The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation recently graduated the newest and largest class of interns from the 2017 Non-Profit Internship Program (NPIP), whose alumni base now exceeds 100 young North Carolinians.
Established in 2011 by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to diversify the pool of aspiring, young nonprofit professionals, NPIP awards college students paid summer internships and matches them with organizations across the state. Recent research from the Building Movement Project has shown that even as the United States becomes more diverse, the nonprofit sector struggles to be representative of the communities they serve, especially when it comes to leadership positions among staff. NPIP addresses inequities in the pipeline of future nonprofit professionals by removing barriers for talented young people who otherwise would be unable to accept an unpaid position.
This summer, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation partnered with five additional funders – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Foundation for a Healthy High Point, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Weaver Foundation, and The Winston-Salem Foundation – to offer a total of 32 internships across the state. The number of interns is an increase from the previous summer, which found placements for 27 interns.
“When we first established the Non-Profit Internship Program in 2011, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation was funding 20 positions for students across the state,” said Maurice “Mo” Green, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “Since then, we have seen immense interest from other North Carolina funders who share our vision of a more accessible and diverse nonprofit sector. The Foundation is proud to announce the largest NPIP cohort to date, made possible by the visionary collaboration of our funding partners.”
Other funders echo the Foundation’s excitement for the potential of a program like NPIP. “The Foundation for a Healthy High Point is delighted to be a part of this important and valuable funders collaboration led by ZSR,” said Tina Markanda, executive director of the Foundation for a Healthy High Point. “The opportunity to support community nonprofit partners while simultaneously assisting in the development of the next generation of nonprofit professionals will create long lasting impact as our foundations respectively strive to serve communities throughout North Carolina.”
One nonprofit organization, whose intern was funded by the Weaver Foundation, hired their intern from this summer to their permanent staff. “Our experience with our NPIP intern, Tahjma, was so great, we have hired her,” said Winston McGregor, executive director of the Guilford Education Alliance. “She is now working with us part-time while going to school. We have worked to diversify our staff and board, but with an organization as small as ours that isn’t an overnight process. I don’t know that we would have connected with Tahjma through our typical channels and are grateful that NPIP brought her into our orbit. She is a tremendous systems thinker, has really strong work experience and has integrated into our team so well. We look forward to hosting interns in the future. Looks like NPIP is our new pipeline for talent!”
Students are selected through a competitive application process. Eligible students must be enrolled full time in a four-year college or university or a resident of North Carolina or an out-of-state resident attending an institution in North Carolina and a recipient of a Pell grant during the academic year in which they submit the application.
Host organizations, all of which are based in-state, must also meet a set of criteria to participate.
Internships offer a range of exposure and skill-building opportunities in the areas of research, community outreach, public policy, communications, fundraising and social media. The Foundation hosted an orientation session for host organizations and their summer interns on May 27, 2017 in Greensboro, NC.
In 2017, 233 students applied for NPIP and 32 students were matched with an organization.
Host organization applications for Summer 2018 are now available here.
The application deadline for Host organizations is October 20, 2017 at noon. Student applications will be available in early November 2017, with a deadline of February 12, 2018 at noon.