Internships

As an intern, you will have the chance to work with professionals across the Institution.

Office of Advancement: Internships

The Office of Advancement accepts applications on a rolling basis year-round, but we typically fill internships for the summer, fall semester and winter/spring semester.

All internships are unpaid. We are willing to work with your educational institution to provide academic credit, if requested. All Internships are located in or near the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, Washington, DC.

All candidates should have an interest in fundraising and a development-oriented career with a particular interest in the area selected. The ideal candidate should be able to commit a minimum of 20 hours per week for a period of 8 weeks or more, will be someone who can take initiative and work independently, and will require limited supervision. Familiarity with Excel, Word and databases is very helpful. Specific skills are required for the Communications Internship and the Online Marketing Fundraising Internship, as listed below.

To Apply
The fall/spring/summer sessions run from Septepmber to December/January to May/June to August. We are currently accepting applications. To apply, submit an application through the Smithsonian internship online system. Once you've completed your application, Emily Mann in the Office of Advancement will receive it and share it with the communications team.

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Internship Opportunities

Campaign Communications - Editorial

The Communications Editorial intern will undertake a practical, hands-on learning experience in a small, busy, agency-like environment, coordinating and producing a wide range of projects in support of the Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement strategic fundraising communications efforts. These include:

  • Print and online materials, including the Smithsonian Annual Report, the IMPACT campaign newsletter, proposals, fundraising case statements, brochures, event materials, invitations, programs, presentations, remarks, and reports for Smithsonian boards and leadership;
  • Research, photo research, and other content preparation; social media;
  • Join a collaborative team consisting of the Communications director, manager, 2 writers, 2 graphic designers, working on projects across the entire Smithsonian.

This internship requires a commitment of 10-20 hours, and may be up to 40 per week. 

To Apply
The fall/spring/summer session runs from September to December/January to May/June-August. We are currently accepting applications. To apply, submit an application for the Office of Advancement Communications Editorial Intern through the Smithsonian internship online system. Once you’ve completed your application, Emily Mann in the Office of Advancement will receive it and share it with the communications team.

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Campaign Communications - Graphic Design

The Communications Graphic Design intern will participate within the Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement Communications team in creating a variety of strategic fundraising communications in print, online, PowerPoint, video, and other media. The Office of Advancement Communications team functions as a “creative agency” inside the Smithsonian, helping leadership shape and disseminate the Institution’s fundraising messages by creating a wide range of award-winning fundraising materials. Our clients are the leadership of the Smithsonian’s advancement office and fundraisers in every one of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 9 research centers and the National Zoo. The team consists of the Communications Director, the Communications Manager, two writers and two graphic designers.

As a member of a talented and busy team, the graphic design intern’s learning objectives include participating in a wide range of assignments that directly contribute to the Smithsonian’s mission and the team’s high-quality results. Projects in which the intern may be involved include:

  • A wide range of traditional print communications projects in InDesign.
  • Website development/mantainance, develop new web banners and graphic content
  • Presentation slides, infographics and sourcing compelling photography
  • Video projects
  • The intern can anticipate assisting the graphic designers with photo research, organization and securing permissions; under supervision, prepare printing specifications, sending these to printers and organizing estimates for review; readying files for release to outside vendors; create presentation mock ups, including trimming and binding, operating and helping maintain hi-end Epson printer and supplies; updating communication templates

This internship requires a commitment of 10-20 hours, and may be up to 40 per week. 

To Apply
The fall/spring/summer session runs from September to December/January to May/June-August. We are currently accepting applications. To apply, submit an application for the Office of Advancement, Communications Graphic Design Intern through the Smithsonian internship online system

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Campaign Volunteer Management / Smithsonian National Board

The Office of Campaign Volunteer Management is responsible for providing high-level stewardship and engagement for the Smithsonian National Board.

The Smithsonian National Board is a geographically and culturally diverse body of volunteer leaders that brings invaluable counsel to the Smithsonian and its many museums and research centers. Established in 1970, the National Board is the Smithsonian's only pan-Institutional advisory board. It fosters communication between the Institution and its members' communities, advises the Secretary on issues of Institutional advancement, and promotes successful public-private partnerships.

The intern will gain practical application experienec with project management by focusing on the Smithsonian National Board meetings, and will gain experience in planning high-level, multi-day events for the national board and guests. These events include a Smithsonian-wide New Advisory Board Member Orientation, Fall National Board Meeting, and an Alumni Study Trip. The components of these projects include research, logistical planning, preparing briefing materials, and on-site event management.

Learning objectives will include:

Understanding best practices in writing and editing, as well as tour coordination for National Board members and guests (assist in arranging special tours across Smithsonian, drafting itineraries), and organizing other National Board-focused activities with the team. Interns may also be called upon to assist with other Office of Advancement programs or projects.

