NONPROFIT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Each summer, interns partner with Community Grants Program grantees for a ten-week internship. Internships develop students’ leadership in the community, expose students to several aspects of the work of a nonprofit organization, such as programmatic work, fundraising, governance, etc., and introduce interns to a community of their peers who are also interested in improving Metro Denver.
The nonprofit organizations that host interns benefit from additional staff support over the summer, and have the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to their work.
The Nonprofit Internship Program was inspired by findings from the Inclusiveness Project that internships help encourage individuals of color to pursue opportunities in the nonprofit sector. In May 2006, The Denver Foundation conducted a survey with college students and young nonprofit professionals about how nonprofits can better connect with people of color. Of the 112 respondents (all who identified as individuals of color), 95% thought it would be useful for nonprofits to do more outreach to people of color about opportunities for work or leadership in the nonprofit sector and 90% expressed interest in internship opportunities within the nonprofit sector. In response to these findings, The Denver Foundation established the Nonprofit Internship Program in the summer of 2007. Now, in 2013, we are proud to have an alumni base of over 70 interns.
Learning and Leadership
As part of the Nonprofit Internship Program the interns participate in a series of four Learning Workshops and an intensive two-day retreat. These unique learning touchpoints are supported by the distinctive curriculum designed for the program entitled,“Emerging Multicultural Transformational Leadership for the 21stCentury.”
The curriculum is a fluid, experiential and intentional process for each intern to increase their understanding of the elements of Social Justice, Inclusiveness, Racial Equity, Resident Engagement, and Community Leadership within the nonprofit sector. The curriculum allows the interns to explore their own personal growth and self-efficacy to have a greater sense of being able to make a positive difference as a leader within the nonprofit sector. Each cohort of interns has the opportunity to build group cohesion, lasting relationships and exceptional personal leadership skills, while broadening their understanding of the nonprofit community.
“…I got exposed to so many different people that had different roles for the nonprofit sector, and just seeing how many different backgrounds and how many different positions there are that are all necessary, that all play significant parts, I think it really opened my eyes to how many different career choices there are in terms of working for a nonprofit and feeling good about what you do.” – Intern, 2012