It’s true: money makes the world go around. Every nonprofit trying to make an impact relies on securing funds for their projects. Without it, a nonprofit’s work stops and the community or cause they support loses out. That’s why they’re always in need of talented, enterprising individuals who can help them fundraise.
A fundraiser internship offers you the chance to support a nonprofit in the most practical way possible. You’ll work on innovative, creative projects that can raise funds and fuel the important work these organizations do. Of course, learning how to fundraise for a nonprofit will be a valuable experience for you too. There are all kinds of transferable skills you’ll pick up: communication skills, time management, pitching and presentation skills. Also, regardless of the career you’re working towards, it’ll look great on a CV. There’s no industry in the world that doesn’t appreciate the ability to make money!
It being such an integral part of nonprofit work, there’s a lot of organizations looking for fundraising interns. With so much choice, it can be difficult to find the best fundraising internships for your specific needs and interests. There’s a lot of important factors to consider too. During the application process, take your time choosing your program; and if need be, find a little help. At Roots, we’re here to help you match you with an organization where you can make an impact whilst developing the skills you want to build a career with!
We’ve narrowed down our favorite fundraising internships at NGOs, and outlined some of our best suggestions on how to find one that suits you best.
What Are the Best Internships in Fundraising?
Learn how to fundraise for a nonprofit in the Itacaré region of Bahia, on the Cocoa Coast of Brazil! This program places you with an organization working to promote sustainable practices in a coastal community in Brazil. They run a number of community uplift initiatives with a special focus on youth development. Your work will include devising and heading up fundraising campaigns, writing grants, coordinating marketing strategies, and creating content for a variety of online channels.
With this internship, you’ll help secure vital funding for meaningful work as you gain an array of skills in fundraising, marketing, and communications, whilst living in a tropical paradise. What more could you ask for from fundraising internships.
Travel to the thrilling city of Cape Town and support a network of impact-driven organizations around South Africa. During this internship you’ll learn how to fundraise for non profit organizations on a case-by-case basis as you work with a company dedicated to providing fundraising support for a number of grassroots organizations who lack the capacity to run fundraising campaigns. This is one of our best fundraising internships because it offers you the chance to join multiple organizations. During your time in Cape Town, you’ll develop a range of skills and experience working on multiple campaigns.
You’ll also be working as part of a team of seasoned professionals who’ll provide training and supervision as you research your own funding opportunities, write grant applications, and create funding proposals.
Travel to Zambia, build strong bonds with the locals, and gain extensive experience marketing and fundraising. If you want to get to know the community you’re working with, this is one of the best fundraising internships out there.
This program has you working as part of a community center that provides educational programs for children and professional skill-building for adults. As well as their education and employment initiatives, the center hosts recycling clubs for kids, female empowerment for teenage girls and health workshops.
You’ll support this valuable work by helping to raise awareness and funds through marketing and grant-writing. It’s an opportunity for you to develop a broad skill set in both marketing and fundraising. What’s more, you’ll be based only a few miles from Victoria Falls, so you’ll have plenty of activities for your time off.
This is your chance to make a real impact in the world and learn how to fundraise for a nonprofit from the comfort of your own home.
This organization partners with local broadcasters in a selection of African countries, and provides skill-development programs and support for young journalists. The organization sees radio as an agent of social change and supports the broadcasting of informational programming on topics like the environment, health, and the government in rural, underdeveloped areas.
Your work will revolve around securing funding for the organization. Your primary focus will be writing grant applications and impact reports, but you’ll also have the opportunity to get involved with other fundraising efforts and writing projects.
Live on a game reserve surrounded by wildlife and work alongside biologists and conservationists raising funds and awareness for the endangered ground hornbill. This is one of the best fundraising internships for the wild of heart.
This program puts you with an organization dedicated to the protection of the iconic bird, the endangered ground hornbill. As the only organization entirely dedicated to the protection of the hornbill, they take a comprehensive approach to its conservation. They run research projects, rearing and reintroduction schemes, and educational programs to reduce hunting of the species.
Your role will allow you a solid overview of different aspects of nonprofit work whilst getting to focus on an area that suits your experience and skills. You could get involved in fundraising, grant applications, monitoring and evaluation, marketing and communications, or donor relation management.
Here’s another exciting prospect for those with an interest in both charity fundraising internships and animals. This organization supports the welfare of street cats and dogs in Livingstone through mass vaccination, spay and neuter campaigns, and animal welfare workshops at schools. Their aim is to reduce the populations of feral cats and dogs in the area and educate owners to take care of their animals.
You’ll be a big part of a small organization on this program, meaning you’ll get the chance to take on work you wouldn’t be able to on other fundraiser internships. Your work will be focused on grant writing and funding proposals, but you’ll also get the chance to assist with marketing campaigns, communications channels, and some more innovative funding initiatives like donations of books, clothes, and furniture.
Travel to Cusco, Peru, and join in targeted, psychology-based social work empowering talented young women from disadvantaged beginnings to break the cycle of poverty.
This fundraising internship places you with an organization working to utilize education as a means of addressing poverty and gender inequality. They provide a comprehensive system of financial, education, and emotional support for young women from impoverished neighborhoods of Cusco.