Further details of project outcomes and goals will be determined by the intern and their project supervisor.

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coodinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Corporate and Foundation Relations

The intern will garner a practical, hands-on, educational experience, revolving around a variety of core corporate and foundation relations (CFR) research and communications related projects. The intern will have the opportunity to engage in significant activity of the CFR team, and with external teams and events. A few of the many learning objectives for this internship include gaining the skills to properly research institutional prospects, helping coordinate corporate membership events, and editing corporate and foundation proposals for a variety of Smithsonian projects. Though working with the CFR team will be the intern's primary function, the intern may also be called upon to assist with other Office of Advancement programs or projects.

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Internship Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Friends of the Smithsonian

The Friends of the Smithsonian Office (FOS) within the central Office of Advancement is responsible for providing stewardship and engagement for the Friends of the Smithsonian members, including members of the Castle Circle and James Smithson Society - giving circles for members at the $1,000 to $25,000 level. The Friends membership program is the oldest and largest of all donor membership programs within the Smithsonian, with a total membership of over 70,000 households throughout the United States and globally.

The intern will gain practical, "real-world" knowledge of how a highly regarded non-profit prganization operates with the Friends of the Smithsonian team, and will assist in managing a number of events and communications based projects, both online and offline. Involvement in below tasks will provide examples for a portfolio and are resume building projects.

The internw ill learn how to perform the following:

Intern Learning Objectives Include:

  • How to plan events such as the 2018's Annual Smithsonian Weekend including learning how to liaise with other SI units, as well as conduct research on and analysis of exhibits, tours, etc.
  • How to research and write articles for membership newsletter.
  • How to write, edit and/or proof read donor communications and membership collaterals such as brochures, letters, invitations, email communications, etc.
  • Learning proper protocol for interacting with members and donors through a variety of communications.

Desired Prerequisites include:

  • Microsoft Office Suite experience
  • Database knowledge
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Interest in fundraising
  • Customer service

How to apply:

Please submit an application using the Smithsonian online form here. In this form we request a current resume. A real plus is interest in the art and science of fundraising for a cultural organization like the Smithsonian.

Terms:

The deadline for our spring 2018 program are being accepted on a rolling basis. The work schedule can be full time or part time and will be determined upon selection.

Additional questions contact:

Colleen Morith, morithc@si.edu or 202-633-2105

Online Marketing and Fundraising

The Online Fundraising team consists of the Associate Director, Online Fundraising Manager, Advancement Associate and Crowdfunding Project Manager. Our goal is to showcase the Smithsonian's national reach and global impact online to inspire confidence and generate online support from audiences at all levels of the constituent and donor ladder. The Online Fundraising team implements communications strategies via online vehicles that motivate mass audiences, specific donor groups and targeted individuals to continuously increase their engagement. The Online Fundraising team consults with fundraising teams and leadership across the Institution to advise on best practices in digital fundraising strategy and impact-oriented communications.

The Online Marketing and Fundraising intern can anticipate gaining practical experience as part of a talented and busy team and undertaking a wide range of assignments that will directly contribute to the Smithsonian's mission and the team's high-quality results, and take away important skills for successful online marketing and fundraising strategy for large cultural institutions and nonprofits, including for e-mail, web, advertising and social media.

Learning Objectives Include:

  • Finding content for monthly e-news and conversion opportunities
  • Building e-mail communications to the Smithsonian central e-mail list
  • Assisting with updates to websites and donation forms
  • Assisting with testing, optimization, data analysis and reporting
  • Updating content in ongoing cultivation and conversion campaigns
  • Managing outbound email calendar
  • Managing constituent eperience through customer service e-mail management

This internship requires a commitment of 10-20 hours, and may be up to 40 per week.

To Apply
The fall/spring/summer session runs from September to December/January to May/June to August. We are currently accepting applications. To apply, submit an application for the Office of Advancement, Online Marketing and Fundraising Intern through the Smithsonian internship online system

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Planned Giving

The Office of Advancement oversees and guides the fundraising efforts to the entire Smithsonian and is home to the central development organization for the Institution. In addition to raising significant support for a variety of Smithsonian initiatives, the Office of Advancement provides support services to advancement offices across the Institution. The office engages with staff throughout the Smithsonian in accomplishing their goals.

