Meet Ana Resner, Shriver Development Fellow

By LIFT on May 21, 2015

Categories: First Person Perspective

Before I became a Shriver Corps Development fellow, I was already in love with LIFT. I started at LIFT as a Volunteer Advocate while I was an undergrad in Boston. Upon graduating, I was so excited to learn of a Shriver Corps position available at LIFT’s brand new location in Los Angeles. After an interview with our lovely talent team and the regional LA staff, I was offered a position as a development fellow. Upon starting that summer, I could not have anticipated the amount of knowledge and growth that I’ve experienced in the last 8 months. Being new to the field of development, I had a lot to learn about raising funds and cultivating relationships.

During any given week, you can find me researching potential funders, creating a social media strategy, organizing event details, researching grants and drafting proposals, creating a prospecting sheet for a site visitor, writing a blog post about our holiday party, organizing my executive director’s or development manager’s schedules, and on Tuesday mornings, doing member service. LIFT has been a place of consistent learning, challenge, and growth for me since day one. With that being said, it has also been the most supportive, encouraging, and wholehearted work environment I have ever been in.

Everyone at LIFT is eager to support and aide both personal and professional growth. I recently experienced this support when I was able to attend a grant-writing workshop through the Grantsmanship Center. The training was a week long, eight hours a day. The first 2 ½ days were spent covering the different components and sections of a grant, as well as how to pull correct data and effectively story tell. The last 2 ½ days consisted of forming a group of four and actually writing a grant! We were given a deadline of two days, and eagerly worked together to understand the mission, vision, and effectiveness of the program we were writing a grant for. Making sure that a program isn’t just a good idea, but that it’s actually needed and most importantly effective, was something that kept arising as my group began to write. The program we wrote about was extremely needed, but the actual implementation and strategy still needed a little bit of work, and needed some cold hard data to back it up.

Throughout the training, I felt overwhelmingly proud of LIFT and the position that the organization is in. LIFT seemed to be a few steps ahead of many of the non-profits there, and our work’s effectiveness has been proven over and over again with sheer transparency. I left the training not only feeling prepared to write grants, but also with a strong sense of pride and dedication to the work we are doing every day. Although it wasn’t required, I drove back to our office to say hello to everyone during their staff meeting. Whenever a team members leaves for an external training, I’ve noticed they tend to come back to the office missing their LIFT family, and I think that alone demonstrates the magic both in our offices and in the work that we do each and every day.

The Shriver Corps is a once-in-a-generation cohort of AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers committed to helping people across the United States lift themselves out of poverty for good. The program is a collaboration between LIFT, Maria Shriver’s A Woman’s Nation, and AmeriCorps, and was created to honor the legacy of Sargent Shriver, the founder of the landmark VISTA program.