Searching for a summer job or internship in the nonprofit sector is much the same as doing so in the private sector. Always check for internship listings on Cornell Handshake as well as checking the websites below. Nonprofit internships, however, are often not actively advertised. It is important, then, to look for internships that exist from year to year, but may not be well-advertised, and/or to try to generate your own internship by contacting organizations you are interested in. But how do you start?
Particularly for standing (ongoing) internship programs, take advantage of the resources in the Barnes Hall Career Library and your college career office.
Use your favorite internet search engine to find internships in your field of interest (enter arts internships, for instance, or if you can be more specific, arts internships, San Diego, CA). Be sure to follow the application instructions for each internship carefully.
An internet search also yields organizations in the location of your choice (for example, do a search for nonprofits, Nashville, TN). Research those whose work interests you. Send them a resume and a cover letter that describes your interest in the organization, your skills, experience, and what you hope to offer and to learn through an internship.
If you know well in advance where you will be for the summer, try to go there during a break and visit some organizations to conduct Information Interviews. See what these organizations really do, how they work, and meet some interesting people—then keep in touch with them. These contacts may well lead to a summer job. Anytime, anyplace, information interviews are an excellent way to educate yourself about possible career areas, about specific jobs and specific organizations.
Advertisements for full-time positions, whether on Cornell Handshake or elsewhere, are a good means of identifying organizations to contact. The Nonprofit Internship Guide will help you identify both organizations and opportunities. Cornell alumni are also an excellent resource for identifying organizations and getting advice.
The following online resources should also help you in your research:
Click a link category to expand. | expand all
- ACCESS, Networking in the Public Interest
Nonprofit employment clearinghouse, with internship and job listings, and nonprofit career advice.
- Amate House
A year-long volunteer program in Chicago that supports and develops men and women rooted in faith, dedicated to service, and committed to building a more just and loving society. Volunteers are placed in schools, parishes, and social service agencies throughout Chicago and live in intentional communities of six to twelve people. Room, board, health insurance, and small monthly stipend are provided. At completion of program, volunteers also receive the AmeriCorps education award.
AmeriCorps is an opportunity to make a big difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. It’s a chance to apply your skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community. AmeriCorps offers several ways to get involved, from part-time local service programs to full-time residential programs.
- Bell Curves
Bell Curves, LLC is a socially responsible test preparation and educational services company based in New York City. Since its inception, the company has developed a diverse clientele comprised of non-profit organizations, educational institutions, young professionals, and college and graduate school-bound students.
- Blumenthal Internship Program
Paid internships in nonprofit organizations located in NYC or Westchester County. Open to sophomores and juniors interested in social justice and/or human service issues. To apply, go to handshake, enter "Blumenthal" in the key word search, & follow instructions. Deadlines vary.
- Children's Corps
A two-year experience working with a New York City child welfare agency as a caseworker. Full-time salary + health and other benefits. Check for applications in mid-December.
- City Year
City Year is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation.
- Cross Cultural Solutions
Sends short-term volunteers abroad to provide humanitarian assistance in China, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Peru, and Russia. Also in partnership with CARE.
- ECO Jobs
Nonprofit and Government career information, internships, and job postings in the environmental field. Great variety.
- Environmental Internships
Provides links to many environmental internship offerings, from foundations to government.
Internship and job listings with nonprofit organizations; nonprofit career advice, and Idealist-sponsored nonprofit career fairs.
- Internships - USA
The Internship Series provides full, up-to-date information on over 2,800 organizations offering internships and summer jobs for students. To access these listings use the following login information: Username: Cornell Password: GoBigRed
- Interpretive Fellowships at Art Museums and also Conservation Fellowships
One-year post-graduate internships in art history, conservation, museum education, or curation. Deadline: Early April.
- J.W Saxe Fund Network/Resources for Public Service
The J.W. Saxe Memorial Fund provides scholarships annually to one or more undergraduate or graduate students working in public service. The award is meant to enable the student to gain practical experience in public service by taking a no-pay or low-pay job during a summer or other term.
- National Gallery of Art Graduate Internships
A year-long internship available to graduating seniors and those who have recently completed their MA, MFA, or M Arch degrees. Deadline: Early January. Ph: 202-842-6257.
- New Organizing Institute
A progressive non-profit based in Washington, DC, with the goal of spreading organizing techniques and best practices to the progressive community. Their site provide a jobs listserv, advice, and resume bank - all free.
- New York City Public Service Corps
The New York City Public Service Corps (NYCPSC) is a placement agency in Manhattan that helps Cornell Federal Work-Study (FWS) eligible students find employment with certain non-profits and city agencies/departments in the five boroughs of New York. The application allows you to specify several career-related work areas of interest and rank your preferred work locations. Cornell requires that you also submit a resume with the application, to assist the agency in identifying a position relevant to your interests and experience. Students are paid an hourly rate based on class year. You must submit an online application by late April or early May. Visit 103 Barnes Hall for more information.
- Operation Crossroads Africa
Sponsors seven-week cross-cultural exchanges and small-scale development projects in Africa each summer. All Crossroads projects are community-initiated, and participants will live and work with hosts who have designed the project. The participation fee of $3,800 covers international airfare, orientation costs, in-country transportation, materials, food, accommodations, all scheduled program expenses, visas, and international health insurance.
- Partnership for Public Service
The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.
- Partnership for Public Service's Where the Jobs Are
Their internship directory includes information on more than 200 federal internship programs and is searchable by agency, eligibility, and location.
- Peace Corps
Contains information on becoming a volunteer, background on the organization, "Domestic" information and more.
- Philly Fellows
A one-year program that connects recent graduates with meaningful positions in partnering nonprofits, where they can build capacity, develop new professional skills, and make a difference in the city of Philadelphia.
- Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program
Prepares college juniors or rising seniors for graduate studies in public and/or international affairs and grooms them for professional roles in public service. A prospective PPIA Fellow must have completed junior year by the start of Junior Summer Institute (JSI) and have at least one full semester or two quarters of course work remaining before graduation, must not have attained a Bachelor’s Degree prior to start of Junior Summer Institute, must be committed to completing a Master’s Degree in public and/or international affairs at one of the PPIA Consortium graduate schools.
- Teach for America
Teach For America is growing the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Research and public health internships in HHS, NIH, and other federal agencies.
- Visions in Action
Visions in Action is an international development organization based in Washington, DC with field offices in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and Liberia. VIA implements its own development programs in the areas of food security, education, international exchange, and HIV/AIDS, while also providing volunteer programs for those looking for a long-term international experience in developing countries.
The organization offers a variety of online services to support a community of nonprofit, volunteer, and business leaders committed to civic engagement.
- Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.) Summer Fellowship
A 9-week summer program for juniors and seniors “who are interested in a dynamic and fast-paced work environment that offers a hands-on introduction to the fields of positive youth development, education, and non-profit management.” Location: Evanston, Illinois. Fellows serve simultaneously as role models, mentors, tutors, counselors, problem-solvers, crisis intervention workers, and life skills coaches for the youth in our programs.
- ACCESS, Networking in the Public Interest