Last week we had Nico Gumbs and Heather from YAYA (the Youth and Young Adult Network for National Farms Worker Ministry). Nico is their head organizer while Heather is one of their team leaders.
They gave us a lot of information about their organizations and shocking statistics about some of the terrible working conditions of farm workers. It was very eye opening but good to see that organizations, like YAYA, are taking a stand.
When it came to their writing, I liked that, after taking a trip or volunteering, they have their team members write a reflective essay of their experience. I believe that writing with the intention of sharing an experience can be more impactful to a stranger than writing with the intention of persuading or informing them about something they can learn elsewhere. It reminded me of when Taylor, from After School All Stars, visited us and mentioned that if you’re going to write a grant, it’s important to get out there and do the work that will be accomplished through the grants. In the future it would be interesting to try reflective writing to capture people’s attention.
On Tuesday October 7th, we had Laura Pooser and Anne Botteri from the UCF Foundation, Inc. visit the class. Laura Pooser is the Director of Humanities for the College of Arts and Humanities, meaning that she raises funds. Anne Botteri is the Director of Communications and Marketing for the foundation. in charge of It was very interesting to have both of them in the class because although they both work and write for the same non-profit, they have different experiences and focus on different areas, which is yet again, a demonstration of the variety of positions one can have writing for a non-profit.
One thing that I learned, from both of them, about writing in the non-profit world is that it is valuable to express gratitude and constantly give thanks to your funders and partners. Ms. Pooser mentioned that she always guards her communication with donors by thanking them and finding ways to show her gratitude towards them. They also mentioned that they try to have students write letters to their scholarship funders, which I personally have done in the past & consider to be great. This made me think about the real people that donate their money to a cause or a person that they believe in. If I were in their shoes, I would only do it again if I felt that it was truly valued and appreciated. That is was a written “thank you” might make them feel. As Ms. Botteri said “No one writes a check just to write a check.” It’s important to take care of those relationships, as they both clearly pointer out.
They both spoke about the appearance of things, as well. As a communication major, I know the importance of field dependence and how the look and feel of something can be intriguing to somebody or cause the opposite reaction. However, I never focused on it when it came to writing for a non-profit. Ms. Pooser mentioned using her graphic design background and Ms. Botteri spoke about the use of photographs and graphics. It then occurred to me that I should include my background of graphic design and photography as skills that would be helpful to a non-profit. I never though my Adobe Photoshop certification would come in handy, but I guess it will after all!