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Community Fellows Blog Posts

Sara Montenegro: Marketing a Mission that Speaks to You

Sara shares her experience applying commercial marketing concepts to the nonprofit world.


2020-21 LSB Community Fellows

I am beyond grateful to be working with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County as a Marketing and Communications Intern through the Community Fellows program. Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County seeks to help people of all cultures and beliefs rise up out of poverty and overcome the barriers to self-sufficiency and wellness. The opportunity to work with this organization in this role has not only granted me valuable work experience and insights to the areas surrounding Santa Clara University, but also a new perspective on how commercial business skills can be applied to the nonprofit and community sector. As a dedicated marketing student with a passion for social justice, I have long sought the chance to apply my marketing knowledge to a mission that impassions me, and this internship has offered exactly that chance.

In my position, I spend a great deal of time working on posts for social media. The goal of these social media posts are to advertise our services, bring in donations, showcase our work in the community, and establish a sense of accessibility and trust with community members. In my role as the Marketing and Communications Intern, I often find myself drawing on lessons taught in my Principles of Marketing and my Effective Communications in Business courses. The same concepts that apply to convincing a consumer to purchase a product or service also apply to inspiring a person to donate to a program or cause. Similarly, the same way that a corporate marketing professional seeks to create brand awareness, we seek to inform the community about the social services that we offer, like food distribution, immigration legal counseling, and rental assistance. I find myself learning new skills every day in my classes that inform my work at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County: I view my coursework through a completely different lens than I did before having the opportunity to work with a nonprofit.

For those students who also seek the opportunity to use their business school skills and knowledge in a non-corporate setting, I strongly urge you to plug yourself into the types of government, community, or nonprofit organizations that you’re interested in working with. There is a unique opportunity to network with these types of organizations, as many are always on the search for volunteers, and these volunteer opportunities offer the chance to build relationships and make connections, potentially leading to internships, jobs, or project-based work. I promise you that if you find an organization that inspires you, you will value every day that you work with them. I believe that working for an organization that fills you with passion and inspiration is crucially important to our happiness, and what better way to do that than work with a nonprofit whose mission speaks to you?

NPI, NPI Fellows