The intern will gain real-world experience in a non-profit setting on a number of projects with the team of planned giving (PG) frontline fundraisers and estate administrator. The intern will learn how to:

  • Research and execute donor and internal stewardship projects
  • Compose monthly E-Newsletters to distribute to Smithsonian Legacy Society (SLS) donors
  • Provide event management and logistics support for OA donor events
  • Plan monthly Smithsonian museum/unit excursions for OA team
  • Provide administrative support for multi-unit PG surveys
  • Contribute to managing donor inquiry process and direct inquiries to appropriate PG team member
  • Prepare and mail SLS welcome packets and certificates to new qualifying members
  • Compose monthly SLS new member call sheets for SLS co-chairs
  • Prepare acknowledgment letters to estate executors and attorneys
  • Assist with bequest and charitable gift annuity termination process
  • Assist with review of legal documents and prepare estate files for digitization
  • Run gift, mailing and informational reports from database
  • Maintain and update donor records in database
  • Maintain and update filing system and procedures

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Programming and Stewardship

“P&S” is responsible for providing appropriate high level stewardship and engagement for the Smithsonian’s most important donors. The intern will gain technical experience within the following arenas:

  • Assisting with cultivation and engagement events (including logistical planning, on-site support, and follow up),
  • Gift acknowledgements (writing and editing);
  • Leadership gift stewardship reports (compiing information and photographs);
  • working with designers, writing, and editing;
  • annual endowment reports (working with report templates, collaboration with museum colleagues);
  • tour coordination for VIP visitors (arranging special tours across the Smithsonian, drafting itineraries).

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Prospect Development

As an integral part of the Office of the Advancement, the Research department provides leadership and support in the management of individual, corporate, and foundation prospects for the fund-raising initiatives of the Smithsonian Institution by identifying, researching, qualifying and tracking prospective and established donors. 

The intern will gain technical and practical experience with projects that may inculde: learning how to quickly and accurately monitor news sources for information on the Smithsonian's top prospects and other relevant information, and putting together a weekly advancement newsletter; gaining insight into researching contact information for the Washington, DC, offices of major corporations in the most productive way; coding relationships in prospect accounts; and learning to skills to appropriately research various lists to identify new prospects.

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement to: 

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Prospect Management

The Prospect Management department is primarily responsible for providing a system of prospect coordination to support fundraising initiatives across the Smithsonian Institution. Key functions within the department include: working with each museum and science unit on managing prospect portfolios; creating and upholding policies and procedures related to prospect management; and working to maintain the Institution’s major gift fundraising pipeline.

While participating within the Prospect Management staff, the intern will gain knowledge of the prospect management system at the Smithsonian and learn about donors and fundraising activities for various projects across the Smithsonian.

Projects may include assisting with reports focused on portfolio and pipeline maintenance; preparing for meetings with units across the Smithsonian; assisting with monthly training sessions on prospect management policies and tracking systems; and maintaining records in the donor database. 

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Prospect Research

This Spring internship position in the Department of Prospect Research in the Office of Advancement at the Smithsonian Institution offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time  to join this amazing Institution.

The Research Intern will learn how to responsibly, independently, and proactively conduct prospect research and help with the identification of potential donors for Smithsonian priority initiatives. In doing so, the individual will gain experience in creative thinking and problem solving in order to provide quality leads for funding various projects across the institution. The Research Intern will utilize a variety of resources, including financial data, multiple news sources, wealth screening services, and the Advancement database.

The Research Intern will be able to work with colleagues across the Institution by assisting with responses to requests for information on major gift prospects from Smithsonian units and gift officers; help identify and interpret assets; assist with providing philanthropic capacity estimates on prospective donors; and update development database with research information and prospect tracking data.

Additionally, the Research Intern will have the opportunity to learn new tools and utilize research/fundraising training opportunities when available.

Ultimately, the Research Intern will leave with a deep understanding of the operations of highly successful fundraising staff and better knowledge of the industry as a whole.

This is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated individual to develop skills in nonprofit development work and for someone considering a career in financial analysis, journalism, special or corporate libraries, nonprofit management, fundraising or who shares a strong interest in the Smithsonian Institution.

The Research Intern should be self-motivated and detail-oriented.

Regional Major Gifts

The Regional Major Gifts program, situated in the Office of Individual Giving, works to grow and strengthen our philanthropic relationships across the country with the giving potential of $50,000 to $1 million in support of a wide variety of projects across the Institution. While working closely with the Regional Major Gift team, interns will gain an understanding of the depth and breadth of the Smithsonian while obtaining hands-on experience in regional fundraising practices. The Regional Major Gifts Program staff works collaboratively with other staff in the Office of Advancement and across all units of the Smithsonian.

Projects may include learning how to:

  • Conduct research on the philanthropic landscapes of 8 regions of interest (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Southern Florida)
  • Support the planning and execution of regional and local fundraising events
  • Coordinate donor mailings and other communications
  • Maintain comprehensive calendar of the Smithsonian’s regional activities 
  • Assist with general office support and other projects as they arise

Please direct any questions regarding this or any other Office of Advancement Internship to:

Emily Mann
Intern Coordintaor
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
MannE@si.edu
Phone: 202.633.5078

Internship Opportunities Across Smithsonian

Advancement Internships at Smithsonian Museums, Research Centers and Programs

Visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships and choose the unit that interests you to find out if there are any open positions.