NONPROFIT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Each summer, The Denver Foundation's Nonprofit Internship Program places highly-qualified interns from backgrounds underrepresented in nonprofits (especially students of color, low-income students, immigrant students, and LGBTQIA+ students) with selected current Community Grants Program grantees for a ten-week mutual learning Experience. Selected host sites receive a grant to be used toward wages and taxes to pay an intern, who will spend 300 hours working at their host site and up to 45 hours in workshops with The Denver Foundation. Host sites and supervisors participate in learning throughout the summer in relationship with their interns and through required workshops with The Denver Foundation and all participating organizations. Interns and supervisors develop skills around leadership, management, professionalism, community engagement, and nonprofit work.
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, interns and supervisors participate in a series of workshops. These unique learning touchpoints are supported by strategic and unique curriculum designed to be responsive to the current community landscape and relevant to the work participating organizations are leading.
The curriculum creates space for interns and supervisors to explore and develop their understanding of nonprofit structure and governance, professionalism, equity, community engagement and leadership, and personal growth. Each cohort of interns and each cohort of supervisors has the opportunity to build group cohesion, deep peer relationships, and exceptional personal leadership skills through this process.
“…the most rewarding thing about this internship was how much I feel like I grew over the summer. I got to meet people that I feel like I would not have met otherwise, and really learned about the kind of work I am capable of. As someone who has no connections to the professional world, this internship helped me be comfortable in a formal setting with people I would not have interacted with otherwise." - Intern, 2017
"I greatly value learning from my peers and hearing their experiences and challenges in order to inform my work and growth. As someone who is new to the supervisor role, I appreciated the extra support from these workshops." -Supervisor 2017