Update from our Intern, Molly
I was immediately drawn to A Ride for Hope as an internship option because I feel very passionate about their mission to support local cancer patients. I have had to watch many close family and friends fight battles with cancer, so I knew first hand just how much support, from organizations such as A Ride for Hope, can help and encourage someone. One of the hardest losses I have had to endure was the loss of my childhood best friend’s dad. Growing up I watched him persevere through his many years with cancer and have always remembered how brave and humble he was up until the very end. Knowing he used to enjoy riding his motorcycle, I felt like volunteering with A Ride for Hope was a way I could honor him and also give back to others who may be navigating their own cancer journey.
Since starting my internship with A Ride for Hope back in January of 2021, I have been able to help out the organization in many ways. Within my first month as an intern I was able to research other non-profit organization’s financial aid programs in order to help develop a new financial aid application for A Ride for Hope. With my findings I was able to help design A Ride for Hope’s new financial assistance application so that the board can make aid decisions that align best with the organization’s mission/purpose. Since creating the new application the organization has found it easier to sort through the plethora of applications received each month and help the individuals with the most need.
During my internship I have spent ample time developing a marketing brief and marketing plan to help A Ride for Hope reach as many people as possible. I have paid close attention to the organization’s social media outreach and have created posts that appeal to many different audiences based upon the outreach numbers. In March of 2020 A Ride for Hope’s social media had an outreach of 1,124 and following the implementation of my marketing plan by the end of March 2021 the social media had increased by over 100% reaching 2,684 people. With this increase I was able to study post analytics from March to again increase A Ride for Hope’s social media outreach, this time by 300% reaching 6,690 people within the first week of April. By developing a marketing brief I have been able to help A Ride for Hope spread their message to a larger audience and in turn make individuals more aware of the support A Ride for Hope has to offer for cancer patients within the greater Fox Valley.
One of my most recent projects I have been working on as an intern is the blog section found on A Ride for Hope’s website. Again looking at the organization’s social media analytics I noticed that audiences responded strongly to posts that involved board members and the activities they perform. With this in mind, I created the “Meet the Board Member” blog series which highlights a different board member every month. This blog series gives people an opportunity to learn more about the individuals who make up the Ride for Hope board. Along with the meet the board member series I have helped write several blogs which highlight the different committees within A Ride for Hope. These committee blogs again help individuals get to know more about A Ride for Hope, the different volunteer opportunities that are available, and overall create more audience engagement.
My time as an intern for A Ride for Hope has flown by and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from such amazing women! One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from this internship is the importance and value of communication and collaboration. With my internship being 100% virtual, except for once a month board meetings, I had to make a continuous conscious effort to stay in touch with other board members and ask questions in a virtual manner. I learned that even though emails, text messages, and video chats are not ideal, collaboration on ideas and projects are still possible and beneficial. This internship has also allowed me to expand my writing skills and dive into my interest in marketing and social media. Through my work with the marketing plan and blog series, I have learned how important it is to keep audiences engaged and informed when it comes to running a non-profit organization such as A Ride for Hope. As my internship comes to an end, I can truly say I have enjoyed every lesson and challenge that this experience has brought my way and I can not wait to continue to work with A Ride for Hope for months to come!
Molly, Intern Spring 2021