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Monday, August 16, 2021

Meet the Charity Navigator Summer 2021 Interns: Alexis Tonge & Stevensky Mertyl

In our role as Research Development Interns at Charity Navigator, our focus for this internship has been to understand the giving behaviors of millennial donors in order to enhance our ability to guide future donations toward more effective and impactful nonprofits. We divide our time into three parts: literature reviews, survey research, and personal interviews. 

During our first four weeks, we familiarized ourselves with the Charity Navigator website and studied the differences in charitable giving among genders, races, and ages. What we learned enabled us to develop questions for our interviews and surveys. As of the writing of this blog post, we are completing our interviews and preparing a survey for distribution to over 1,000 millennial donors in Charity Navigator's database. This was only possible through our wonderfully supportive team members. 

Due to COVID-19, our internship experience has been virtual. Neither of us expected to be in close contact with the Charity Navigator team. However, having opportunities to interact with everyone through weekly virtual conferences has been the highlight of our internship. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and supportive, which creates a family-like atmosphere. The Charity Navigator team is composed of individuals with vast and varied expertise.  They have been very forthcoming in offering us assistance, which helped us overcome any of the obstacles we encountered along the way. 

We will walk away from this summer internship experience having earned valuable life lessons and skills to benefit our future endeavors. This included learning how to organize and conduct a plan with a fair amount of autonomy and working efficiently within a team-oriented environment.  Additionally, we were able to learn about interviewing with purpose in order to ultimately deliver value to the constituents Charity Navigator serves.

Written by Alexis Tonge and Stevensky Mertyl. 

Alexis is a rising senior at Lycoming College majoring in Psychology and double minoring in Corporate Communications and Human Services. Her volunteering experience includes giving her time to support soup kitchens, food banks, and clothing drives. Eventually, Alexis would like to provide grant writing services for nonprofits. 

Stevensky is a sophomore undergraduate at Stevens Institute of Technology majoring in Chemical Engineering. He has participated in community services outreach providing those in need with free clothing and food — something he plans to continue in the future. 

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