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Career Opportunities in Philanthropy—Internship Program

Considering a Career in Philanthropy?

Beginning your career in fundraising can be one of the most exhilarating and fulling career decisions made.  It provides ongoing opportunities to build partnerships between generous donors anxious to support great charitable causes, while simultaneously helping nonprofit organizations serve the critical needs of local or even global community members.  There has never been a greater need for development professionals in Adventist institutions. Similarly, there has never been a greater opportunity to help Seventh-day Adventist affiliated institutions fund the ministry needed to compassionately impact communities for social change with eternal significance.  That is precisely why the PSI’s Career Opportunities in Philanthropy internship program was created.

A critical factor limiting the growth of philanthropy in Adventist institutions is a shortage of well-trained, qualified fundraising professionals. As societal needs far outpace the nonprofit sector’s ability to address them, shortages in qualified development personnel are common.  Through a grant provided by the North American Division (NAD), the Career Opportunities in Philanthropy Program is poised to help grow development talent in partnership with an array of Seventh-day Adventist host institutions. That is why PSI is seeking high-quality interns to match with residency positions in fundraising at leading hospital foundations, universities, media ministries, conference offices, and other NAD host institutions. Intern applicants are accepted on a rolling basis, so new graduate internship applications and experienced professionals internship applications can be submitted today.

How to Become a PSI Host Institution

Becoming a PSI host institution is quick and hassle free. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Complete the Institutional Application.
  2. Complete an institutional needs analysis session with PSI.
  3. Assign a host mentor to oversee the day-to-day development work.
  4. Participate in a PSI coordinated interview with the potential PSI intern selected.
  5. Hire the dedicated, full-time employee to join your staff.
  6. Complete the Mentor Evaluation at the end of each year of the residency.
  7. Receive grant funds as a reimbursement at the end of each year of residency.

For additional information or clarification contact Michael J. Brown at (443) 391-7167.

This PSI grant provides institutions with a year one grant to cover up to 60% of the PSI intern salary expense, equating to a maximum of $24,000 (for experienced professionals) or $21,000 for (for new graduates). The grant is renewable to cover up to 40% for a second year with salary reimbursements of $16,000 (for experienced professionals) and ($14,000 for new graduates).

How to Apply for a PSI Internship

The Career Opportunities in Philanthropy, formerly the STEP/UP program, is designed to attract recent college graduates and adult professionals considering a career change. Interns are placed in residency at approved, host institutions within the North American Division.  Under the mentorship of a seasoned fundraising professional, they will receive coaching, guidance, and training while they build expertise in multiple areas of concentration within the fundraising discipline. Here is how to become a PSI intern:

  1. Complete either the New Graduate or Experienced Professional application.
  2. Complete a screening interview with PSI.
  3. Complete an employee job interview when selected by a host institution.
  4. Begin your residency as a full-time employee at the host institution.
  5. Receive an internship acceptance award letter at the beginning of your residency.
  6. Complete the Intern Self-Evaluation at the end of each year of the residency.
  7. Receive an award renewal letter at the beginning of the second year of residency.

For additional information or clarification contact Michael J. Brown at (443) 391-7167.

Program Expectations:

Professionals entering philanthropy must commit to learning and skill development. Below are some of the requirements that must occur for a successful transition:

  • Attend the PSI Conference on Philanthropy, if it is scheduled during your internship.
  • Continue in residency for two years at the institution, renewable annually.
  • Maintain membership in AFP, AHP or CASE, attending meetings regularly.
  • Join a service club of your choice (i.e. Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary) or show evidence of volunteering in community as representative from your organization.
  • Read 2 books (from the CFRE suggested reading list) and submit book reviews semiannually on each.
  • Submit a quarterly article for submission in the PSI e-newsletter Inside Philanthropy & Fundraising.
  • Write a personal plan for your areas of interest and growth in development incorporating notes from your weekly meeting with mentor.
  • Complete 6 areas of competency in the first year in residency.
  • Complete 9 areas of competency in the second year of residency.


Below are activities which might be considered as fulfillment of each of the areas. It is expected that a successful intern will complete every bullet point within a chosen category. However, exceptions can be made if the individual can show extensive work in other areas of the same criteria. PSI will also consider alternative activities which the organization and intern feel meet a specific criterion.  Such alternatives should be discussed with PSI in advance of the submission of a report to ensure a smooth review process.

Professional Growth (Required category):

Major Gifts – Donor Relationships

  • Show active involvement in cultivation process
    • Four cultivation visits
    • Four major gift asks
  • Prepare proposals and needed materials
  • Create a cultivation plan for a specific donor

Annual Giving Program

  • Write a case statement
  • Assist with campaign goals
  • Write two direct mail letters
  • Assist with a phonathon
  • Develop a gift club plan

Special Events

  • Assist with planning for event and event budget
  • Create an event time-line
  • Coordinate an assigned event area
  • Work with volunteers
  • Assist as appropriate in event execution
  • Write event evaluation and identify strengths and weaknesses

Capital Campaigns

  • Attend outside training on capital campaigns
  • Help create, revise, or show your involvement with established institutional plan
  • Attend committee meetings
  • Identify and list strengths and weaknesses of institution’s current plan
  • Assist with development of campaign materials
  • Produce a gift-range chart
  • Create an institutional time-line


  • Write script for phonathon
  • Assist with training of volunteer callers
  • Coordinate a calling session
  • Make 15 calls
  • Write follow-up letters
  • Pledge processing
  • Write plan to handle difficult callers


  • Review and assist with Development Plan of institution
  • mission statement
  • fundraising goals
  • targeted markets
  • needs statement
  • gift vehicles
  • budget
  • timelines
  • individual assignments
  • Attend committee meeting on developing strategic plan
  • Report on progress of assigned areas and variances

Boards & Volunteers

  • Assist with board giving campaign
  • Attend meetings & report on giving as appropriate
  • Assist in material/report preparation
  • Work with board members as assigned
  • Attend member visitation
  • Create or work with a development committee or similar

Database Management

  • Submit the Fundraising Fitness Test
  • Implement/execute policy for special recognition including handwritten thank you notes on receipts over a certain amount, etc.
  • Assist in prospect research
  • Significant responsibility in recordkeeping/file development
  • Attend database training

Grants / Foundations

  • Do research on grant possibilities
  • Identify four potential foundations with matched interest
  • Prepare and submit one grant application
  • Attend training session on grant writing


  • Write two articles for institution’s newsletter
  • Write one article for the PSI e-newsletter Inside Philanthropy & Fundraising
  • Assist with ongoing development communications (magazine, annual report, etc.)
  • Develop an internal communication plan
  • Create philanthropy-driven marketing materials such as brochures, flyers, etc.

Other / Miscellaneous (PSI approval requires but could include items such as:)

  • Create and present to specific audience on some aspect of Philanthropy
  • Encourage memorial gifts by creating two advertisements for institution’s newsletter
  • Submit two corporate funding proposals
  • Attend training on planned giving
  • Assist with a recognition event

Transforming together.

Training is certainly not cheap. However, this program was designed by PSI to help your organization get the greatest possible impact from your investment in the leaders of tomorrow.

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