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Internships with the Development Office

OpenJuly 23, 2018 — August 17, 2018
DeadlineAugust 17, 2018

The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for Congress, the Administration and the broader policy community. As a non-profit, the Wilson Center must secure funding to support its critical work. The Development Office is responsible for raising private funds from individuals, corporations and foundations which comprise the majority of the annual operating budget for the Wilson Center.

Responsibilities: The Development Intern plays a fundamental role within the Development team in the day-to-day activities of fundraising. Specific activities include but are not limited to: high-level event planning; researching funding prospects; database management; acknowledgement letters and donor correspondence; writing and design of communications materials for donor-related outreach; organizational and planning assistance with meetings and donor fulfillment activities; and assisting the team with other office duties as assigned.

Through this internship, our interns gain invaluable knowledge and experience related to individual, corporate, and foundation philanthropy; event planning and support; donor and prospect research; and professional writing skills. Interns also gain experience with software including Raiser's Edge (donor database), iWave (prospect research), and Adobe InDesign.

The Development Intern will report directly to the Development Assistant, but will work closely with the Vice President for Development and Director of Corporate Relations.


• Undergraduate Juniors and Seniors or graduate students with an interest in development and international affairs.

• Previous internship and/or office experience required; Development and/or event planning experience preferred.

• Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to multitask and meet strict deadlines.

• Strong communication skills, both written and oral; ability to work effectively within a team.

• Enthusiasm, positive attitude, and professional manner.

• Proficiency in Microsoft Office (specifically Word, Excel, and Outlook).

How to Apply

To apply for an internship position, please send application materials to 

Required application materials:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter - 1 page highlighting relevant fundraising and event planning skills and experience mentioned above. Please also discuss your specific interest in both the Wilson Center, and the field of Development. The cover letter should indicate your availability: approximate number of hours per week available to work, and approximate start and end dates. Ideally, Fall 2017 interns will be able to dedicate 20-35 hours per week, beginning in early September and ending in late December.
  3. Writing Sample - Maximum 3 pages. An excerpt from a college essay is sufficient.
  4. References - Please list 2-3 professional and/or academic references to be contacted by Wilson Center staff. For each reference, please include name, title, organization, email address, and phone number.

Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Applications are processed on a rolling basis until the 3-4 available positions are filled: early application is encouraged. No phone calls please. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Application Deadlines:

• Summer 2018: March 17th, 2018

• Fall 2018: August 17th, 2018

• Spring 2019: November 10th, 2018

Testimonials from our former Development interns:

"I was lucky enough to graduate from American University this past May with a job in hand, and I can easily attribute this to my time at the Wilson Center. During my time as an intern I was entrusted with projects that many other organizations would not allow interns to do. Perhaps the best example of this is that I became the person in charge of managing one of the intern projects - I was even included as a point person in many meetings on it! I can also attribute my success to the support of the full time staff. Rachael, our supervisor, was always willing to answer questions and patiently corrected any mistakes I made. Furthermore, the VP for Development, Christine, was extremely interested in the interns' success and would spend time helping me prepare for job interviews, constantly following up to see how my search was going. I could not speak more highly of my time at the Wilson Center and recommend it to everyone."

- Rachel Snead, Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 Intern

"During my time with the Wilson Center Development Office, I learned incredibly valuable skills that I fully believe helped kickstart my career path. Washington D.C. is an office city, and I could not have imagined a better place in which to learn the ropes. My supervisor, Rachael, was always willing to teach me a new skill or help me struggle through an old one. The VP of Development, Christine, took an active interest in the daily lives of the interns, despite her incredibly busy schedule. The office was quite close, which made the work day that much more enjoyable. Furthermore, the size of the office meant that interns were put on projects that had actual value. Much of the research on donor prospects I conducted made its way to high-level meetings. You truly could not pick a better place to intern!"

- Robert Kaylor, Summer 2015 Intern

"I have been honored to interact and listen to well-known speakers and diplomats discuss relevant global issues and topics. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Development intern is seeing your work immediately put into action, whether it is the release of your event summary to high-profile donors, or the distribution of your research on attendees of an event and donors. The most valuable experience I gained as a Development intern was having the exposure to different public and private sector officials while at the Center and in the Development office, which gave me an irreplaceable, hands-on introduction to the public sector and service fields, where I want to pursue a career."

- Gabriella Small, Summer 2016 Intern

"My time as Development Intern at the Wilson Center was a very rewarding experience. I was able to participate in a variety of integral events and tasks within the development department and grow my professional skills at the same time. My favorite part about my internship was that I was always doing something different and learning about a new topic. One day I would attend an event debating international policies and the next I would be honing my research and writing skills in the office. The Development Internship at the Wilson Center is the perfect place for anyone who is interested in current events and is also interested in learning about non-profit development with a remarkable development team!"

- Rachel Friddle, Spring 2016 Intern