Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo




The National Zoo’s Advancement Office seeks a part-time (20 to 30 hours a week) intern to assist with research and organizational activities, corporate and foundation partnership development, and general development support to assist the Zoo in its Capital Campaign.

The intern will have the opportunity to work with a team of development professionals on a variety of tasks, and will learn about multiple facets of philanthropy and how it relates to species conservation at the world-renowned National Zoo—home to dozens of endangered species of animals, and the world’s largest group of conservation biologists in the world.

This internship provides valuable non-profit experience at a world-renowned organization. There will be opportunities to learn about endangered animals, cutting-edge conservation research, and how a zoological park operates. The position also offers an introduction to the field of development, covering all facets from individual and institutional giving, to the role of the board of directors to the mechanics of special events.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct research on potential individual, corporate, and foundation donors and their philanthropic activities
  • Draft briefing materials, proposals and reports
  • Prepare PowerPoint presentations and edit a variety of correspondence and other documents
  • Assist with special events


  • Undergraduate students in related field of study (e.g., fund-raising, communications and marketing, science communications)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Outgoing personality and motivation to seek new learning opportunities
  • Availability to work 20 to 30 hours per week
  • Ability to pass a background investigation


This is an unpaid internship. College credit is offered if desired; intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.


Rock Creek, Washington, D.C.


The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C., area.


The National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution do not provide free parking to interns. There is limited parking at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia.

Term of Appointment

The Office of Advancement holds three internship sessions: Fall, spring, and summer.

  • Fall session: September through December
  • Spring session: January through May
  • Summer session: May through August

The intern will work about 20 to 30 hours per week for the Development Office. Some work at evening and morning events may be required. Reasonable exceptions may be made in order to coordinate with university and work schedules.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall session (September through December). Applications must be submitted by July 31.
  • Spring Session (January through May): Applications must be submitted by November 30
  • Summer Session (May through August): Applications must be submitted by March 31


To apply, go to: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html” S elect "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here" complete the information to create an account.  You will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in.

  • Type of appointment: “Internship”
  • Unit of interest: “National Zoological Park”
  • Program: “National Zoological Park Internship Program”
  • Project: “Rock Creek—Fund-Raising (Development/Advancement)”

Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit” and when your references have been received by the deadline as noted above. Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A one-page statement of your interest in pursuing this position. The statement should mention relevant experience, career goals, your reasons for wanting this internship, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your statement is very important during application evaluations.
  • Resume/CV
  • References (2)


Email Drew Portocarrero at portocarreroa@si.edu. Send general internship questions to Athena Mylonas.