The work this organization does relies entirely on donations and outside funding. As a fundraising intern, your job will be to connect the organization with this support. You’ll be involved in the strategic decision-making of marketing campaigns, fundraising drives, and budgeting. Meanwhile, you’ll gain extensive experience in communications, web design, content creation and more.
5 Tips for Finding Charity Fundraising Internships
Now that you have an idea, or what some of the possibilities are, it’s time to start thinking of what you’ll do once you’ve been accepted on your internship. Whilst an internship tends to be at least a few months long, you’ll be surprised at how quickly it flies by. That’s why it’s best to put some forethought into how to make the most of the experience.
1. Research the Organization
You want to learn as much as you can about an organization before even applying, but you shouldn’t stop researching once you’ve got the placement either.
Knowing more about the organization will allow you to more smoothly integrate and find your place in the team. It will also speed up any training in your program as you’ll be able to focus on learning how to fundraise for nonprofit organizations instead of what your organization does.
If nothing else it will help calm any nerves you might have. Starting any fundraiser internship will be a bit of a leap into the unknown. Equipping yourself with a bit of contextual knowledge beforehand will help to give you an idea of what you’re getting in for.
We actually have two useful tips here. Firstly, get in touch with your hosting organization with any questions you might have. This’ll be the best way to get information on the internship and it’ll help you impress your supervisors before your first day even starts.
Secondly, research the area you’ll travel to as well. Your work won’t be the only exciting challenge you’ll face on an internship abroad. Make sure you have an idea of local customs and traditions, cultural differences, cuisines, and travel opportunities you don’t want to miss out on.
2. Be Intentional
What we mean by this, is have a plan, or at least an idea of what you want to get from your internship. This will help you to really hit the ground running when you start.
Many people use internships to explore career options they don’t know a great deal about. Of course, if this is the case, it can be more difficult setting goals beforehand. However, the clearer idea you have of what you want to achieve with your internship the more likely you are to achieve it.
Another thing, one of the greatest experiences you’ll get from a charity fundraising internship will be the impact you make. Therefore, it’s a good idea to not just think of what you can get from your fundraising internship, but what you can bring to the table too.
Turn up to your first day with a strong idea of what you want, what you can offer, and some ideas of what work you’d like to get involved with. The best fundraising internships come from interns who know what they want!
3. Be Open-minded
We know, this kind of contradicts the last tip, but being open to new experiences will be important too.
Nonprofit fundraising internships offer a great overview of the nonprofit sector and can introduce a lot of different aspects of nonprofit work. Learning how to fundraise for a nonprofit will teach you everything you need to know about that nonprofit and how it runs. Funds are the life-source of any nonprofit organization, and seeing how that money is raised and how it is spent allows you insight to every level of the organization.
This means you will likely be introduced to an aspect of nonprofit work you aren’t familiar with during your fundraising internship. That’s why it’s so important you stay open-minded. You might gain understanding of something unfamiliar, develop a new skill, or find a new interest or passion that could inspire an entirely new career path. Allow yourself space to be surprised!
4. Prepare Ahead
People apply to charity fundraising internships at different points in their lives and careers, and with varying degrees of experience in the field. If this is your first step on a new career path, it might be a good idea to test out your fundraising abilities beforehand.
Fortunately, there are a lot of different ways you can try your hand at fundraising all by yourself. Perhaps you want to try running a marathon or organizing a bake sale. Maybe you’d be more interested in building a website with a donations page. Even if you’re just asking friends and family to donate to the organization you’ll be working with, the experience will come in handy.
There are so many things you could try and experiment with before your internship, you’ll have an idea of what sort of challenges you’ll come to face. This will make you a more valuable addition to the team you’ll work on and it will also help to boost your confidence and get past those first day jitters.
5. Track Achievements
One of the biggest things you’ll get from a charity fundraising internship is a huge CV boost! That’s why it’s so important to keep a detailed record of all the projects and campaigns you worked on, and their results.
Having an international fundraiser internship with a nonprofit on your resume communicates a lot of desirable qualities to an employer. It shows enterprise, a philanthropic mentality, and a global mindset. If you can then back that up with a list of projects and the impact your work made, your CV will really stand out.
One other insider tip here: try to look for statistical information you can quote on your CV. Whether it’s the amount a funding campaign raised, or the number of donors reached, or the spread of a marketing campaign, numbers look great on a CV.
6. Network All You Can
Fundraising internships will put you in contact with a wide array of people and businesses from all kinds of industries. Every person you meet during your program could be a future lead to your dream job.
A lot of fundraising internships include the opportunity to take on tasks donor relations management, communications, and funding applications. These are roles that will put you in touch with people from all kinds of industries. Use it as a chance to practice building professional relationships and be sure to keep hold of any contacts you make.
7. Have Fun
Another sound bit of advice for fundraising internships: remember to have fun! First of all, the best fundraising internships are designed to see if you suit the work, but also if the work suits you. By following what you’re passionate about, you will find the area you can make the greatest impact in.
Beyond that, an internship abroad isn’t all about professional development and career opportunities; you’ll also get travel opportunities. In addition to professional contacts, you’ll make real, lifelong friends. Be sure to make the most of every aspect of your internship.
Learn How to Fundraise for a Nonprofit Through an Internship with us!
If this article has got you excited and you’re ready to start finding the best fundraising internships for you, check out all the fundraising internship programs we have available. Or, get in touch with our team ASAP to get even more advice.
This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge