We’re happy to introduce our awesome summer intern, Ben Simmons, a Psychology major at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Ben is headed into his senior year and just recently returned from studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. We sat down with Ben to get to know him and his philanthropic experiences a bit better.
CC: What extra-curricular activities are you involved in on campus?
BS: I am a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity, Ski and Snowboard club, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology Club.
CC: Tell us about a specific time when you gave back to your community!
BS: My fraternity puts together events to raise money for our international philanthropy partner, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, every semester. Last spring, I was a member of the Philanthropy committee and we decided to do an entire Jimmy V week (similar to ESPN) where we had an activity/event every day of the week with the goal of raising money for the V Foundation. Some of my favorites were a volleyball tournament on campus, Timberwolves game and pasta dinner. Overall, we raised over $2000 for the V Foundation. It was such a big success in the spring that our chapter took over the Delta Chi International Headquarters Instagram story to live stream our events in the fall!
CC: Who would you consider your philanthropic role model and why?
BS: My philanthropic role model would be my late grandfather, Dennis Brown. He was the type of person who was always very generous with his money but never wanted the recognition for his donations. I really admired this type of philanthropy because to him, it wasn’t about being noticed for giving his money, it was about doing good for someone else, which is an idea that sometimes gets overlooked. Another reason he is my role model is because his philanthropy didn’t stop with financial contributions— he would always donate his time to the cause he was supporting. I specifically remember a time when our church was planning on constructing a garden for congregation members to visit. My grandpa provided enough money for the project that the church asked if they could name it after him once it was finished and he refused. This is just one short example of why Dennis Brown is my philanthropic role model and I strive to give my time and resources as selflessly as he did.
CC: Which Campus Causes campaigns really stood out to you and why?
BS: The campaign that stood out to me the most was the Mississippi State Dance Marathon. They raised more than $5,000 for their campus dance marathon and cause. They were also the winners of the Campus Causes ‘Why I Dance’ contest! Their campaign was extremely successful, and I think that other campaigns should look to this one as a great example of how successful they can be. It also stood out to me because they had almost 50 team members, they really got their people to engage and spread the word.
CC: Are you using Campus causes to raise funds? (Link to campaign)
BS: Yes, I started a campaign for my fraternity and our philanthropic partner, the V Foundation for Cancer Research. More to come soon.
CC: What are you most excited about becoming an intern with Campus Causes?
BS: I am most excited to get some real-world marketing experience as well as an opportunity to push my comfort zone to find out what type of work I’m interested in after I graduate. This internship will also be a great way to grow my network through connections within Campus Causes and on my own campus. I’m also looking forward to developing my interpersonal skills both professionally and personally.
CC: What tips and tricks do you have for others raising funds with CC on campus (and beyond)?
BS: The biggest challenge is to make people aware. Invite friends and family so everyone can contribute and see the highest returns for your cause. Also, I think it is important to continually remind people of your campaign so that as soon as someone needs a new pair of running shoes, they automatically go to the campaign page and shop through the platform. The FlipGive browser extension is great since it reminds you when there’s a chance to earn cash back when you shop online – and the new FlipGive app makes it easy to shop-to-raise and keep up with your campaign on the go.
CC: Ok, let’s get random! If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one thing with you, what would it be and why?
BS: If I could only bring one thing it would be an iPad because I could download all the books I ever wanted onto the kindle app, I could watch TV/Netflix and I could google things like “how to build a raft” and “how to send smoke signals”. All assuming the island was equipped with some pretty strong wi-fi.
*Interview shortened for length*