PEN America Gap Year/Postgrad Finance Fellowship

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, offers a unique learning opportunity for individuals who are passionate about human rights, free speech, and creative expression, and interested in how the nonprofit sector works, specifically in the area of finance and accounting. This fellowship opportunity will require a commitment of nine months. It is ideal for a student seeking to take a “gap year” either postgrad, between studies, or pausing undergraduate or graduate school.

Our fellowship program will operate from our headquarters in New York City. We hope the fellowship will offer the opportunity for in-person participation, depending on applicable health and safety considerations. Applicants needing a fully virtual arrangement are also welcome to apply and should indicate this requirement in their application. Fellows will be welcomed as members of their assigned team and participate fully in the community of PEN America, including team and staff meetings, professional development offerings, and social opportunities.

The fellowship provides an opportunity to understand the intricacies of finance in the nonprofit arena. Working closely with experienced members of a dedicated team, fellows will take a measured approach to further build their knowledge base while developing competencies in finance, accounting, and project coordination. They can expect to gain a robust understanding of organizational management and gain hands-on experience working in a fast-paced environment.

Fellows will receive a $3,000 stipend distributed in three payments over the course of the program contingent upon successful participation.

Candidates representing diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Additionally, candidates who would be balancing the fellowship (in place of school) along with outside employment are also encouraged to apply and should indicate this in their application for special consideration regarding schedule flexibility.

Desired Attributes:

  • Ability to clearly identify their personal goals for the program and what they hope to gain from the fellowship
  • Ability to demonstrate basic knowledge and skills of accounting and/or finance, with the ability to learn quickly
  • Strong analytical, organizational, and administrative skills
  • Committed to PEN America’s mission to protect the right to free expression
  • Ability to communicate challenges and find solutions
  • Ability to work quickly, stay highly organized, and multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Comfortable with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and G Suite; experience with Fund EZ a plus


  • Must be able to provide proof of authorization to study in the United States
  • Must be able to provide proof of enrollment or acceptance into an academic program of study for the academic year of 2021–22 or 2022–23, or prepare a document that explains their academic history with academic plans or postgrad aspirations (if recently graduated)
  • Must commit to 24–35 hours, and four or five days per week, within normal weekday business hours

To Apply:

Please prepare:

  • A resume or CV, one to two pages maximum
  • A cover letter indicating your interest in the fellowship, how the fellowship will support future plans or current studies/projects, and the skills you would bring to the fellowship
  • A separate short statement explaining your academic status and why a gap year is planned
  • A work sample that demonstrates your proficiency as a writer, researcher, advocate, or communicator, preferably with applicability to PEN America’s work (five pages maximum)

The above must be sent via email to [email protected] with a subject line that includes “PEN America Finance Fellowship” and your first and last name (for example, “PEN America Finance Fellowship – Jane Doe”).

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

PEN America does not discriminate in its selection practices, and in order to build the strongest possible team, 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.