The Shape of Things to Come

Katy Kat

Kat and Katy

Feedback from alumni, supervisors, and friends of D-SIP has helped shape the internship program into a benchmark nationally. Still in its first decade of life, D-SIP is constantly evolving. This year brings one big change.

After more than seven years as program director, Kat Walsh will be passing the D-SIP leadership baton on to Katy Wallander. An alum of D-SIP 2009, Katy has served as D-SIP program coordinator for the past four years. While stepping down as director, Kat will continue to lecture in the Friday afternoon Professional Development class and, as a program co-creator, will always remain an important part of D-SIP. As the ongoing director of Student Engagement, Kat manages the Telefund and Student Philanthropy teams and continues to build a culture of philanthropy on campus.

Victors for D-SIP

MollyandSteveThe support of D-SIP’s founding donor, Molly Dobson (AB ’44, HLLD ’12), was critical to launching a program that has grown to include 163 alumni, garner two national awards, and set the standard for development internships at institutions of higher education across the country.

Molly’s support was also critical in establishing and fully funding the salaries of Dobson interns—D-SIP interns working in community nonprofits. Without Molly’s support to D-SIP, most or all of these organizations would be unable to afford summer interns.

In addition to her financial support, Molly’s time and talent have influenced D-SIP enormously. Every summer, she visits D-SIP to talk with the interns, sharing with them her personal journey and philanthropic experiences.

Molly’s son, Steve Dobson (MBA ’72), has long served as a member of the Dobson committee, helping D-SIP select meaningful projects, supportive host sites, and interns well-suited for the Dobson internships.

This past fall, as the University launched the Victors for Michigan campaign, both Molly and Steve, and Steve’s wife Judy, chose to be Victors for D-SIP with generous campaign gifts. Molly’s gift will allow our Dobson internships to continue beyond this summer, when funding would otherwise have expired, and Steve and Judy’s gift will enhance D-SIP’s overall programming.campaign


These gifts will sustain the parts of the program that have so benefitted the Ann Arbor community and enriched classroom discussions as well as embellish the overall program toward the end of its first decade. We appreciate the Dobsons’ support and look forward to the future of D-SIP.

Welcome D-SIP 2014!



Eight years ago, the Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP) began preparations to send its first cohort—17 interns—into development offices around campus. Today we celebrate the 26 D-SIP interns who are in the first full week of the 2014 program. They join a family of 163 alumni.

Please find the biographies for each intern here.

Focused Fundraising for Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan has been an integral component of my undergraduate career. This organization is the state of Michigan’s largest student-run non-profit. It is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for pediatric rehabilitation programs at C.S. Mott and Beaumont’s Children’s Hospital. Throughout the year, students are dedicated to creating bonds with the families we aim to impact, raise funds in an energetic and creative manner, as well as plan events to enhance these initiatives. At the end of the year, the student’s efforts culminate in a thirty-hour event, where all members stand in honor of the cause.

DMUM 2 (Monica D-SIP Blog Post)

I have been involved in Dance Marathon for four years, each year with varying levels of involvement. As I applied for the Development Summer Internship Program I anticipated it would impact me greatly, but I could have never imagined the many ways it would influence my involvement in Dance Marathon. This impact began with personal practices and relationships, but expanded further to organization wide practices.

I was able to take lessons and assignments from D-SIP and directly implement into my committee. For example, during the summer we discussed the importance of Strengths Based work, and I wanted to make sure to follow this principle with those that I work with throughout the year. Thus in one of our initial meetings we completed the VIA Strengths Test, allowing us to work cohesively as a team. Moreover, we have been able to more effectively assign tasks by understanding where our team member’s strengths are. In the middle of the summer we did a quick exercise to show our appreciation for our D-SIP cohort, and by seeing the success of this I have also established a practice of sharing appreciations at the end of each meeting. Throughout the summer I was able to take activities we completed for D-SIP and adopt them to create a more cohesive, well-working team to benefit Dance Marathon.

