I like to have a "to do" list, but I like to figure out the most efficient way to get things finished. This causes me to usually ask a lot of questions, because I want to make sure I get things done right the first time, and not have to redo tasks. Once I have a clear understanding of my objective, however, I feel that I work best on my own, so I can really focus.
Week 2 - Work Style
I like working with others; I prefer being able to bounce ideas off others than to develop them all by myself. When I have to work alone, I find it harder to motivate myself and to think objectively about the work. Because of that, I find helpful to set goals and deadlines (though usually not very strict at all) to keep things in perspective. I think as an intern I can be a little insistent when asking for feedback/opinions, because I find it important to work collectively. But I try to do as much work independently as I can before asking for feedback, so I come across more productive and a little less clueless.
Work Style Week 2
I often work independently, and in my internship, I have a lot of flexibility in how I do the assignments I am given. I always need to have a checklist of everything that needs to get done so that I don't forget anything, and because I enjoy checking things off of the list. I do like to have some guidance, so I often update my supervisor in my progress so that I know if I am on the right track. When I run into an obstacle, sometimes I spend time figuring it out, but I do also ask lots of questions so that I do not misunderstand information.
Work Style - Diana
I work independently most of the day at my internship. When I receive an assignment, I first get as much information on it as possible (what my boss is looking for, things she wants done in a particular way, etc.), then I work by myself on it. If I am uncertain about how to do something, I usually try to figure it out first. If I'm really stuck after trying a few different things out, I go ask for advice from my coworker. Once I finish my assignment, I ask for feedback, and make changes accordingly.