Business Students and Nonprofits Working Together

By Chance Nelson – Junior and Senior Business Administration students who are currently enrolled in Professor Shelly McVay’s Business 403 – Business as Practice course at William Jewell College are working with a number of non-profit organizations around the Kansas City-Metro area, including Veronica’s Voice, Surplus Exchange, Inclusion Connections, Cura Collegiate, and new high-school mentorship programs. As a senior Business Administration student, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of these organizations throughout my college career.

In the summer of 2017, I participated in an unpaid internship with a non-profit organization called PawsAbilites. This organization employs youth and adults with special needs and has them work together to make handcrafted pet treats. This internship challenged me to head a social media marketing campaign, which included posting schedules and creating brand awareness content.

Last fall, my classmates and I worked alongside another non-profit organization, Veronica’s Voice, for our business capstone project. Veronica’s Voice is a relatively newer non-profit organization that seeks to empower women in their transition away from prostitution and sex trafficking in the United States through survivor leadership. Veronica’s Voice has been exclusively funded by donations. Our Jewell team worked with Veronica’s Voice to further develop the organization by means of product creation and event marketing designed to help fund their efforts.

This spring, small groups of students are working with various organizations and are engaged in a wide range of roles. Along with two classmates, I am working with Surplus Exchange, and organization that has been recycling in the Kansas City area for more than 25 years. Surplus exchange maintains a zero landfill policy with zero export of equipment to third-world countries. Because re-use is the most environmentally friendly form of recycling, all equipment received by Surplus Exchange is audited by its technicians to discern remaining value for refurbishment or re-marketing. If re-marketable value exists, the items enter their reuse system, and will either be available for purchase at their designated locations or donated to a local non-profit in need. For two decades, Surplus Exchange has succeeded without having any marketing plan, but recently, inventory has declined. Our group is currently focused on drafting a full-scale marketing plan for Surplus Exchange, as well as conducting advertising campaigns for weekly events which will help increase inventory and heighten their brand exposure.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work with a number of non-profit organizations, and the knowledge and experience I have gained from these internships is invaluable.

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