Ask this year’s apprentices in nonprofit management what surprised them most when they began working for local nonprofits and you’ll hear a common theme. “This is such a tiny town. How is there so much going on?” asks Emily Stanfield ’12. “Grinnell is clearly a thriving community, and these nonprofits do a lot to make that happen.”
Each year, students compete for positions in the College’s award-winning Apprenticeships in Nonprofit Management program. The year-long program pairs each student with one of six local nonprofits.
“I really love that I get to take ownership over a variety of different projects,” says Anna-Lisa Bowans ’12, another apprentice, “I have a lot of freedom to learn new skills on things that interest me.” She continues, “My director, Julie Gosselink, has been really supportive and accommodating about giving me those kinds of projects.”
Apprentices get to see, from an executive level, what it takes to run a successful nonprofit. They develop many skills, including event organization and planning, coordination of volunteers, programming, marketing, community relations, and data analysis. They also hone their writing skills on grants, news releases, brochures, newsletters, email blasts, and surveys, among other communications.
Apprentices also praise the collaborative nature of the work. Each week, the apprentices meet for lunch and share tips, tricks, and ideas, and talk about what they are doing and planning. “There’s more brain-power when we all come together and talk about the work we’re doing,” Bowans explains.
Click the images to learn more about the apprentices.