We Applied It: Clickmill Internship (I.e. Volunteer) Case Study Results (EDITed)
But Does It Really Work? If you don’t believe that this approach works, we tested it for you here at Clickmill. Here are our results.
Unpaid Clickmill Internship: I offered an internship program on our website and found 4 serious applicants who agreed to commit 15-25 hours per week to the internship for 90 days. That means they were sacrificing between 200-300 hours of their time and effort to Clickmill – and they were EXCITED to do it.
It’s also important to know that this was an unpaid position.
Why would people sacrifice hundreds of hours of their time and energy to do a job that provides no pay?
Because of the benefits package I put together to meet their needs.
- They would get 200-300 hours of training with a professional Christian Digital Marketer. This amount of time would typically cost a client over $25,000 dollars.
- They would track their hours of experience and I would sign off on it.
- They would receive a glowing reference for college applications, job applications, etc.
- They knew that they might receive the exclusive opportunity to work with Clickmill after they completed the internship, because I would only hire interns that I personally trained ( I wouldn’t be looking outside the company to hire).
- They would get to specialize in areas they were passionate about.
- They were given examples of professional-sounding job titles before they joined the internship, so that they had an idea of what titles they might receive. (Business Development Manager Inter, Content Creation Specialist Intern, Advertising Account Management Intern, Search Engine Optimization Specialist Intern, etc.
Further Benefits: I then offered even more custom benefits to each intern as their personal needs and desires became clear.
Content Creator Benefits: I discovered my Content Creation Specialist Intern had been writing for years because she wanted to be a writer. I let her know in advance that once I had sufficiently trained her, she’d be able to research and write her own articles for Clickmill’s website. This would help her in future job and college applications, because she could say in her resume that he work was published on a real business website (she was very excited). Shortly after this, I allowed her to write guest articles for other ministry websites that were working with us, so that she’d be able to say that she’d written professionally for Clickmill and other organizations.
Business Development Manager Intern: This role was created specifically because this student told me she was going to college to study business management. I offered to make her the business manager.
I told her that if she managed the list of tasks I gave her, she’d be able to say that she managed a business making over $XYZ in annual revenue before she finished her first year of college!
After 300 hours of training, my 18-year-old business manager was capable of running a team of 5, managing the company task app, maintaining client relations, reviewing the other team members’ work, training new interns, bookkeeping, budgeting, etc.
Advertising Account Manager Intern: My advertising account management intern is a 30-year-old man with a family. He expressed his frustration with his current job, because they had promised to make him an advertising account manager without ever following through on it. He was willing to take time out of his busy schedule to develop his skills and get the job he wanted.
I told him that if he committed his time to the internship, I would help him transition into the digital advertising field – whether or not he worked with Clickmill.
Results: Of the four interns in our initial test, one decided that marketing wasn’t for him after a couple of weeks. The other three completed the program and began paid work for Clickmill.
Getting Priorities Straight
It’s clear that I have a lot to gain from incentivizing and putting interns to work. Ministry leaders often ask me if this is just manipulation.
The answer is simply, “No.”
Clickmill is my ministry that helps other ministry leaders reach more people, more effectively. I believe that these interns are called by God to do something powerful here at Clickmill and with their lives. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have spent so much time with them – I would never waste hundreds of hours of my most valuable asset on people I didn’t believe in. I saw that they each had immense untapped potential to make an eternal difference that nobody else could make. They are my “inner 3”.
It’s my job to steward the time they sacrifice by preparing them for God’s calling on their lives. As it turns out, one of the best ways to teach and train is to have them learn through hands-on experience. For Clickmill, this means that they need to do professional-level marketing for Christian Ministries.
When you make it your #1 priority to add value to your volunteers, you will find that they will enthusiastically commit more resources to your church in return.
Go all in on your disciples/volunteers.
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