The Bayside Foundation derives from three modalities: grant, charities, and doing business. Its most recognized programs consisting mainly of fundraising events. I did not have an authority to access to the original budget, so I used the budget from January 2017 until November 2018 to support my project tasks. The tax document for the Foundation combines the money of all programs into a single amount. This is a difficult for me to find out what are the programs have been allocated money, or exactly how much money, donations or grants in kind have been allocated to the different programs.
The Internship Being an intern for 4 months at Bayside Community Center taught me to be patient and gave me more humility and at the same time it taught me a lot about me: my strength and weakness. Sometimes I may find myself having too much work and other times I may have little to do. I may be asked to go get the launches or run the errands for the company. Working as an intern sometimes I was asked to perform inconvenient tasks that take a long time. I’ve learned that it’s important not to be overwhelmed. I need to work even harder and smarter to approve myself to be recognize that I am valuable to the company. I have to convince my colleagues that the trust in the worked environment is very important.
First part of my internship
Event Manager Assistance My main task in my internship was focused on organizing the event. My responsibility was helping prepare the Bayside fundraising event. By the time I started my internship, Bayside was already in the middle of preparing the 2019 Vietnamese Festival fundraising event. It takes about 6 months to organize this event. The event location must be booked one year in advance. The University of San Diego, the most beauty campus in the United States is the place that hosts the event. My tasks were multiform, which allowed me to learn more about the different aspects of the organization. One of my tasks was VIP guess list online searching. Then I needed to enter the detail data on the excel sheet to submit to my supervisor.
When it was approved, I created the event inviting letter and the fundraiser packet that including the event sponsorship with different levels of sponsorship: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and brown. The amount of each level was designed by the whole team who worked in this fundraiser project. I was in charge of writing the VIP list who committed to sponsor for the event and/or attend the event and updating the list with the new guess added. Being responsible for the VIP list helped me learned a lot about the different of the business industries. There were about 500 companies were included in the list and many individual donors were constantly updated to the event fundraiser list.
The invitation letter is attached as Appendix A and the sponsorship form is attached in Appendix B. I was responsible for the correction of all documents and emailed back to the Bayside Community Center CEO to approve and sign. This task gave me the opportunity to approach all of the information that I needed to completed my tasks and gained more in my writing experience. After the invitation letter and the fundraiser packet was sent, I had to reach my target audience by phone to introduce myself and the event that I was working with to promote it and to persuade the potential donors and sponsors the reason why they should invest in our project. I also plan a face to face meeting for a detailed presentation and set up the schedule to go to meet them. After successfully establishing the meeting, I have to keep track of my clients from time to time and maintain good long-term relationships with them.
Secondly, I was responsible for the financial expense. For example, I needed to look for and order champagne bottles for the event. This means finding a liquor store that had the exact brand of champagne and had enough boxes. I was online shopping the quality champagne with the affordable price. Buying stuffs for the event, I got a lot of experience in negotiated field that is very important for my future business. This task also helped me to improve my professional communication level and gave me more confidence in interacting with the English mother tongue. Above all, I was able practice my skills in a real world! One of the important to achieve my goal for this fundraising was find the auction items for the event. The more valuable auction items, the better way to get more funding for Bayside.
Collecting the auction items was very hard work and needed a lot of patience. In fact, I was sent the large number of emails to promote our event and all of information for it, however, Lot of them was not response or emailed back with the negative answer. This task is also a very stressful exercise. Then I had to put together the PowerPoint that has all the auction item information that would be projected to the guests during the auction time in the event. Along with the auction, the pledge cards are shown in the tables for the guests to find them, attached here as Appendix C. The pledge cards are the cards that allow the guest who did not want to donate money at the event but wanted to send it later. We collected these card to call them later. The auction items and the auction game are the fastest and most convincing way to raise funds.
The Vietnamese Festival Fundraising Event is the most solid program. Most of the sponsorship and donations are come from the local business and local donors. This year, the fundraising event of the Vietnamese festival was successful. Bayside Community Center was estimated to collect $55,000 this year compare to the last year was $35,000.00 .
Second part of my internship: Community Advocate Assistance
Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) The fundraising events season ended at the end of October and, therefore, I had another task to play with. I was a critical liaison role between Bayside and the Vietnamese speaking in Linda Vista community. I was trained to be a Resident Leadership Academy trainer and taught this course to the Vietnamese speaking. The Resident Leadership Academy is a ten-class course that helps residents acquire knowledge and tools to make the positive changes in the communities and promote the goals of Live Well San Diego. “Live Well San Diego is the County of San Diego’s vision for a region that is building better health, living safely and thriving. It aligns the efforts of individuals, organizations and government to help all 3.3 million San Diego county residents live well.” This program is for everyone to participate with.
