If you have ever been on a spring break, or really any kind of break in the middle of a semester, you know the feeling of getting back into your normal rhythm of life. You also probably know that feeling of realizing that there is only so much time left – whether that be in a semester, a vacation, friendship, or even just life in general. Life is short and it is really important to enjoy each moment of it. Live like there is no tomorrow and love like you are the only one who will ever be a positive light in someone’s world. In American culture we are constantly on the go. If you did not know this, take a moment and learn more about other cultures and you will realize it. People do not always take the time to genuinely take care of their physical, mental, or spiritual needs. I have to admit I am just as bad sometimes, but I’m constantly working towards the next goal in life as a student or working to achieve a personal goal that betters me as a person.
This past week I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with a couple people who are on the development team at my internship site. The development team consists of public relations, marketing (both digital and print), graphic designers, content specialists, events staff, donor relations, volunteer coordinators, and probably a few more that I am missing. The two that I talked to specifically are digital marketing specialists. They do a lot with the ads that pop up on Instagram feeds, Facebook, and the website. I wanted to learn more about the way organizations can track interactions, the ways that people actually donate, and let’s be real, the amount of tracking that happens. My mind was blown away at how much can change on a website simply because of things like the type of phone you have or your home zip code. One of the examples I was given was this: if someone who has an iPhone clicks on a donation link that has automated choices of what you can donate, their options are going to be higher than if someone with an Android clicked on the exact same link. This is just one example of how much the internet really knows about who you are, where you go, and the things you like to do. And it does not stop there. It just keeps going. They can track which website you have clicked on and if you have opened a link from an email and then gone back to the website a different way later and donated. It is honestly a little bit scary.
When the digital marketing team is tracking money donations, they are keeping track of our monthly givers, those who are giving one-time gifts, the good heart association, and the legacy donors, which are people who put the Mission in their will. The goal is to learn how much is coming in and from what types of donors. Eventually if someone signs up to donate a certain amount each month, they are assigned to a Donor Relations Associate. These people (which by the way are all incredible people) keep in contact with our donors to make sure they stay interested in donating to the Mission. That could be through bi-monthly newsletter-type letters that get sent out both digitally or physically, or through hosting events for donors to attend. Depending on the amount the donor gives, they host dinners, events, and sometimes event go to a Denver Nuggets or a Rockies game. Their whole goal is to create a relationship with each donor to ensure that they keep coming back and giving to the Mission.
One of the things that I have truly enjoyed about my internship is the amount of areas that I get to learn about – both within the communications side of things and also with every other team within the overarching development team. At this point in the semester, I have talked with someone from each smaller department to learn what their specific role entails and the ways that they use it to further their calling as well as the Mission. This comes from everyone being genuine people, as well as ways in which they simply work to further the kingdom of God by showing love and care to everyone around them. There are multiple people who treat me like a coworker, and also as one of their own children in some ways – checking in on me to see how I am doing, making sure I am taking care of myself, and giving suggestions as to how to make my experience better. I do not think I would be making it through the semester without them and the conversations we have had both about work to learn about what they do, and also about their life journeys and the things they have gone through to get to where they are today. It shows me that I might start doing one thing when I graduate college, but that does not mean that I will be doing that the rest of my life. So while it is important to have a plan coming out of school, that is simply the original plan and there will be so many more opportunities than I ever would have planned for. It is important to be open to doing whatever the next thing you are called to. While right now it is stressful to think about my plan for graduation next year, I know that I have a lot of people backing me up both in my family and out here in Denver that are willing to help me think things through in order to determine where my life is leading me.
The last few weeks have been busy with my internship and classes, but there is always time to do at least one fun thing over the weekend. This past week we went to the Denver Art Museum. There are 10 different floors spread across the two buildings, and each one focuses on different art from around the world. I was blown away by how much there was to look at. And on top of that, one of the buildings looks more like a sculpture than a building! Highly recommend going if you ever get the chance to!
And lastly on Sunday afternoon, we went to hike the Dinosaur Ridge trail, which was a huge disappointment. This is something that a lot of people talk a lot about, but in my opinion, it is really not worth it. So, we drove over to Red Rocks and hiked one of the trails there which was gorgeous as always!
Thanks for reading, until next time,
Aurora Franzon 2024