Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo




Smithsonian's National Zoological Park provides the opportunity for interns to gain experience Advancement Office. This is a part-time (20-30 hours a week) internship 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 learn from 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.


This is an unpaid internship opportunity wherein the intern will support the Office of Advancement.

Through this internship, interns will:

  • Learn to conduct research on potential individual, corporate and foundation donors and their philanthropic activities
  • Learn to draft briefing materials, proposals and reports
  • Learn how to prepare a power point presentations and edit a variety of correspondence and other documents
  • Gain experience by assisting 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
  • Available to devote 20-30 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.

Term of Appointment

The Office of Advancement holds three internship sessions: Fall, Spring and Summer. The fall session takes place September – December. Spring takes place January – May. Summer takes place May – August. The intern should be available 20-30 hours per week and available to participate at evening and morning events on occasion. Reasonable exceptions may be made in order to coordinate with university and work schedules.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall session (September – December)
  • Applications must be submitted by July 31, 2015

  • Spring Session (January – May)
  • Applications must be submitted by November 30, 2015

  • Summer Session (May – August)
  • Applications must be submitted by March 31, 2016


To apply, go to: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html

Select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here" complete the information to create an account.

Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • Professional resume or CV
  • 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
  • Two letters of reference
  • Schedule of availability

Once you create your account and provide the information above, you will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in. You will select:

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

IMPORTANT: Your application is considered complete when you hit "Submit." Your SOLAA submitted application with references must be received by the deadlines as noted above.


Email Drew Portocarrero or Kerry Whitlock for questions regarding this internship.