Savannah Smith – The Hope of a Cure

Savannah Smith

Public Relations

Project Summary

I decided I wanted my Senior Project to be about my passion and the organization I hope to work for one day after I graduate. I had the great opportunity to work with a nonprofit fundraising group called JDRF. They are a group dedicated to raising money for children living with Type 1 diabetes and raising funds towards more advanced technology for those kids. Their overall goal is to help find a cure, and that takes a lot of fundraising to do the research. I have diabetes and have volunteered with JDRF in the past as a kid, so this was an exciting experience to do more of the “adult work” of organizing a fundraising group.

JDRF has a main annual event every May where they raise money by having a walk. The only way it works, however, is to find participants and keep them involved the entire way. This was a problem for JDRF because of the restrictions of COVID-19, and they lost touch with numerous people who had participated in the past. My job was to find and keep in touch with the participants in the mid-west side of Idaho, while updating them about the events and encouraging them to keep doing their best. This meant that I needed to come up with persuasive methods of helping the parents of these diabetic kids participate in the walk during May, and to invite companies to donate for charity.

One of the most important skills someone needs if they want to go into Communications is to be an effective communicator. So, I created emails to send out every week to inform the participants about their progress and other news I felt they should know about with JDRF and the progress being made with new technology. I also created and edited Excel spreadsheets with other volunteers at JDRF so we could keep our information current. It was important to keep a positive relationships with the participants, so I did my best to only send the information that people were wanting instead of spamming their inbox with information they didn’t ask for. I also made sure not to call people who had informed me they couldn’t participate this year, since I didn’t want to irritate them with unnecessary calls.

Overall, I had a great experience with JDRF and helping them organize the fundraising over the past few weeks. I learned so much about the “behind the scenes” of running a fundraiser, and it made me appreciate all the work that people do to make living with diabetes a little better.


Attached below are some of the documents I made or worked on with other volunteers.

JDRF Walk Documents