“Professional Pathways allows a student with an interest in the field to offer their time and skills and it helps stretched teams to achieve greater impact.”
How did hosting an intern via the Professional Pathways programme benefit you and your organisation?
As a charity, we rely on donations and legacies in order to do our work providing lifelong loving care to hundreds of horses and ponies. Our intern kept major donors updated with the latest breaking news, such as the birth of our new foal Solar, and delivered tailored content dependent on donor interests whether that be capital projects such as new buildings, education projects, helping the vulnerable in our community, or urgent equine welfare interventions. The purpose of this type of contact is to thank a donor for their generosity, check-in with them to see how they are doing in this difficult time and inspire continued support of our charity. Due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, all tasks were completed remotely in the form of letters, emails, cards, and phone calls. Following communications with our intern, donors got in touch with the Sanctuary to say how much they had enjoyed the contact and made donations to fund our work.
Our intern also assisted the Philanthropy Manager in collating information for applications to grant awarding Trusts and Foundations, which have the potential to make a significant difference to the projects we can undertake here. We’ve just been informed that we have been awarded funding. This will allow 12 children from our local community to benefit from Equine Assisted Learning at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. We have lived experience of how horses have made a difference to our lives and we know how to make a difference to other people’s lives through horses. Our involvement in the Professional Pathways programme has been validated and has contributed positively to both our charity and our community and demonstrates the impact our Pathways intern has made in just a week! The award was £5,000 and there have been other donations from individuals in addition to this.
How was your experience of hosting a remote working intern?
Generally, it was a good experience, we only had one issue which was that the internet in the intern’s student accommodation did not allow the use of our Constituent Management System. The Philanthropy Manager was able to provide all necessary information, but a better internet connection would have meant the intern could gather this information and use the system themselves.
Given the Professional Pathways internship is 35 hours in total, how would you recommend ensuring both you and your intern(s) gain as much as possible from the experience?
I would recommend having plenty of tasks lined up and in a variety of formats. We found out that our intern particularly enjoyed making telephone contact with our donors, so it was great that we were able to offer a choice of modes of communication. Everybody works and learns differently so it is great to match the tasks to be completed to the intern’s interests and strengths.
Why would you recommend Professional Pathways to other employers?
Professional Pathways allows a student with an interest in the field to offer their time and skills and it helps stretched teams to achieve greater impact. We were particularly impressed by the intelligence, diligence, proactivity, and ability of our intern to hit the ground running and complete a wide variety of tasks autonomously. Our donors were delighted by the thoughtful communications.