My internship experience at Little Friends for Peace

My internship experience at Little Friends for Peace

 Talia HAMMOUD

In this article, Talia HAMMOUD (The George Washington University, BBA, 2019-2023) shares her experience as an intern at a non-governmental organization Little Friends for Peace.

Little Friends for Peace

Little Friends for Peace (LFFP) is a small-medium-sized non-profit organization, based in Washington, D.C., that welcomes youth and adults to experience, learn and practice peace through various peace education programs. Started by MJ and Jerry Park in 1981, LFFP believes that all people can create homes, classrooms, teams, and workplaces where everyone gives, everyone gains, and everyone wins. Named for the “little” part we can all play in spreading peace, LFFP seeks to eradicate violence by teaching skills for peace. Some ways they can do this are by hosting ‘peace circles’, summer camps for children, and weekly visits to the McKenna Center, an organization that helps incarcerated men get back on their feet. Furthermore, they have international programming to certain parts of the world such as China, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Logo of Little Friends for Peace
Little Friends for Peace
Source: Little Friends for Peace

My Internship Experience

Since my internship experience took place during the unprecedented pandemic, it was not quite the same as other people’s internship experiences. Firstly, we met weekly on zoom as a team for updates, to-dos, and any exciting news about the NGO. Then we had the option to choose what tasks we wanted to be a part of or lead. For example, I chose to lead the Halloween fundraising event as well as lead in-person peace circles for children between the ages of 6-10 every Monday.

Knowledge and skills needed

Some of the skills required for the internship include organization, fundraising skills, and communication via e-mails, meetings, and social media. I had to organize a fundraising event and create an itinerary for the night. I also had to create advertising and marketing materials to spread awareness and attract attention to the event. This proved difficult as it required the use of a lot of social media outlets to stimulate interest.

What I learned

Operating a non-profit organization is very difficult in terms of financing it. Since a lot of the services they provide are pro bono (meaning for free), the non-profit must find other sources of income to keep the program running. Thus, LFFP must make use of donations, host fundraising events, request grants, and other methods of public funding. Despite this, Little Friends for Peace can maintain operating the business successfully.

Financial Concepts

Interdependence: Non-profits are very dependent on governments and donors which requires them to well connect all parts of operations such as planning, programs, evaluations, etc., to ensure that they receive the right amount of funding and to please potential donors.

Another thing to note is that non-profits must have a substantial amount of cash in operating reserves in case of any downturn or opportunities. For example, due to the pandemic, the government had significant delays in handing out grants and donations to NGOs, thus many organizations had to turn to their reserves to keep business operating.

Why should I be interested in this post?

I think it is very important for all students studying business to experience or learn about all different types of businesses, especially non-profit organizations. I feel that the business behind NGOs and the difficulties of running one is not discussed enough. Therefore, I encourage all business students to consider learning more about the behind-the-scenes of a non-profit organization.

Useful resources

Little Friends for Peace

Non-Profit Finance: 12 Golden Rules

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About the author

The article was written in August 2022 by Talia Hammoud (The George Washington University, BBA, 2019-2023).

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