As an intern, you will have the chance to work with professionals across the Institution.

Office of Advancement: Internships

The Office of Advancement accepts applications on a rolling basis year-round, but we typically fill internships for the summer, fall semester and winter/spring semester.

All internships are unpaid. We are willing to work with your educational institution to provide academic credit, if requested. All internships are located in or near the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, Washington, DC.

All candidates should have an interest in fundraising and a development-oriented career with a particular interest in the area selected. The ideal candidate should be able to commit a minimum of 20 hours per week for a period of 8 weeks or more, will be someone who can take initiative and work independently, and will require limited supervision. Familiarity with Excel, Word and databases is very helpful. Specific skills are required for the Communications Internship and the Online Marketing Fundraising Internship.

To Apply
The fall/spring/summer sessions run from September to December/January to May/June to August. We are currently accepting applications. To apply, submit an application through the Smithsonian internship online system. Once you've completed your application, Harriet Newman in the Office of Advancement will receive it and share it with the relevant team.

Harriet Newman
Intern Coordinator
Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Institution
Phone: 202.633.5057

Internship Opportunities

Intern, Advancement Communications

The Communications Editorial intern will undertake a practical, hands-on learning experience in a small, busy, agency-like environment, coordinating and producing a wide range of projects in support of the Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement strategic fundraising communications efforts. These include:

  • Print and online materials, including the Smithsonian Annual Report, the IMPACT newsletter, proposals, fundraising case statements, brochures, event materials, invitations, programs, presentations, remarks, and reports for Smithsonian boards and leadership;
  • Research, photo research, and other content preparation;
  • Join a collaborative, creative team of writers and graphic designers, working on projects across the entire Smithsonian.

This internship requires a commitment of 10-20 hours, and may be up to 40 per week.

To Apply

The fall/spring/summer session runs from September to December/January to May/June-August. We are currently accepting applications. To apply, submit an application for the Office of Advancement Communications Editorial Intern through the Smithsonian internship online system.


Intern, Gift Planning

The Office of Advancement oversees and guides the fundraising efforts of the entire Smithsonian and is home to the central development organization for the Institution. In addition to raising significant support for a variety of pan-institutional initiatives, the Office of Advancement (OA) provides support to advancement offices across the Institution. The OA’s Gift Planning team engages with staff throughout the Smithsonian in accomplishing their goals.

This internship position offers an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to gain real-world experience in a non-profit setting on a number of projects with a team of Gift Planning (GP) professionals.

Expected projects include:

  • Research and execute donor and internal stewardship projects
  • Manage fulfillment and data entry of Gift Planning Opinion Survey responses
  • Assist with details on marketing materials
  • Provide event management and logistics support for OA donor and Smithsonian Legacy Council events
  • Plan monthly Smithsonian museum/unit excursions for GP team
  • Contribute to managing donor inquiry process and direct inquiries to appropriate GP team member
  • Prepare and mail new member welcome packets and certificates to new qualifying members
  • Assist with planned gift termination process
  • Prepare acknowledgment letters to estate executors and attorneys
  • Assist with travel planning
  • Maintain and update donor records in database
  • Maintain and update filing system and procedures


Intern, Institutional Advancement

The Smithsonian Office of Institutional Advancement invites applications from high school and college students or recent graduates for a part-time spring or summer internship. The Institutional Advancement intern will be exposed to all aspects of corporate and foundation fundraising—from building relationships with various corporations through sponsorships and memberships, to raising funds from foundation sources, to stewarding pre-existing donors. In addition, the team serves a central coordinating function for the fundraising offices across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo.

The intern will have the opportunity to engage in significant activities of the Institutional Advancement Department; they will undertake practical, hands-on learning experiences involving a variety of core corporate and foundation relations research and communications projects. Several projects for this internship might include helping coordinate corporate membership events, editing corporate and foundation proposals, researching content for grant applications, prospecting institutional donors, and using the donor database to look up donor history. Though working with the Institutional Advancement team will be the intern’s primary function, the intern may also be called upon to assist with other Office of Advancement programs or projects.

Position Requirements:

Competitive applicants will have a background or interest in nonprofit fundraising and/or museum work. The selected candidate will have strong communication, inter-personal, organizational, and writing skills. Experience with Microsoft Office Suite and various internet search engines is required.

To Apply:

The spring session runs from January to May and the summer session, from June to August. We are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis. To apply, please submit an application for the Institutional Advancement Intern through the Smithsonian internship online system (SOLAA).

Please direct any questions regarding this internship to:

Harriet Newman
Special Projects Manager
Office of Advancement
Smithsonian Institution


Intern, Prospect Research and Development

This internship position in the Department of Prospect Research and Development in the Office of
Advancement at the Smithsonian Institution offers exciting opportunities for the successful
candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time
to join this amazing Institution.

The Research Intern will learn how to responsibly, independently, and proactively conduct
prospect research and help with the identification of potential donors for Smithsonian priority
initiatives. In doing so, the individual will gain experience in creative thinking and problem solving
in order to provide quality leads for funding of various projects across the institution. The Research
Intern will utilize a variety of resources, including financial data, multiple news sources, wealth
screening services, and the Advancement database.

The Research Intern will be able work with colleagues across the Institution by assisting with
responses to requests for information on major gift prospects from Smithsonian units and gift
officers; help to identify and interpret assets; assist with providing philanthropic capacity estimates
on prospective donors; and update development database with research information and prospect
tracking data.

Additionally, the Research Intern will have the opportunity to learn new tools and utilize
research/fundraising training opportunities when available.

Ultimately, the Research Intern will leave with a deep understanding of the operations of highly
successful fundraising staff and better knowledge of the industry as a whole.

This is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated individual to develop skills in nonprofit
development work and for someone considering a career in financial analysis, journalism, special
or corporate libraries, nonprofit management, fundraising or who shares a strong interest in the
Smithsonian Institution.

The Research Intern should be self-motivated and detail-oriented.


Internship Opportunities Across Smithsonian

Advancement Internships at Smithsonian Museums, Research Centers and Programs

Visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships and choose the unit that interests you to find out if there are any open positions.