Fundraising meetings, events, and a festival: My unforgettable time in Cape Town

We checked in with Harold, who did a Fundraising Internship in Cape Town, South Africa. He worked with Greenpop, an environmental NGO that focuses on tree planting and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Harold, who is a student from France, told us about his internship experiences in an interview. 

1. Why did you choose an Internship with a Non-profit?

“I wanted to add value and meaning to my work and actions. It was my first time working for an NGO, so I was curious to see how these organizations function and how they survive in this profit-driven world.”

2. What made you decide to come to South Africa and why Greenpop?

“I’ve been to Cape Town a few months before the start of my internship and I absolutely loved the city and South Africa as a country. I wanted to know what it is like to live in the city for longer. What triggered me to join Greenpop, were their projects and the positive brand image. The organization has such a great impact on the environment and I wanted to be part of it. Furthermore, the contact with Roots and my supervisor at Greenpop was very friendly and helpful from the beginning on. That influenced my choice, as well.”

3. What were your main tasks as a Fundraising Intern?

“A typical week in the office consisted of many research for fundraising campaigns, meetings, some logistical help for the Eden Festival of Action, an environmental festival hosted by Greenpop, and loads of fun with the team! During the internship, I created a fundraising campaign on a platform called GivenGain. It was very hard to raise funds but interesting at the same time. I was free in my actions and could come up with my own strategies and marketing for the campaign. Despite the challenges, I managed to raise 6000 Rand which secured me a spot on the Greenpop “Hall of Fame”. My fundraising research included finding new pledge partners and developing a strategy to approach them. Finally, I took part in the Eden Festival of Action as a finance assistant and member of the production team.”

Check out all our Fundraising Internships in Africa!

4. Do you feel that you have made an impact? If yes, in what way?

“I definitely feel that I have made an impact in several ways. As mentioned earlier I raised money for Greenpop which they can use to finance their amazing projects. It makes me proud to see that people donated money because of my campaign. Secondly, I could really see and feel my impact during the Festival of Action. It is one thing if you approach people to donate for tree planting projects but it is another thing to plant a tree yourself! This was a powerful experience which made me realize my impact on the earth in that specific moment. Furthermore, I spoke to participants of the festival and they were all happy to meet so many like-minded people from different cultures.”

5. How did this internship had an impact on your life?

“First of all, it helped me improve my English. Especially, my professional English got a lot better and I learned how to convince potential donors during several meetings I attended together with my supervisor. I’m much more confident about having a conversation in English than at the beginning of my internship. Additionally, I got to discover new ways of management. I really appreciate that and hope I can apply the knowledge in my professional life.”

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6. What was the highlight of your Fundraising Internship in South Africa?

“I have several highlights. The biggest one was the Eden Festival of Action. It was a refreshing change as I was working outside in nature, planting trees, painting murals, living a zero waste life, using compost toilets and eating vegan. Of course, it was challenging sometimes but I got to experience a way of life which I wouldn’t have experienced without taking part in the Festival.

My second highlight, which is more related to my Fundraising Internship, are the professional meeting with potential sponsors. My supervisor and I went to meet the CEO’s of other companies in order to establish a partnership between these companies and Greenpop. Once we went to the Cape Town Marathon Launch Event because Greenpop wanted to raise money taking place in the marathon. It was an amazing event with a lot of companies, charities, great food, and many sports celebrities. The best thing about this event was, that we met a famous rugby player. I’m a big rugby fan so it was incredible to meet such a legend in real life.”

7. What are you going to miss the most?

“The Greenpop Team, my roommates and my life in Cape Town. I’ve met so many special people along the way who made my internship what it was. In the office, I always felt like a real team member rather than an intern. We were one big family and I will always consider myself a “Greenpoper”. I can’t describe my Fundraising Internship in South Africa with anything else than amazing!”

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