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August 4th, 2013 by Sean Paul Fitzgerald

Ready 365 Program and the Infamous Benefits Matrix

I’m now a few weeks into the internship and having really gotten acclimated to the workplace. There is no shortage of work since I started late as is and I’ve also  had a lot of technical difficulties (continuing technical difficulties at the moment) so I can’t say I’ve been loyal to my commitment to provide regular updates. I have made, though, a considerable dent in my workload and have a brand new laptop charger on its way to my apartment.

Right now its most important that I get you guys up to speed. Some reflections so far:

  • The workplace-a great office with an even greater team. I’m on the Development Team and have been working really closely with the Executive Director Janet Warren who is really supportive and excited herself.
  • The workload-has been appropriately challenging. Sometimes I find myself a little overwhelmed but its never anything I can’t handle. I’m grateful that I’ve had the chance so far to dabble in so many different areas including finances, development, and actual donation asks. I depend on my team but there is also plenty of room for independence and self-reliance.
  • The project-my principal project for my experience at the ARC (American Red Cross; I’ve realized that the “ARC” loves acronyms and I actually had to find a list of them to review just to understand certain texts!) is the Ready 365 Program–named so to represent the issue the Red Cross and many other non-profits have in receiving, for the most part, episodic donations when it actually takes a constant income to operate annually. The Red Cross is stressing to corporations that we need money not only to operate predictably, but also to respond to disasters in the most prepared manner…365 days a year. I’m working on an annual corporate donor program that is more apt for the market size/donor pool of our chapter. This involves taking from the national example and more specific ones from different chapters across the country. I worked with Janet (I’ve also come to use first names much more) to see what fits us best and establish three different giving levels at 10, 25, and 50 K giving levels. With this comas a matrix, we say, of benefits that we could offer donors at each level. This matrix has taken most of my time so far and tomorrow will actually be my first formal opportunity to sort of “pitch” it to the team…or at least those I haven’t already talked with.

I’ve helped the other Clark interns Holly and Allegra with some of their projects too and actually have some pics I would love to share from a recent Golf Tournament. Right now though I want to stay focused on the matrix that I’ve come to know so well and see what feedback and reaction I get from the rest of the Development Team tomorrow!

I’m doing my best to keep you all in the loop! The Red Cross is a place full of understanding people and I hope that you’re so considerate. Pictures to come!

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