How to Find an Internship or Job in a Non-Profit

If one of your strong values is to make a positive difference in the world, you may want to consider a non-profit organization for an internship or job.

Non-profits have a mission and purpose to further a social cause or provide a public benefit.

Non-profit organizations include universities, public schools, charities, public clinics and hospitals, political organizations, legal aid societies, volunteer service organizations, labor unions, professional associations, research institutes, museums, religious organizations, and some governmental agencies.

In the United States, there are over 1.6 million nonprofit organizations!  You’re probably familiar with many non-profit organizations; some of the most recognized include Doctors Without Borders, The American Red Cross, and The Nature Conservancy.

There are two main ways to find a position in a non-profit organization: (1) a traditional search and (2) a proactive search.

The traditional approach to searching for internships and jobs is to use job boards and organization websites. There are many online resources that can help you find opportunities that make a difference as well. is a great job board to find internships, volunteer opportunities, and full-time positions in non-profits. You can also log into Handshake, and using the job search function, filter by “Non-ProfitOther”.

If you have an interest in the arts, check out This site has listings for internships and jobs in the Massachusetts arts world.

If you’d like to do a bit of research on different types of non-profits, is a site that provides information on 2.5 million non-profit organizations.

The proactive search means that you are contacting PEOPLE who can connect you to actual openings, or to other people who know about opportunities. You may know this method as NETWORKING! Did you know that over 70% of positions in the US are found through networking and proactive methods?

In addition to your family, friends, professors, etc., another great resource to help you to network and find opportunities is BU Connects. BU Connects is a database of 16,000+ BU alumni who have volunteered to help you with your career development.  As a student, you are eligible to go to the site and create a short profile about yourself, and get started. is another great option for networking and applying to positions.

If you are a sophomore or junior, the CCD has a program, the Yawkey Nonprofit Internship Program, that provides a stipend to support participation in unpaid internships at non-profit organizations. For information on funded internships at BU visit

In addition to any of the tips above, you can always go to Handshake to make an appointment with a Career Counselor at the CCD to discuss your individual situation; we are always happy to meet you!

%d bloggers like this: