Internships are an important part of your early career. They provide valuable experience, help you build skills, and connect you to people and resources in your desired field. Most internships take place while you’re still in school or soon after. By completing an internship, you get a real-world sense of what an organization is like and the kind of work you can expect. Unfortunately, many internships are still unpaid. This effectively excludes people who don’t have the savings to set work aside for a few months. In recent years, there’s been an increased push to pay interns a fair wage, so more can take advantage of internship opportunities. Here are ten paid nonprofit internships:
The World Justice Project
This NGO raises awareness on the fundamental rules of law and government accountability. It has three programs: Research and Scholarship; the Rule of Law Index; and Engagement. There are internships available with the Rule of Law program, as well as in accounting, research, and Engagement. Eligible candidates must be in the process (or have completed) a bachelor’s or master’s degree in international affairs, social sciences, or journalism. At least one year of professional experience (like another internship) is required. English and French fluency is also required.
This organization focuses on human rights in the Middle Eastern North African region. There are two rounds each year – one in the spring and one in the autumn. Interns are based in Geneva and cover areas like law, media, and translation. Both students and recent graduates are eligible. Ideal applicants should be fluent in Arabic, English, or French. International law or Middle East studies are good degrees to have.
This alliance of civil society organizations and activists focuses on strengthening civil action. There are over 10,000 members in this group. They are based in Johannesburg and work to amplify excluded voices. Internships last 3 months and – according to the description of their 2020 opening – they pay a stipend of USD 1200 pm.
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
This nonprofit works in advocacy, activism, analysis, and alliance-building. They have a Category B Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council, as well as special status with other UN bodies. Since 1915, WILPF has focused on issues like women’s rights, disarmament, and peace and security. Eligible candidates must speak English. Other languages are a plus. Candidates must also be currently earning (or intending to earn) a master’s degree in journalism, communications, literature, or a related field. The monthly stipend is 900 CHF.
Association for the Prevention of Torture
APT supports justice systems, human rights institutes, and governments in the quest to prevent torture. Their internships are available to graduate students and include spots on the Advocacy, Legal, and Detention Monitoring teams. They also occasionally have 6-month internships at their headquarters in Geneva.
International Aids Society
The IAS is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals with members in over 180 countries. They engage in HIV advocacy, research, campaigns, and more to raise awareness and foster understanding of key issues. Past internships have included work at conferences and work with IAS Secretariat in Geneva. Interns are paid a 2,000 CHF stipend every month.
ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisesexual, Trans, and Intersex Association)
This alliance consists of around 1,500 member organizations in over 150 countries. At the UN, the group represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex interests. Eligible interns must have a higher education degree in a relevant field and be fluent in English and one other official UN language. Previous experience in activism or at another NGO is also required. Internships last six months and provide a 750 CHF monthly stipend.
American Red Cross
The internship program usually runs for 10 weeks with flexible start and end states. There are internship cycles available in the fall, winter/spring, and summer. There are usually opportunities throughout the organization. To be eligible, you must be currently enrolled in an undergrad or graduate program. Not all Red Cross internships are paid, so be sure you are looking for paid opportunities through the Careers Site. Most of these paid internships require around 40 hours of work per week.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
This progressive research and policy institute focuses on federal and state policies that affect low-income families. They offer a wide range of internships in areas like Communication, Equity and Inclusion, Government Affairs, Health Policy, and much more. Internships usually last 10-12 weeks. Stipends are on an hourly scale based on where you are in your schooling. Undergrad students get $15 an hour, graduate students get $17 an hour, and doctoral students get between $17-$20, depending on their course credits, coursework, and research.
World Food Programme
WFP focuses on food assistance. Each year, they serve over 85 million people. To land an internship, applicants must either be currently enrolled in a university or have graduated in the last six months. Working knowledge of English is required, while knowledge of other UN languages is a plus. Internships typically last 2-8 months. The maximum stipend is $1,000 per month.