Development Internship

PEN America seeks a motivated self-starter interested in learning about how development drives and sustains nonprofit organizations. As part of the development team, the intern will provide essential support in securing funding and engaging donor communities for an organization that protects the right to free expression worldwide. This internship will operate in-person from our headquarters in New York City during normal business hours. Applicants needing a fully virtual arrangement are also welcome to apply and should indicate this requirement in their application.

The intern will gain hands-on communications, events, and project management experience, learning from key development staff who will provide mentorship throughout the internship’s duration. This internship is a great opportunity to build effective development strategies and processes from the ground up as PEN America expands its fundraising capabilities.

A limited number of paid internships are available through our Centenary Internship program and would require a commitment of 15-20 hours/week over 26 weeks. All internships are also eligible for college credit.


  • Research current and potential donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors
  • Work and gain experience with Raiser’s Edge through ensuring donor records are up-to-date
  • Assist with data clean up in Raiser’s Edge
  • Develop templates guiding program staff in the preparation of proposals and reports; upload template and documents into funder portals
  • Provide support with development communications materials, including fundraising appeals, acknowledgement letters, and cultivation event invitations
  • Generate and update reports to track revenue, new donors, and other metrics
  • Assist in behind-the-scenes preparation for both private and public PEN America events

Desired Attributes:

  • Must be able to provide proof of authorization to intern in the United States
  • Exhibit strong attention to detail
  • Be able to multitask and shift priorities
  • Have excellent writing and research skills
  • Have experience with Microsoft Office suite, Mailchimp, and Google Suite
  • Have a desire to gain exposure to and experience in all areas of nonprofit management and development
  • Passionate about art, literature, and human rights
  • Committed to PEN America’s mission to protect the right to free expression

Application Periods:

Be sure to include the dates of your availability with your application.

  • Fall Internship: Please submit your application between July and September
  • Winter/Spring Internship: Please submit your application between October and January
  • Summer Internship: Please submit your application between February and May

To Apply:

Please submit a resume, writing sample, and a one-page cover letter expressing your interest and qualifications to [email protected]. Include the cycle you’re applying for, and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Fall Development Internship – Jane Doe”).

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.

About PEN America:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.