Office of University and Development Events



The Office of University and Development Events functions to plan and host university wide events that fall into three main categories – ceremonial, developmental and presidential events. Ceremonial events are events such as commencement or new student convocation, developmental events are events for donors and gift officers to help them reconnect with the university and presidential events are those hosted at the President’s house or ones where he is in attendance. During my summer, I had the opportunity to work on all three types of events and through all stages in an events’ cycle, including creating invitations, programs, signs, guest tracking on DART, staffing events and creating and compiling event surveys. Other projects included research for incorporating social media into events, creating a social media calendar and compiling a volunteer database.


The impact of my projects varied ranging from helping with the planning stages to the post event surveying of the events. I helped with the planning stages of the D-SIP project showcase and closing ceremony and the sUMmer up north event. I also hosted a spring commencement focus group that allowed me to make recommendations for improvements to the website and ticketing process by surveying guests and students of the university. I analyzed guest surveys for the sUMmer up north event and the University of Michigan’s Florida Seminars and worked with the team to create recommendations for future years. I also worked to create and manage a social media presence for events, especially those geared towards students. Overall my projects helped to improve the guest experience at OUD and University events and ultimately positively impacting the University of Michigan brand.

Skills Gained

  • Project management
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Time management
  • Research and analysis

“This program gave me the opportunity to not only develop professional skills but tools for self reflection that will be vital as I move forward in my career.”

-Janani Kumar, D-SIP ‘16

Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan



Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan is nonprofit that serves the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe, Jackson, and Lenawee. As a widespread chapter of the international organization, Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan focuses on broadening their reach and impact on girls. The intern was responsible for aiding the organization’s growth through various projects: preparation of a case for support for various grants, research of best practices for events with other Girls on the Run councils, and solicitation for in-kind donations for the fall Superhero 5K.


The goal of this project was to assist Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan in their efforts to reach girls across the five counties. By preparing a case for support with a flexibility to tailor to many different grant’s desires as well as localized data, Girls on the Run will be able to continue to empower girls throughout their entire region. Due to donor and sponsor generosity, Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan has never had to turn away a family due to their inability to pay their registration fee, and they hope to continue this in coming years.

Skills Gained:

  • Collaboration
  • Intercommunication
  • Time Management
  • Grant Work

“One lesson I will take from my internship experience is from the Nonprofit 9-0 with the Brides Project: not to let the tail wag the dog. I learned this summer the importance of perspective as well as intent; and the necessity – within organizations, personal development, and beyond – to remain true to a mission and goal.”

Claire Jilek, D-SIP ’16


School of Natural Resources and Environment- Telling Our History: Engaging SNRE Alumni



The School of Natural Resources was in the midst of an institutional evolution. A reassessment of the school’s’ potential that was being led by the provost hoped to restructure the institution to dramatically increase the environmental advocacy, impact and practices at the University of Michigan. My role was to collect the stories and experiences of alumni of the School of Natural Resources and Environment, an institution with its own social climate, priorities, and academic emphasis. The alumni of this institution have gone forward to pave the way in industry, research, academia, and policy. By commemorating these feats both great and small, I hoped to pay homage to the impact that this institution, throughout its dynamic past, has had on the Wolverines who have called it hoMe.


As I connected and interacted with the living history of this institution, I also dived deep into its legacy to amass a collection of impactful alumni stories and experiences and SNRE’s 20 Greatest Contributions to Society, looking not only at the impact of the institution itself through program formation, and faculty distinctions, but also the influence that alumni have had on the field of environmental related studies and through their professional careers. By collecting this information, I generated engaging content that will be shared with the wider alumni community through SNRE Connect, a monthly e-newsletter, and Stewards, a biannual alumni magazine. By archiving the information about different alumni, their connections to the University, their fondest memories, their thoughts and concerns with the current suggested institutional changes for the school and the trajectory of their career paths, the School of Natural Resources was provided with a wealth of information for alumni relations, mentorship opportunities, engagement opportunities, information for strategic communication regarding the school’s changes, and donor cultivation.