Community Walk The Bayside Community Center collaborated with the Western Police department to organize the Walk Around the Block with the Linda Vista residents. The goal of this activity was to build the relationship between the police and the community to reduce and prevent the crime to increase the safety living for the community. By building the relationship with the police, the community residents have confident to share the safety problems occur in their neighborhood so the polices can inform them the valuable information to solve the problem and to work with them to protect their live. My role was to translate the brochures that would be sent to the Vietnamese community. I took a lot of photos, edited them in Photoshop and then uploaded them to the website. This task gave me more experience to communicate with different kind of people like policeman, English-Spanish speaking, and the Vietnamese speaking only people. This helps me gain more the experience to deal with people that I’m not familiar with in my future business.
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Other task for me during my internship at Bayside was assisted my supervisor to organize a SanDag seminar for the public review of the San Diego Regional Transportation Plan 2019-2050 as well as to help the community define the future transportation system in the region. This workshop examined the transportation network concepts for the 2019-2050 regional plan and collect the input data from the Linda Vista community. I was responsible for preparing the survey for the Vietnamese community and then providing the community feedback to SANDAG through an online survey. I also worked with my supervisor to organize the workshop meeting room. I prepared the laptop, the microphone and I was there during the workshop for any technical assistance.
I am convinced that the training is attended mostly by members of the Vietnamese community of Linda Vista, thanks to their participation, they are becoming increasingly effective in their role as defenders of the community and increase its impact as a leader. The resident Quach Tinh had a positive feedback to the workshops. She really appreciated us and the SanDag program, she said ‘I have an opportunity to raise my voice to SanDag and I also learned to speak English better. I learned to understand the legal rights and browse the social services on my own.’ The RLA has also increased their confidence as a community leader. Tinh now challenges her friends, relatives and neighbors to participate in Linda Vista workshops because ‘we deserve a good life.’ This feeling was shared by colleague RLA graduate Nu Hoang ‘I learned to be more confident, I learned healthy eating habits, such as portion sizes and my dish.’ But RLA not only helps us physically, she continued. ‘It also supports us mentally, socially and psychologically’.
However, the most important story of the Nu, far from their participation in the Leadership Academy, was that she “learned to educate and raise children properly.’ Community leadership can start with the individual level, but extends far beyond the home and community, which has a lasting impact on creating and maintaining a beautiful community. Bayside is proud of its role through the Resident Leadership Academy program that helps many leaders changing their lives and their community in a positive way.
Closely related local organizations Isaac Newton once said that if he saw more than others, it was because he was on the shoulders of the giants. Similarly, the continued success and growth of Bayside would not be possible without the kind contributions of the surrounding community, and the Bayside programs could not help supporting the vibrant and diverse community of Linda Vista without the numerous community partners. Together, Bayside Community Center and its partners including the County of San Diego implement successfully the programs that increase the public health and wellness, safety living and thriving for communities.
History Considering 88 years in a slogan is a difficult task, but for Bayside Community Center it’s easy because it has the rich past in history, a present full of energy and a wonderful vision in the future. Bayside Community Center is a center rooted in the legacy that is advancing today for tomorrow’s launch.
Marketing One of the main reasons why fundraising events were grappling with the numbers was the lack of marketing. Bayside does not have a marketing professional employee to help bringing the event information goes through the public in a best way. In fact, Bayside staffs do not have time to post the event information to the social media in advance time. Most of the event information was post on Facebook only a few days before each event. When a session has been canceled or rescheduled, the next session would have a low number constantly and repeatedly due to lack of communication and marketing to the public. Marketing and a constant flow of communication, such as email or social media would help Bayside increase its numbers that including fundraising amount, workshop, seminar, community meeting participant.
Location San Diego is a conglomeration of beautiful, diverse neighborhoods that give the city its charm and cultural attraction. In the center of San Diego is Linda Vista, rightly called ‘The Heart of San Diego”. When translated into English, Linda Vista means ‘beautiful view’, a fitting description given the stunning view on the ocean-view and Mission Bay to the west and breathtaking canyons and mountains to the east.
