What Are the Best Internships in NGO Management?
A common misconception of NGO and nonprofit management internships is that they only teach you how to work for a nonprofit. In truth, the best nonprofit management internships will prepare for a great variety of different work. In learning how to manage an NGO effectively, you’ll develop transferable skills that will serve you in any managerial position, and in many other roles.
In fact, nonprofit internships are arguably one of the best ways to get management experience. There are unique obstacles to overcome in nonprofit work. Rising to these challenges will test you in ways most internships won’t. Working with small, grassroots organizations, you’ll also find greater opportunity for vertical movement – so you’ll take on more responsibility and more exciting tasks too. Finally, and most of all, you’ll get the chance to make a difference for an important cause!
What’s more, with Roots, you can find incredible nonprofit management internships abroad in exciting locations. To help you get started, we’ve compiled some of the best nonprofit management internships we have to offer as well as some tips on how to find nonprofit internships that suit your needs.
This program offers broad insight into an array of nonprofit volunteer based work. It places you at the nexus of a city-wide network of volunteer initiatives in Amsterdam and puts you in charge of teams of volunteer workers.
You’ll work with an organization dedicated to matching volunteers around the city with projects and initiatives where they can contribute. This role will give you the chance to see a wide array of nonprofit work whilst gaining great management experience. You’ll maintain and develop on-going campaigns, organize events and activities, and even get the chance to establish your own initiative.
Join a small, purpose-driven organization working to improve women’s sexual health rights in South Africa. This is one of our best nonprofit management internships for those with a passion for gender equality and female empowerment.
This organization does fantastic work educating young men and women in schools across the greater Cape town area to destigmatize menstruation and distributing sanitary products to impoverished communities. They have a number of areas where interns can help out. Your internship could give you a taste for event management, digital marketing, fundraising, or you could choose one area to specialize in.
If you’re interested in more gender equality internship options, explore all our women’s empowerment internships.
Live within walking distance of one of the wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, and work to help uplift communities by providing children with quality education.
Unlike some nonprofit management internships, this program offers a great mix of managerial experience and ground work. You’ll spend most of your time in the office, assisting the organization’s CEO with the day-to-day running of an NGO, but you’ll also get to visit schools and projects to see the impact of your work. On top of all that, you’ll be in a prime location for to visit the falls, go on safaris, try outdoor activities, or explore the rest of Southern Africa.
This is one of the best Nonprofit Management Internships for the young conservationists of the world. Travel to a remote reserve in the Cloud Forest of the Ecuadorian Andes and help to coordinate a multitude of important conservation activities.
Positioned in one of South America’s biodiversity hotspots, this organization is dedicated to protecting the Cloud Forest and its wildlife through a combination of research, natural resource management, and environmental education. They run a host of innovative research projects and community outreach programs teaching awareness and sustainability. You’ll gain great experience managing varied projects and get involved with valuable, exciting nonprofit work.
4 Tips for Finding Nonprofit Management Internships
If you’re still looking for more advice on how to find the best nonprofit management internships, we’ve got plenty! With years of experience in placing interns with reputable, impactful NGOs, these are the best tips to help you figure out how to work for a nonprofit in the way you want to most.
Know what you want.
The best advice we can offer to those wondering how to find nonprofit internships, or where to find non profit jobs in general, is know what you want.
For obvious reasons, this will help with selecting which nonprofit management internships are best for you. Whether it’s a skill you want to develop, a cause you want to contribute to, or a country you want to visit, knowing what you want will help you find the best nonprofit management internships for your specific wants and needs.
It’s also important to have your own personal goals and priorities in mind once you secure your internship. It’s easy to forget your own goals when starting a nonprofit internship, because you’re so busy joining a team in a new role, meeting new people, and contributing to important work for meaningful causes. Whilst it’s fantastic to make an impact during your internship, be sure not to lose sight of your own goals and interests, and to communicate your ambitions to your supervisors.
Whether it comes from desire to grow, enthusiasm for the role, or passion for the cause, be driven in what you do. Be willing to push yourself a little further than you have done before.
Firstly, be ambitious when choosing and applying for your internship. Don’t be deterred if a program will require completing tasks or taking on roles you’re unfamiliar with. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Apply for the internships where your passion will drive your work, and embrace new challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
Secondly, the ideal intern is both a good team player, and independently driven and ambitious. Nonprofit management internships are what you make of them. Meaning, you’ll have more chances to take on exciting new projects, but it will be up to you to actively seek them out. If you’re willing to show enterprise and innovation, you’d be amazed at what you can achieve, but it’s not all going to be laid out for you.
Reach out to our team if you want some help identifying the perfect internship opportunity!
Get to know your host organization.
By research or by making use of contacts, try to learn as much about your hosting organization as possible. Try to understand the organization both in relation to your role within it, but also how it functions as a whole.
This benefits applicants and interns at every stage of the nonprofit internships process. Start getting to know your organization better from the moment you consider applying. Researching an organization beforehand will help you choose your internship, impress on the interview, prepare, and settle in on your first day.
Once you’ve started the internship, keep going. Get to know your team and try to meet people from other departments or partner organizations. These are valuable learning and networking opportunities. If nothing else, a more thorough knowledge of your organization will give you more to talk about in future interviews and on your CV.
Keep track of your achievements.
Speaking of CVs, be sure to keep a record of everything you do over your nonprofit management internship. Note every skill learned, assignment completed, software used, and responsibility held across your program. Those details will come in handy later on.
Our advice is to keep a journal; it will be a great way to remember your trip for years to come! The process of writing will solidify your experiences and what you learn across the internship too. It can be a difficult practice to keep, but it can really help to make the most of the experience.
It will also help hugely when writing up your new and improved CV after the internship. A top tip here: try and find figures, statistics, and numerical data you can quote on your CV. Numbers look great on a resume. Ideally, you want to be able to quote things like the reach of a marketing campaign, the amount generated by a fundraising drive, or the number of assignments completed per week.
How to Work For a Nonprofit as an Intern
Nonprofit management internships abroad are great for those interested in finding out how to manage an NGO effectively, where to find non profit jobs, and how to work for a nonprofit. They can give you a broad insight into the nonprofit sector, letting you know how an organization functions, and the different roles and jobs within it.
Nonprofit management internships in another country are great experiences, regardless of where you want to work. You’ll develop soft skills and employable characteristics, and a long list of transferable skills. On a personal level too, it will be an incredibly exciting, challenging, and rewarding experience traveling to a foreign country and engaging in important nonprofit work.
If you’re having trouble finding the best nonprofit management internship to suit you and you’d like some expert guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge