Photo: Nonprofit Internship Program 2023
Photo: Lemur Conservation Foundation
Photo: Nonprofit Internship Program 2024
Photo: Nonprofit Internship Program 2023
Nonprofit Internship Program


Nonprofit Internship Program

The Purpose

Aspiring philanthropic leaders have the opportunity to catalyze innovations to strengthen people, organizations, and communities around the world. While the potential for these innovations is vast, harnessing it takes leaders who have the capacity and drive to promote long-term change — ones able to create a shared vision within their organization while engaging and collaborating across sectors to achieve shared aspirations. Investing in nonprofit leadership development by supporting undergraduate and graduate interns is an effective way to equip the next generation at the helm of our vital nonprofits and foundations with the experience, approach, and skills necessary to guide organizations toward positive outcomes.

At the same time, strengthening nonprofits by investing in human capital through student internships builds the capability to thrive. By connecting with student leaders imbued with deep knowledge of and experience with the philanthropic sector, nonprofits will become stronger and better able to tackle today's challenges.

Strengthening the Impact

Through a collaboration with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation's Nonprofit Internship Program connects students at the school with opportunities at nonprofits in the Suncoast region. A successful internship results in students gaining priceless experience and insight into nonprofit work, while a nonprofit gains valuable completed projects from students educated at the world's first school of philanthropy. The Patterson Foundation aspires to strengthen students and regional nonprofits through the Nonprofit Internship Program to build a stronger philanthropic sector and society.


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this program...

Why does The Patterson Foundation offer paid internships with local nonprofits to Lilly Family School of Philanthropy students? How does it strengthen student potential and nonprofit mission?

In partnership with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation can strengthen students pursuing a degree in philanthropic studies and Suncoast-area nonprofits as each builds capacity. Paid internships allow students to gain practical, useful experience, while regional nonprofits gain valuable insight and completed projects from students knowledgeable about and trained in the field of philanthropic studies.

Why is The Patterson Foundation collaborating with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy?

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is the first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy. Since its inception, it has demonstrated a commitment to training and empowering students and practitioners to innovate and create positive and lasting change in the world. This includes its growing master’s program offering students a mix of theory and practice.

Students from the school receive an education grounded in critical thinking about the role of philanthropy and nonprofits in society, making them uniquely qualified to participate in internships with nonprofits in the Suncoast area.

What does the Nonprofit Internship Program offer?

The Nonprofit Internship Program offers a stipend to students who match with a local nonprofit and complete an internship for that organization. The Patterson Foundation assists the host organization in compensating for the internship expenses. Additionally, The Patterson Foundation Fellows offer support and counsel to the student completing the internship and the nonprofit hosting the student.

What experiences will the interns receive?

Interns will receive valuable experience related to fundraising, marketing and communications, programs, operations, and/or other areas of work in a nonprofit. They will have the opportunity to work remotely with an organization located in an area of the country where most Lilly Family School of Philanthropy students do not live and have not worked before.

Where are these nonprofits located? Where will interns be based?

Nonprofits are located in the Suncoast region of Florida, including Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. All internships are virtual and based on availability.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Interns must be registered bachelor’s or master’s degree students at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Nonprofit organizations must be registered with The Giving Partner to qualify to submit an internship profile.

Nonprofits must have an active profile on The Giving Partner.

Will The Patterson Foundation’s Nonprofit Internship Program expand to other academic institutions?

There are no plans to expand the Nonprofit Internship Program to academic institutions beyond the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Who can I contact about the Nonprofit Internship Program?

For more information, contact Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative lead Dr. Donald R. Bowman: or TPF Fellow Avery Crews Prado de Lima:

Additional FAQ's

Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about the Nonprofit Internship Program...

What is The Patterson Foundation’s Role in the Nonprofit Internship Program?

The Patterson Foundation serves as a guide on the side in this endeavor — it is not involved in the daily operations of the organization or the intern's work. Rather, The Patterson Foundation operates as a liaison with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The Patterson Foundation will host two Zoom meetings with the organization and intern (one at the beginning of the internship and one at the end) to learn more about their experience together. The Patterson Foundation also funds the internship by providing a $4,000 stipend to the nonprofit partner at the beginning of the endeavor to cover the cost of the intern's salary ($20/hr for 150 hrs) and onboarding fees.

What is the time frame of the internship?

Internships run for 150 hours one semester over the following timeframes:
  • Summer Semester: May-August
  • Fall Semester: August-December
  • Spring Semester: January-May

Internship profiles are accepted on a rolling basis for the summer, fall, and spring semesters. The Nonprofit Internship Program Manager will inform interested nonprofits where a profile can fit in that schedule based on need.

What steps can my organization take to connect with an intern?

Interested nonprofits can submit a 1–2-page internship profile to TPF Fellow Avery Crews Prado de Lima at for review. Once finalized, the profile will be forwarded to Pamela Clark, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Success at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, who will then share it with students.

What is an internship profile?

An internship profile is a job description for your intern. View sample job descriptions for guidance on what information to include.

How will a student apply for the internship?

Interested undergraduate or graduate students will apply directly to the nonprofit by submitting a resume. The nonprofit can proceed with a virtual interview with the student. Remember to include your organization's designated point of contact in the internship profile to facilitate interview arrangements.

Who chooses the intern?

The nonprofit will contact TPF Fellow Avery Crews Prado de Lima to confirm the student's eligibility before offering the student the position. If the student accepts, the nonprofit will inform TPF Fellow Avery Crews Prado de Lima about further arrangements. The internship manager from the host organization, the student intern, and a TPF Fellow will work together to ensure alignment, payment to the organization for intern compensation, and achievement of goals and wishes from all parties.

How many hours is the intern required to work?

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy internships must be 150 hours total, as required by the school’s curriculum. This can be broken up however the nonprofit and intern see fit but 150 hours must be completed during the semester.

How does my organization pay the intern?

The intern will be paid through the organization’s payroll at a rate of $20 per hour for 150 hours. The Patterson Foundation will prepay the host organization a $4,000 stipend to compensate for this internship expense. It is up to each organization to add the intern to their payroll and ensure wages are paid to the intern.

Bringing someone on is expensive. How do I cover payroll costs?

When you hire your intern, designated funds within the stipend help cover employer taxes, W-2, and payroll fees.

What else should I know?

We believe in the quality of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy students and the impact they can have on your organization. The Patterson Foundation asks that the nonprofit host and the student intern each contribute one blog post sharing observations from this experience. Click here to access the Nonprofit Internship Program Blog Library.

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