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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Meet the Charity Navigator 2021 Summer Interns: Zainab Farid

This summer, I had the privilege of working at Charity Navigator as their development intern. Under the tutelage of smart and kind mentors like Megan Ritter and Grace Dowd, I learned the ins and outs of the fundraising operations of an infrastructure-building nonprofit through a rotational internship.

I’ve had the opportunity to work on multiple projects with different team members, including researching corporate sponsors and philanthropic foundations, and building donor profiles for better solicitation and stewardship. This has helped me develop my organization and communication skills, while learning about the effectiveness of building a plan months in advance to maintain donor relationships and raise funds. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the development team for the remainder of my summer and learning about individual giving.

Working at an organization where help and appreciation is generously proffered gave me tremendous room for growth as I acquired more personal and professional insight. Participating in meetings and attending team lunches allowed me to learn about the plethora of experience my colleagues have working in the nonprofit industry. I even learned about the incandescent passions they shared for movie series like, Fast & Furious (hello, Grace!).

One of the challenges I faced working from Pakistan was the time difference that was a whopping nine hours ahead of New Jersey. However, my mentors showed great leniency and made sure that I had all the support and resources I needed to get all my work done in time. It was heartwarming to see an organization that prioritized not only the quality of the work its team produced, but also their well-being.

My time at Charity Navigator has helped me appreciate the need to build more robust data systems to track where we have been and where we are going, producing effects that reverberate throughout the nonprofit sector and beyond. It has reinforced the importance of asking the right questions, engaging in open communication and constantly aspiring to grow. 


Written by Zainab Farid. Zainab is a senior at Clark University majoring in Global Environmental Studies, with a concentration in geographic information science and systems (GIS). In 2017, she co-founded the Baby Box Project to help combat infant mortality in Pakistan. Her aspirations include employing her research and storytelling skills to contribute to the development sector.

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