The growth for Dance Marathon did not stop with the impact on my specific committee, but also larger practices to follow as an organization. First, through my project of compiling a comprehensive benchmarking study for Michigan Telefund I was able to learn the process for effective benchmarking, as well as the importance of documenting the best practices found within an organization. Secondly, I was able to expand the establishment of gratitude practices from my committee to the organization as a whole. I understood that donors often like to be stewarded in different ways, and we as an organization had been lacking on showing our appreciation to all donors. For example, we had not released an impact report in a few years, and thus people did not fully understand what their money was going to. In addition, potential donors have different types of motivations, so by sharing these types and surveying our current donors we can more effectively plan our fundraising pushes.

Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan has also never before been successful in applying for grants, so I have been able to share the information learned in the classroom to hopefully improve this. Lastly, one of the lessons of D-SIP that resonated the most with me is finding one’s passion, and finding new ways to engage with it. We heard this from the leaders of D-SIP, from our guest speakers, and it was incorporated in many of the readings we had. This simple idea reminded me as a leader I must work to link passions for members of the organization as well as donors to our organization.

DMUM (Monica D-SIP Blog Post)

The Development Summer Internship Program impacted me in so many ways, but I was even more grateful for its contributions to an organization I love. I had the privilege of directly applying each discussion, activity, and lesson to my experience throughout the school year. D-SIP has the power to affect every facet of an intern’s life if they allow it to, and I am excited to see where D-SIP’s information and inspiration will reach.

Application tip: Make sure to highlight what you are passionate about. This will set your application apart from others and will truly let your voice come out.

Post by:
Monica Philipp (D-SIP ’13)

Philanthropy and the Arts

The first time I heard about budget cuts in the arts, I was shocked. I was also saddened because I realized that the youth of today would not have exposure to the same life-changing experiences that I had the fortune of being exposed to in music classes growing up.

Mike D-SIP Blog Post

Without funding for the arts, I never would have stayed so involved in the arts. Because of my active involvement in the arts, I continued to play through college with the Michigan Marching Band. The MMB provided me with an incredible experience in leadership and commitment to an organization. I was immersed in a culture of Michigan passion. This passion ignited a fire of Michigan love in my life. I began to explore the behind-the-scenes action that took place at the University. Being on scholarship, I was now able to participate in some of the vast experiences Michigan offered. Picking which experiences I wanted to pursue was overwhelming. One experience I did want to try was the Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP), and after being accepted, my life changed for the better. I learned what self-discipline meant, how important emotional intelligence is, and how a career in development means a career in improving yourself and the people around you. Without the D-SIP experience, I would not be where I am today.

Through determination and hard work, I found I was passionate about giving back. My passion for giving back will eventually help another young student unveil their passion for years to come, as I am now currently working as a fundraiser for the band.

Application Tip: Make your resume stand out: make it genuine, only you are you!  The program is not looking for one specific applicant – all of the projects and workplace environments will be different.

Post by:
Michael Sullivant, (D-SIP ’13)

Proper Stewardship for University of Michigan’s Alternative Spring Break

I chose to apply to D-SIP last year because I wanted to grow my skills as a fundraiser. As a member of the University of Michigan Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, I had previous experience with small-scale fundraising – bucketing, letter writing, and small grants – but wanted to learn how to leverage my time and resources to create a bigger impact on the organization. D-SIP taught me just that, and so much more.

Kim, ASB

Before summer 2013, I knew very little about Development. I knew the “big names” on campus buildings – C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Shapiro undergraduate library – were the result of philanthropic gifts but this meant little to me. I just assumed these people gave a lot of money, and didn’t realize these buildings came about as a result of years of hard work (surprise!). After working in Development for the summer, I realized philanthropic gifts are a reflection of the donors who give them, and every gift, large or small, has a story behind it. These stories are what make philanthropy special and the U of M Development staff is lucky enough to be a part of them each and every day.

Prior to this internship, I rarely thought about those who donated to ASB. What are their stories and reasons for giving? How can we adequately thank them for the experiences they have helped create? D-SIP taught me to think about ASB in a comprehensive manner, and to be thankful for those who have helped create a lifetime of memories through their giving.

Application tip: Triple check your whole application for small mistakes (for example, spelling or grammar)! They’re so pesky and can make a huge difference in your application.

Post by:
Kim Cui (D-SIP ’13)