Since 2018, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) has strengthened a collaborative partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (LFSOP) through the Advancing Philanthropic Leadership (APL) initiative. The Nonprofit Internship Program, one piece of the APL initiative, offers current LFSOP students an opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience through PAID remote internships while strengthening nonprofits in the Suncoast region.

Both undergraduate and graduate LFSOP students are required to complete an internship for credit, but many positions remain unpaid. This need, matched with a $15 an hour paycheck thanks to TPF, makes these unique opportunities for future changemakers currently enrolled at LFSOP. Project management of the program also creates a muscle-building experience for a current TPF Fellow (another piece of TPF's APL initiative).

Thanks to Abby Rolland (TPF Fellow 2020/2021), Dr. Joni Steinberg (former TPF Consultant), and Pamela Clark (Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Success), the internship program became a reality. Following Abby's start-up, Connor LaGrange (TPF Fellow 2021/2023) managed the internship program before transitioning it to its current project manager and current TPF Fellow, me!

Since December 2020, there have been three successful internships at Suncoast nonprofits: Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson's, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, and Lemur Conservation Foundation. You can read more about these experiences through the blog library here: Nonprofit Internship Program Blog Library.

When this project was presented, I knew there was room for growth on the strong foundation laid by my predecessors. Several strategies were implemented to grow interest and participation from organizations and students.
  • Craft a timeline to ensure internship profiles (job descriptions) would be posted with ample time for review, application, and onboarding
  • Foster wide participation from students by offering more summer opportunities
    • This identification came directly to TPF from Pamela Clark and students. I believe this is an example of how analysis and communication can strengthen a partnership and project.
  • Open and market the opportunity to any active organization on The Giving Partner to encourage capacity building by hosting an intern.
  • Produce additional marketing of internship profiles to students through a rack card, online posting, and digital magazine with the new platform Turtl (used for Beyond The Blog):


I’m ecstatic to say that there are now six internship profiles for the remainder of 2023 – three of which are filled with an LFSOP undergraduate or graduate student.

Beginning in May 2023, each intern and supervisor will join me for their first Knowledge Sharing Session where we discuss the position and aspirations for the opportunity. To strengthen the program, I also want to know more about what drew organizations to host an intern, where students heard about the opportunities, and how we can share these stories.

2023 internship offerings include:

The opportunity to manage this program and propel it to greater heights is something I hold great gratitude and pride in. There is value in connecting skilled LFSOP students with professional growth experiences at Suncoast nonprofits. The investment of time, evaluation, and heart continues to show, and I cannot wait to learn more about the impact these internships have on students, organizations, the region, and the communities these students touch in the future.

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