Foundling Dorm Project Student Reflects on Summer Internship, Nonprofits in New York

This guest blog was written by Gabbie, an intern with The New York Foundling and a Dorm Project student.


Earlier this year, I spoke at a board meeting as a representative of The Dorm Project, an effort led by The Foundling, City University of New York and the Administration for Children’s Services, and ended up meeting Bill Baccaglini. In casual conversation, not knowing his position with The Foundling, I spoke with him about my aspirations of running a nonprofit someday, and how I wanted to gain experience in the field. Little did I know, this conversation would lead me to an internship at The Foundling, working with the Development and Communications team. I jumped at the opportunity, not only for the experience, but to form a relationship with The Foundling as more than just a scholar with The Dorm Project. I knew that The Foundling had a reputation as an agency that provides services to many different communities, and I wanted to be a part of that.


Since starting here I’ve learned more about the different preventive services The Foundling offers, which has furthered my desire to become more involved. The skills I am currently learning are teaching me how to be involved on a more administrative level. For example, working with the Development team, I’m learning how they fundraise, reach out to their donors, and what systems they use to keep track of it. With the Communications team, I get to explore a more creative role with editing the newsletter, and creating flyers and certificates.


The skills I am learning are transferable to the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) that I am a part of with New Yorkers for Children, another human services nonprofit in New York City. I am working on creating marketing materials in attempts to recruit more youth, as well as establishing a brand. The YAB is also throwing our first major event this summer, and I am using these skills to actively fundraise and form relationships with donors. I also hope to establish some form of a mission statement, using the model of the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).


Working with The Foundling this summer has given me my first taste of the foundations of a nonprofit and what it takes to have an organization function. It has also inspired me to be involved with some of their other programs, such as the Crisis Nursery, fueling me to explore other career paths.


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