Private Sector “Orr” Nonprofit Sector? Why Not Both?
On Monday, June 3, we walked into Orr Group’s office in Washington, DC as the new summer interns. After completing a variety of nonprofit internships over the past few years, we were excited to join Orr Group, a full-service fundraising and nonprofit strategy firm. We’ve spent the last seven weeks learning and growing in a for-profit environment, while helping to raise funds for impactful, mission-driven nonprofit organizations. As we reach summer’s midpoint, and as Orr Group opens its search for Fall interns, we reflect on some of the exceptional aspects of Orr Group and our time here.
1. Office Culture
The people make the place, and that is especially true at Orr Group. We would describe our co-workers in three words: approachable, genuine, and industrious. They are always willing to answer our questions and encourage us to produce a high level of work. As interns, we interact regularly with all members of the team, regardless of their title or position. Additionally, they show us that it is possible to blend your professional life with your personal life, as evident through the close-knit culture and social activities outside of work.
2. Office Location & Environment
Washington, DC is a cultural, dynamic, and historical city with a plethora of activities. Some of our favorites include going to museums, trying some of the best restaurants in the country, and enjoying performances at the Kennedy Center. This city is a mecca for young people seeking an enriching experience, both professionally and intellectually.
Orr Group’s DC office is located on the beautiful Georgetown Waterfront. Designed by Co-Founder and Partner Carol Orr, the office space is modern, sleek, and full of natural light. Each day, members of the team sit at a different work station, which reflects the open and collaborative environment that Orr Group fosters. There are no divisions, physically or metaphorically, between work stations. If privacy is needed, there are high-tech glass conference rooms where team members can take calls, meet with clients, or liaise with the New York office. Additionally, the office space features a pool table, contemporary kitchen with a seating area, and a large television with the latest news. For a change of scenery, eating on the waterfront is easily accessible too.
3. Work & Skills Gained
On average, Orr Group works on approximately thirty nonprofit clients’ fundraising strategies at any given time. Each day, we are constantly multitasking and balancing several projects, each one serving an essential purpose for our clients. Our colleagues never fail to give us constructive feedback and highlight the importance of our work. In our role as interns, our ability to assist Orr Group team members allows for a quicker project turnaround, which bolsters client satisfaction and really makes us feel like an essential part of the team.
Through this internship, we have gained a variety of tangible skills that are applicable in the nonprofit sector. We’ve learned how to effectively plan and execute events (large and small), work collaboratively across teams, and use numerous databases, including iWave, RelSci, Donor Perfect, Foundation Directory Online, Guide Star, Foundation Search America, and Cause IQ. We’ve also honed essential soft skills, the most important being our ability to problem solve and adapt based on the project criteria. When we receive projects and tasks, we are challenged to devise solutions quickly and strategically, fostering our own professional growth.
After a summer at Orr Group, we are now on the path to become successful fundraisers should we decide to pursue this profession.
Orr Group is a community of fundraisers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Every day brings a new challenge, and we work as a team to tackle it. This experience has been rewarding and formative, as well as reflective of the type of work one would encounter in the nonprofit sector. Working here is a perfect blend of the nonprofit and private sectors. If you intern here, you will have the opportunity to bridge both industries. Please feel free to reach out to either of us if you have questions about the internship position. We highly recommend joining this great organization!
Interested in learning more about the firm? Contact us here!
Vineet Chauhan is a rising senior at the University of Southern California, studying English literature and international relations. He spent last summer interning in The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars development office. Additionally, he works for a student-run nonprofit at USC called Project RISHI and was the Director of Grants and Sponsorships for one year. After Vineet finishes his internship at Orr Group, he is looking forward to applying his experiences with fundraising to nonprofit consulting.
Sanders Bennett is a 2019 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College where she studied international business and finance. She spent her past undergraduate summers interning in marketing and development for The Parks Conservancy and The Pittsburgh Glass Center. Additionally, she has spent time in Uganda, India, and Brazil studying business structure and financial models. Following her summer with Orr Group, Sanders is looking to continue her career in development and management.