In a nonprofit with limited resources, staff capacity is the number one concern.
Executive directors are constantly challenged to balance program excellence with fiscal efficiency. But, a well-managed internship program can effectively add to staff capacity and become one of the most powerful resources in any nonprofit. At SponsorLink, we believe in the power of interns to advance an organization, and accordingly offer our comprehensive internship recruitment and management service – InternLink.
InternLink has identified 20 types of internships in six areas of external and internal nonprofit management (education and outreach, marketing, development, programming, operations, and finance) and then recruits local college students throughout the year for these internship positions on behalf of area nonprofits. Ahead of each semester, we work with our clients to mutually agree on the number of manageable internships and then define meaningful, substantive projects within these areas, so that each intern has a project that is their own to manage. InternLink then works with respected universities/colleges to conduct the search to identify appropriate candidates for these specific internships.
INTERN RECRUITMENT – InternLink welcomes college students as well as individuals in the job force that look to augment their skills to transition into new fields. InternLink forges relationships with university placement offices, as we support their programs by attending job fairs at colleges and other venues to connect with potential intern candidates. InternLink manages the key aspects of intern recruitment for its nonprofit clients. Services include posting positions, managing applicant responses, initiating calls to screen candidates, conducting initial interviews, determining the right project fit, outlining three to five strategic objectives for each intern to meet their goals and the specific objectives of the internship, and arranging interviews with the nonprofits we deem to be the best fit for both the intern and the client. Every effort is made to match an intern’s areas of interest and fulfill specific learning objectives, such as how to use a specific database system, or having opportunities to give presentations or to meet executives in their chosen field.
INTERN MANAGEMENT– Beyond recruitment, InternLink manages the interns’ experiences throughout their semester of internship. InternLink guides an orientation for each intern that provides essential background on the nonprofit organization and its internship program. Our Sessions for Success provide a forum to convene interns to review their weekly work journals, discuss road-blocks and next steps on each projects, helping them to learn from one-another. Though Interns may conduct their work at the client’s site, small nonprofits with space concerns may be able to use the SponsorLink office which offers complimentary parking for its clients.
As Internships are usually ‘non-paid’ for non-profit clients, InternLink is committed to providing the fullest experience for each intern. As interns graduate from the InternLink program, they are asked to outline operations in their respective area, which can be a tool for future interns to build upon; and design a presentation that highlights their experience. In return, clients provide a meaningful recommendation letter; and InternLink staff helps outline interns' major accomplishments in language that can be showcased on their resume.