Skills Gained:

  • Interpersonal, Cross Cultural Communication
  • Database Management
  • Strategic Marketing Writing
  • Collaborative Goal Setting

“Stories give us history in context, they breathe life into the words we read in books, the names engraved in statues. Stories give meaning to the spaces we inhabit and add value to the legacies of which we are a part. Stories are important tools in philanthropy, and DSIP helped me realize that we all have the power to craft our own story and see how philanthropy is a part of that story. I am truly thankful to have joined the D-SIP family this summer. It has been an experiences that will impact me for the rest of my life”

-Demario Longmire, D-SIP ’16

Developing and Formalizing Gifts In-Kind Program at North Star Reach (NSR)



North Star Reach (NSR) is a nonprofit that provides fun and empowering summer camp experiences for children with serious illnesses free of charge, with on-site medical amenities including nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals. Since NSR is a start up that pays for the expense of each camper, every gift in-kind (GIK), especially a budget-relieving gift, makes a significant difference on their budget. However, the absence of a formal GIK Program affected their recordkeeping, which in turn, affected timeliness in all areas of the GIK program, especially in regards to thanking and recognizing GIK donors at all levels of giving in a timely manner. The intern was, therefore, charged with developing a standardized GIK Program in collaboration with the Development staff that would include policies and procedures that aligned with NSR’s values, work culture, and staff preferences.


Every gift matters, no matter what the size or value of it. The intern’s recommended policies and  GIK program were geared towards increasing record-keeping, checks and balances for accountability, and timeliness and coordination in all areas of the program, ranging from before solicitation to stewardship. These factors, along with other recommended tactics, will help NSR streamline both internal and external communication around GIK. More importantly, they will enable NSR to promptly recognize and engage all GIK donors, no matter what their level of giving, and build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with them.

Skills Gained:

  • Listening and Communication
  • Needs Analysis
  • Strategizing and Planning
  • Program Development/Design
  • Adaptability and Time Management

“D-SIP pushed me to constantly challenge and reflect on my values, beliefs, and perspective, helping me grow tremendously as a person, professional, philanthropist, and a community member. It was a privilege to have this learning opportunity, while also having the ability to make a tangible and foundational difference through my project at North Star Reach!”

-Dhara Gosalia, D-SIP ’16

Building A Younger Generation of Donors at the Ark



The Ark is a nonprofit music venue dedicated to enriching the human spirit “through the presentation, preservation and encouragement of folk, roots and ethnic music and related arts.” The Ark has existed in the Ann Arbor community for over fifty years, and while their long and rich history is a source of pride, they also recognize the need to engage the next generation of Ark members and volunteers. To this end, the Next Generation Initiative will increase public awareness, contact, and engagement with 18-25 and 25-45 year old and develop a survey tool to track this engagement. This initiative had four main directives: the creation of a student campus ambassador program at the University of Michigan; outreach and networking with over fifteen different social and professional groups and businesses in Ann Arbor to deliver information about The Ark’s opportunities; the development of a social media communications plan, including plans for a crowdfunding campaign; and the creation and implementation plan for an online survey tool to collect demographic and mission-related information from audience members.


To ensure the continued future success of The Ark, it is crucial to build and steward a younger generation of volunteers and members in addition to their current member base. The end results of this project will inform people of the opportunities available for them at so that they can also become a part of the inclusive community at The Ark. By bringing in the intern’s perspective as a student and networking with young professionals in the area, the feedback of this target demographic was integrated in order to craft more impactful deliverables.  With the creation of meaningful ways to interact with the next generation, The Ark can continue to further its mission and cement its position within the Ann Arbor community for the next fifty years.

