Marketing student uses fellowship with the Ronald McDonald House Charities to gain real-world experience and an even greater purpose
Maddie Murch (’26 marketing expected graduation) spent her summer working with central Ohio nonprofit organizations for 10 weeks, helping to inspire the next generation of nonprofit leaders through the Columbus Foundation 2023 Summer Fellowship Program.
Murch was selected to work among other fellows representing six educational institutions to serve a total of 13 nonprofit organizations.
“The Columbus Foundation cohort was made up of students from all stages and walks of life,” Murch said. “I felt motivated by the stories of my co-fellows who were managing many struggles to participate in the program, including balancing their intensive schedules and caring for their families.”
Murch paired with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio to support the Cause Marketing campaign, which aims to forge partnerships with for-profit businesses by enlisting their support through event sponsorships, donations and active participation in volunteering at the RMHC house.
She said the main need for RMHC was a “fresh look” at how to reach different demographics to encourage giving from different communities.
“During the expansion project for the house, we had to close our kitchen for three months, which meant our families would lose the hot meals that we usually provide,” Murch said. “My goal as the marketing intern was to reach as many people as possible and encourage to donate meals.”
To boost awareness and encouragement for meal donations, Murch utilized social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to feature the families in need and the working volunteers to help connect with a younger audience.
In addition to social media, Murch used email campaigns to reach out to catering and food truck companies, explaining the RMHC mission and the need for meal donations during the kitchen closure.
“This personal approach helped us build partnerships and secure meal contributions from local businesses,” said Murch. “I felt truly valued as an equal member in these discussions and recognized the significance of adapting our outreach methods to the evolving needs of our community.”
Entering USC as an undecided major, Murch said she committed to working hard in the “off-season” to gain as much real-world experience as possible when she returned on campus as a student at the Moore School.
“The undergraduate advisors at the Moore School were fabulous in ensuring that I would be on-track, and even ahead, as I moved forward in my major,” Murch said. “I am so thankful for the support I received that set me up for success.”
Recounting her fellowship, Murch says that her experience instilled in her the importance of accountability and responsibility.
“Though I had experience with family illness, helping to care for families while their sick children were in treatment engendered a sense of responsibility to help and support others that was unmatched in my prior experiences,” Murch said.
“This experience taught me that in a team I am responsible not only for myself and my actions, but also those of my group members,” Murch said. “I will bring back an attitude of service, professionalism and teamwork to the Moore School community.”
She said this experience also verified that she chose the right major to ignite her passions for working on real-world marketing projects and helping others.
When asked about where she envisions herself in the future, Murch said that she hopes to be managing accounts, staying ahead of trends and helping companies achieve their goals through “thoughtful, engaging and successful marketing campaigns.”
Reflecting on her 10-week journey, Murch expressed her appreciation for her “incredibly rewarding” summer fellowship.
“The marketing work I did was engaging and interesting, but the perspective I gained during this fellowship and the desire to serve my community is what I will always remember.”