Among its many effects, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the experiences of many college students, preventing them from attending on-campus classes or experiencing traditional internships. At Oberlin College, third-year students had the opportunity to complete virtual micro-internships at a variety of organizations. This program was meant to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in areas of professional interest. CEP was fortunate to host Phil Kozenski, an Archeological Studies major from Indiana, for a micro-internship in the fall of 2020.

In this post, Phil reflects on his time with CEP. We are thankful to the Oberlin College Career Development Center for organizing this opportunity, and very grateful to Phil for his contributions to our organization last fall.

My work at CEP revolved around grantee survey data — primarily reviewing grantees’ opinions about the foundation gathering their feedback through the Grantee Perception Report, redacting sensitive information, and qualitatively analyzing and categorizing grantees’ answers. As an intermediary of the funder-grantee relationship in this way, I learned about the grantee needs that have and have not been met by foundations in the wake of COVID-19.

Grantees and foundations alike are dealing with the unique challenges of COVID-19. One particular foundation using the GPR whose feedback I analyzed had made many beneficial changes and increased the flexibility of their grants to accommodate these challenges. As one of the foundation’s grantees wrote, “The Foundation’s emergency funding and loosening of restrictions post-COVID-19 has been invaluable.” However, even for large organizations like foundations, functioning under the stress of the pandemic without leaving any partners behind can be demanding, which is why listening to grantees candidly and comprehensively is so essential.

Read the full article about takeaways from an introduction to the world of philanthropy by Phil Kozenski at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.