Skills Gained:

  • Research and strategic planning
  • Networking
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Survey design
  • Creative thinking
  • Social media best practices for nonprofits and crowdfunding campaign design

 “D-SIP helped me develop personally and professionally by giving me the autonomy to make a tangible impact with my work and the space to reflect on my strengths and values. However, what truly enabled my growth was the unwavering support and wisdom of The Ark, my D-SIP instructors, and especially my cohort.”

-Emma Sutherland, D-SIP ’16

UM-Dearborn Berkowitz Gallery: Increasing Donor Engagement and Building Capacity



The intern’s project was to assist the UM-Dearborn Art Collection and Berkowitz Gallery in increasing donor engagement and building capacity. She gathered data through the assessment and benchmarking of 10 university galleries in areas of fundraising programming, online engagement, and membership programs. The intern also created and conducted a survey of donors on the gallery mailing list on areas of gallery schedule, communications, and programming, receiving a 12% response rate. With this data, she provided and presented specific, feasible recommendations for improvement in 3 areas of engagement – Online presence through the website and social media, Student and Staff awareness, and Donor Engagement programming and events. Her recommendations included embedding an intern- created “Outdoor Sculpture Artwalk” tour into the website, which would allow online interaction with the Berkowitz Gallery collection. She also designed 3 possible events that would work in conjunction with planned future exhibitions to increase gallery awareness and donor engagement, providing prospective foundation and grant information that may be used to fund such programs and projects of the gallery. A list of top donor prospects for re-engagement was also researched by the intern, giving a better focus for stewardship and cultivation of donors through these events.


The Berkowitz Gallery is currently in the planning phase of a project that will allow the creation of a new Galleries Center with expanded exhibition stage and improved storage. My work will allow the gallery to provide a more enriching atmosphere for the visitors, expand the gallery’s presence, and allow for stronger cultivation of donors as the development office looks to major gift prospects for assistance in the completion of the Galleries Center project. With the scope of my data collection and analysis combined with the presentation of specific, strategic solutions, my project will allow the gallery to better tailor their programming and communication towards their audience, leading to an increase in visitors and a larger pool of potential donors.

Skills Gained:

  • Strategic planning of projects and events
  • Organization of multiple projects and timelines
  • Effective survey design
  • Database and benchmarking research (e.g., DART, FoundationSearch, PastPerfect)
  • Interdepartmental communication
  • Presentation and summary of project for simple future planning

 “My D-SIP experience has taught me more than I will ever realize. Through my work in a professional development office as well as my time with my amazing cohort in the classroom – it has absolutely changed how I interact with the world around me in ways that I never expected. Especially as I came into the program never having known the word ‘Development’ as a profession!”

-Mary Muter, D-SIP ‘16

Alumni Engagement at the Ginsberg Center



The intern worked on enhancing the current state of the Ginsberg Center alumni data collection system. By comparing the information given in the Ginsberg Center’s Shared Drive with the Office of University of Development’s (OUD) data, the intern was able to merge both data information together to create a more sound data collection sheet. In addition to merging the data sheets, the intern also had to add personalized information about each Ginsberg alum from social media sites, such as Linkedin. By adding information such as city, state, and current employer, the Ginsberg Center will be able to identify where most of their alumni currently reside. Lastly, the intern identified year gaps in some programs within the Ginsberg Center. By identifying these gaps, the Ginsberg Center will be able to begin doing the necessary research to fill in the missing years.


The Ginsberg Center will have a more concrete alumni data sheet with complete and personalized information. This updated data sheet will allow the Ginsberg Center to begin their alumni engagement efforts. By having this data sheet, the Ginsberg Center can begin their goal of “friendraising” by geographic location.

Skills Gained:

  • Data Analysis

  • Time Management

  • Communication

“My D-SIP experience taught me that philanthropy is a complex field, and that there is no specific way to become a philanthropist. Although I am young, I am on my way to becoming a philanthropist!”

-Ashley Hails, D-SIP ‘16