Community Spotlight: Aunna Cloos
The United Way’s new intern is utilizing the arts to benefit nonprofits.

Community Spotlight: Aunna Cloos

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Aunna Cloos, a senior at Northern State University, has joined us for the summer through the United Way Internship program. During the early stages of planning a business internship with Aunna, we realized she is actually a double major. She is also majoring in art and was looking for a second internship in photography. We brainstormed together and came up with a unique idea that could have a great impact on area nonprofits.

One area of need that several agencies have identified is help with content for their marketing libraries. Gone are the days of a simple brochure and a small website. Nonprofit agencies are just like any other business that needs to get the word out about their services and bring awareness to the causes they are passionate about. Building a library of photography for websites, social media, and other projects is a challenge with limited resources and funds. Through Aunna’s art internship, we are able to offer her as a resource to all of our member agencies to build up their photos and resources. She has contacted and started meeting with agencies to learn more about their organizations, how they impact the community, their connection with United Way, and how she may be able to assist them with her photography skills. So far, she has been able to photograph our Day of Champions, where we partner with Northern State University, and the National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive. She will be working closely with all our member agencies to help them expand their photo libraries for whatever purpose they need. These include staging marketing photos, events they are hosting, campaigns they are working on, and just the everyday functions of the organizations. For example, Aunna took photos at Safe Harbor’s “Donut Days”, photographing the various outreach events that the Salvation Army hosts, and updated photos of signs and buildings for the Aberdeen Area Senior Center and Lutheran Social Services – New Beginnings Center.

Some of the other opportunities she will be able to experience are our allocation processes, meetings with our Board of Directors, expanding her network of people, assisting with Meals on Wheels, and other activities through our organization as well as our partner agencies. By meeting with the agencies, she is able to make those connections for the future and also expand her knowledge of the nonprofit sector in general. If you see Aunna out in the community this summer, say hi and ask her what she’s learning about our community. We are excited to see great results from her creativity and passion for nonprofits. //