By Leslie Zhu
“I really like that we can work on a project that is associated with a real nonprofit organization”, said Joe Giovenetti during the last meeting of our Cultural Nonprofit Organizations course. Most students feel the same way.
This course was distinct from our other classes. Our assignment came from an actual client, the Transcultural Exchange, and the whole class worked on it as one team.
Mary Sherman, the founder and director of TransCultural Exchange, was the first speaker for MSLCE’s speaker series of the spring quarter. Her organization was incorporated in 2002 to foster a greater understanding of world cultures, most notably through a biennal International Conference on Opportunities in the Arts.
On April 6, Sherman came to our class to discuss her organization with students who are interested in pursuing nonprofit careers. She said that the key challenge her organization faces getting more sponsorships for their 2018 conference in Quebec. Our task would be working together to advance a set of strategies to address this issue.
The class was divided into three groups: research, sponsorship package, and visual presentation. We each developed a contract that specifies the particular goals and processes within the frame of the class. Through group meetings in-class and out, we learned how to productively work together. For example, the research team offered their ideal sponsorship list to the package team for the next stage of organizing into a system to be put in a brochure. The visual team helped with the design of header and design of the brochure, the infographic for the research team.
On June 1, Mary Skyped in from Berlin and the final presentation opened with a video developed by the visual team, and came along with the pitch for Air Canada, and the presentation of the brochure. Mary was satisfied with said she might use some of the materials for the conference. Everyone learned a lot through working for an actual organization, and getting valuable feedback from an experienced and esteemed nonprofit leader.