A tree’s roots are the foundational component of longevity and growth. Resilience is a word to describe a tree that stands tall amongst many elements it endures, just like the five-year-old nonprofit Resilient Retreat, which is starting to build through the implementation of a planned giving program. Planned gifts for a nonprofit can be compared to the roots of a tree. Nonprofits are able to use this kind of philanthropic gift as a source of unrestricted funding, giving stability and security to the organization in the years to come. I was really drawn to Resilient Retreat because of the incredible programs it offers for trauma survivors, and I was excited to contribute to its mission of empowering survivors of trauma to thrive through self-care and community.

resiliant retreat
Throughout my experience as a remote legacy giving analyst intern at Resilient Retreat for the fall of 2023, I got to take on various tasks to create a planned giving program for the organization. From background research to brochures and social media designs to legacy society creation, I did a variety of work throughout the semester. Stacy Quaid and Lisa Intagliata were my supervisors, and they outlined clear objectives for my experience as an intern at the beginning of the semester. Since the internship modality was remote, we set up weekly Zoom meetings to effectively communicate throughout the semester.

One of the biggest things I learned from this internship opportunity was the importance of asking meaningful questions and how helpful connecting with other nonprofits can be. With my internship taking place in the beginning stages of Resilient Retreat’s legacy giving program, I knew that my research needed to include looking at other nonprofits and seeing how their planned giving programs operated. During the semester, Stacy, Lisa, and I did a joint Zoom call with an Indianapolis nonprofit called Second Helpings. This nonprofit utilized a planned giving tool called FreeWill, and Stacy, Lisa, and I wanted to see if this was a good tool for Resilient Retreat. We made sure to ask effective questions, and the Second Helpings executives were able to give us insight into the impact FreeWill had on their planned giving success.

Overall, I had a very positive experience interning at Resilient Retreat and gained a lot of useful skills. I learned a lot more about planned giving through research about program implementation and the tools available through networking calls. I’m thankful, even as a remote intern, that communication with Stacy and Lisa was seamless. They definitely enhanced my internship experience with their kindness and encouragement. I’m grateful that I got to intern for an amazing nonprofit that is doing such impactful work for the community. Knowing that I was a small piece in creating stability and long-term success for Resilient Retreat’s foundational roots is very empowering, and I hope to see the organization continue to thrive.

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