Summer 2018 Development and Special Events Intern

We are seeking several well-qualified Development and Special Events interns. Our interns have the opportunity to help further PEN America’s mission by assisting with institutional and individual fundraising. We are in the midst of expanding our domestic and global efforts, and now is a very exciting time to be at PEN America. Fundraising enables all of the work that we do, and this internship provides an in-depth look into how non-profit organizations function.  


  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Strict attention to detail
  • The ability to work quickly and independently
  • Previous experience in a fast-paced professional environment
  • Facility with entire Microsoft Office suite
  • Experience with Photoshop, Mailchimp, and Donor Perfect (or other fundraising software) a plus
  • Demonstrated interest or experience in literature, arts and culture, or human rights preferred
  • Commitment to PEN America’s ideals and mission

In addition to performing administrative duties as needed, all interns will work in one or more of the following areas:


  • Assist in planning cultivation and fundraising special events, e.g. PEN America Authors’ Evenings and PEN America Annual Literary Gala
  • Research prospective hosts, authors, and guests
  • Coordinate logistics for book donations from publishers and distribution to guests
  • Help to coordinate guest and host correspondence
  • Create eblasts, e-vites, and invitation graphics using Photoshop and Mailchimp
  • Draft letters and email correspondence to PEN America’s donors and event participants
  • Ability to work evenings as needed to help with events

Individual giving

  • Support institutional advancement staff in creating and maintaining donor prospects
  • Identifying and researching major prospective and current donors
  • Assist in stewarding donors
  • Research institutional giving
  • Administrative duties as needed


  • Support database coordinator in ensuring donor records are up-to-date
  • Work with PEN America staff to process gifts and event registration and draft acknowledgement letters
  • Help restructure information infrastructure
  • Administrative duties as needed

Grant Writing

  • Identify and research institutional giving prospects
  • Help research, draft, and copyedit grants and reports
  • Work closely with other departments to stay up to date on PEN’s ongoing projects and initiatives
  • Additional qualifications: previous position at a non-profit and interest or experience in grant writing


To apply:

Please submit a resume and a one page cover letter expressing your interest and qualifications. Note which areas interest you most and why. Send as one pdf document saved as “Development Intern Application – [Last name], [First name]”  to Elly Brinkley ([email protected]).  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until May 15th. 

This is an unpaid position, though interns who work at least 15 hours a week are eligible for a local travel stipend. PEN internships are also eligible for college credit.



About PEN America:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open 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. PEN America is the largest of more than 100 centers of PEN International. For more than 90 years, we have been working together with our colleagues in the international PEN community to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Our strength is our membership—a nationwide community of novelists, journalists, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other professionals, and an even larger network of devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN America’s mission.