However, Linda Vista is more than just a view. Linda Vista is the epicenter. With an estimate of over 25 different spoken dialects, a lively commercial and market center, Asian food, an animation show and annual multicultural parade, a precious celebration of the Vietnamese New Year and countless other cultural-inspired events of culture and diversity. It is also a corridor formation where you can go from pre-kindergarten through Ph.D on a one mile road. It has an impressive 75-year history rooted in military presence, and has a thriving business improvement district along the Morena Blvd corridor. One of Bayside’s most influential contributors is Vinh Luong Tran, owner of the site that Bayside expanded into 6882 Linda Vista Rd. The expansion of Bayside would not be possible without the kindness Vinh presented when he offered the site of a store 99cent previous to Bayside. Vinh shares that elected Bayside, rather than other companies that would provide additional commercial benefits because he wants to make a better, healthier small community.
Varied sources of donation At the beginning of my internship, I spent almost two weeks sending the donations letter to people and organizations who donated funds during the holidays. I was surprised at how much support Bayside received. During the process of accepting donations for the Vietnamese festival fund-raising event, the various sources of support were surprising. Local companies were happy to help by donating money, gift cards or other items in-kind to the auction, but it was the biggest name of the donors that struck me. As mentioned above, the total amount of donations to the organization was between $ 66.900. Another partner of Bayside is very grateful for the desire to remain anonymous. Without their contribution, the history of Bayside could not be shared on such a large scale. This collaborator has an incredibly large and warm heart when he shares ‘When I grow up I want to live in Linda Vista’. When asked why he chose Bayside to return it, he said: ‘It reminds me of the great temples of my house, they are already big and beautiful, but they are still expanding, why not help them when necessary?’
• Finance Many Bayside programs lack funds. This is partly due to the lack of marketing. As indicated above, according to my estimates when I wrote the donor’s thank you letter. The donations have just arrived from San Diego business or San Diego resident. I hope in the future Bayside will have its own marketing department that can enter to the international markets that helps finance its programs.
• Technology advancement As modern technology continually requires companies to be innovative, some of their main competitors have very complex and informative applications. Innovation should be a continuous process so that keeps an organization continuing to grow with any economic situation and stand firm in its market.
Technology development. From my observations, the Bayside donation request was limited to the large donors. Bayside has missed the opportunity to connect to the potential donor pools. Bayside should take advantage of the social media they were already using: facebok, messenger, emails …
As mentioned earlier, the Bayside website was not very easy to use. In relation to donation, Bayside website should simply had a button ‘Donate!’ in the side panel. This must be updated. For example, on the main donation page, a user can choose to donate specific support for educational, economic or cultural programs. Bayside should have the professional marketing department to take care of the organization’s marketing program. The process of the marketing to social media needs to transparent to convince the potential donors and investors to participate in, more importantly, makes the organization look more professional.
Management Structure Creating effective job descriptions for each staff member would be a key step in the right direction for Bayside. The job descriptions must indicate the minimum expectations of the person employed in the position. My suggestion is to have a clear description of the titles and the job descriptions before hiring a staff for the new positions. The job description must clearly communicate the expectations of the position. When this is completed, the important day-to-day functions of the organization should be organized into these job descriptions. If employee confusion about someone’s responsibilities, he/she can refer to previously agreed roles.
Programming and Fundraising During the internship, the main objective of the Bayside Community Center was undoubtedly the ‘Fundraising Event of the Vietnam Festival’. This has left very little room for budget and time for something else, which is regrettable because the organization has three other wonderful programs that often seemed to be careless in terms of administration and funding. My suggestion is to hire an additional staff member to manage the program development. This person must be well qualified for the position and must have experience in writing concessions and raising funds. This potential employee should be follow the guiline in the job description to manage and fundraising organize for each of the programs. A nonprofit organization working to generate awareness and action in other non-profit groups, the description of the work of the Program Manager should include the coordination and administration of all aspects of a program, including event planning, organizing staff, focus on leadership role and need to know how to control the program activities.
Finance and Operations In Bayside, the financial records were written by the director. The general manager was worried that the whole document would be falsified. The finance department should never discuss the organization financial during the meetings. Changing a culture like this it needs to have a financial mindset that requires the right leadership with some years of planning. Each member of staff should be informed of their role in the financial planning process, either by requesting donations or by simply participating in quarterly budget meetings. For planning to succeed, access to accurate financial documents is essential and the key members need to participate in the financial process.
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