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Advancement Internship

This internship has closed. To see open and upcoming opportunities, visit the internships page.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo — home to dozens of endangered animals and the world's largest group of conservation biologists — provides the opportunity for interns to gain experience with the office of advancement. This is a part-time 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 about multiple facets of philanthropy and how it relates to species conservation.

This internship provides valuable nonprofit 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 and the mechanics of special events.

Learning Objectives: 

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 PowerPoint presentation and edit a variety of correspondence and other documents
  • Gain experience assisting with special events
  • Undergraduate students in related field of study (e.g., fundraising, 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. Special consideration will be given to applicants who receive college credit for internship. Intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.
Washington DC
The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo does not provide free parking to interns.
Term of appointment: 

The Office of Advancement holds three internship sessions: fall (September to December), spring (January to May) and summer (May to 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.

Internship Category: 
How to Apply: 

To apply, go to solaa.si.edu. Select "Don't have an Account? Create An Account." 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
  • Transcripts from your current and/or previous institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • Two letters of reference (one must be from a current or a former supervisor)
  • 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: “Advancement Internship”

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.