Exposing Students to Nonprofit, Public Sectors

Since 1999, the Cleveland Foundation has conducted a summer internship program that provides undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates an opportunity to work for 11 weeks in Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies.


October/November – Organizations are invited to apply to host a summer intern

December/January – Interns are invited to apply to the program

February/March – Interviews with top candidates are conducted

March – Hiring decisions are made

June/August – 11-week job experience for interns takes place

The program’s objectives include:

  • Offering first-hand knowledge of the Greater Cleveland nonprofit community, its leadership, and organizations.
  • Providing meaningful career-related work experience.
  • Increasing local organizations’ capacity to conduct important short-term projects.
  • Stimulating interest in a career in the nonprofit or public sectors.
  • Exposing students to a broad range of public sector endeavors.

2015 Summer Intern Program

The deadline for applying for the 2015 Summer Internship Program is January 30. Personal interviews with select applicants will be conducted in late February early March. Interns will be notified of their acceptance into the program by the end of March. The internship program begins on June 1 and ends on Aug. 14, 2015. You can read more about each of our intern’s experiences on our Grantmaking Blog.

More Information for Students


Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program

Applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Preference is given to college juniors or seniors in fall of the current year, first or second year graduate students in fall of the current year or college graduates within one year of June 1st 2015
  • Exhibit interest in the nonprofit or public sectors
  • If not a student of a local college or university, the applicant must be a resident of Greater Cleveland (Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties)

Other highly desirable qualifications include:

  • A strong academic record (preferably a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above)
  • Strong English verbal and written communications skills

Helpful hints:

  • Have all documents required for the application (your resume, transcripts, essay and two letters of recommendation) ready to upload
  • Documents must be uploaded before the deadline of January 30, 2015
  • The application submission process (if you have all documents ready) should take about 15 minutes

How to apply (The application will be available on December 1st):

  • Register for access to our online application site by entering your name and e-mail, and creating a login ID.
  • An e-mail will be sent to you within 5 minutes. Please check your spam folder. Click on the link in the e-mail to complete the registration process.
  • Login and complete the internship application and upload your documents.

Required Documents:

  • Resume
  • Most recent transcript of all your college-level study.
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic work, employment experience or community/volunteer activities. (We will accept a formal letter or e-mail. If the person wishes to send in their letter or e-mail of recommendation directly, send to TCFInterns@clevefdn.org) or mail to: Summer Intern Program, 1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1300, Cleveland, OH 44115.
  • A typed autobiography of no more than two pages. In the essay, please discuss your interest in the nonprofit of public sectors, why you are applying for the summer internship program, and your previous work and volunteer experiences. The essay will help the selection committee learn more about you and also evaluate your writing skills.

Interviews will be conducted during the end of February beginning of March, and hiring decisions will be made by the end of March. 

Please email TCFInterns@clevefdn.org if there are any problems with registration. 

More Information for Organizations

The foundation’s Summer Internship Program provides a limited number of college students or recent graduates an opportunity to work in Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies during the summer months. All interns are required to work full-time as designated by their host organization. In addition, interns attend a weekly seminar highlighting key organizations and programs being conducted in the local nonprofit and public sectors.

Organizations are invited to apply as host sites during the fall months.


The following roles and responsibilities apply to host organizations:

  • Appoint a senior staff member to serve as the intern’s supervisor.
  • Provide ample supervision, feedback, and support to the intern.
  • Provide meaningful work and learning experiences for the intern. Past interns have worked on projects such as event planning for a major fundraising event, designing an audience demographic survey, developing a marketing/outreach plan and revising training materials.
  • Develop and share a work plan for the intern outlining objectives and deliverables throughout the 11-week term.
  • Provide a workspace and other resources (access to computer, reference materials, telephone) needed for the intern to complete work assignments.
  • Accept the intern as a temporary employee of your organization for the 11-week term of the internship program. The foundation provides funding to cover the intern’s stipend.
  • Attend a mandatory orientation in January 2015 at the Cleveland Foundation for selected Host Sites.
  • Organizations that have hosted an intern within the last two years are not eligible to apply. 

To Apply

Please submit a request in writing no later than November 3, 2014 addressing the following points:

  • Briefly describe your organization in one or two paragraphs.
  • Please describe the project(s) you would plan for an intern to undertake during the eleven-week summer internship program.
  • Please share any additional information that you believe will be helpful to us in making a decision.

Please email your request to Stephen Love or send a hard copy to:

Attn: Ciba Jones
The Cleveland Foundation
1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1300
Cleveland, OH 44115

2014 Summer Internship Program Host Sites

BioEnterprise Corporation
is a catalyst for the growth of the region’s biomedical industry. The founders and partners are committed to a common goal of making Northeast Ohio a nationally recognized center for biomedical commercialization and economic growth.

City of South Euclid is an inclusive community with inviting, walkable neighborhoods and architecturally diverse housing options to fit every lifestyle and budget. It is a transit-friendly community with more than 22,000 residents.

Cleveland Public Theatre is a center of contemporary performance, new plays and professional theatre. Its mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through ground-breaking performances and life-changing educational programs.

Cleveland Rowing Foundation (CRF) is the umbrella organization serving the entire rowing community of Cleveland. CRF owns and operates the property and facilities at Rivergate Park and hosts over 1,000 high schools, collegiate and adult athletes on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office is the chief law enforcement agency in Cuyahoga County. It is the mission of the Prosecutor’s Office to seek justice thereby creating and preserving an environment of safety and security for the citizens of Cuyahoga County.

Esperanza Inc. has supported education, academic achievement and economic empowerment in Cleveland’s Hispanic community for over 30 years. Esperanza offers seven programs for 6 – 12th graders and their parents that focus on high school graduation and matriculation to college, using nationally-recognized curricula to enhance academics, career preparation and leadership skills.

Gay Games 9 has built an international legacy of changing cultural, social and political attitudes towards LGBT people across the globe, while empowering tens of thousands with the transforming benefits of sports competition.

Holden Arboretum is an outdoor living museum that promotes the beauty and importance of trees and other woody plants to create sustainable and healthy communities in the Great Lakes region and beyond. Covering 3,600 acres, the Holden Arboretum is among the largest arboreta in the United States.

Ingenuity Cleveland’s mission is to ignite the creative spark where the arts, science and technology intersect by animating Cleveland’s urban spaces with world-class innovative experiences that explore the boundaries of art and technology.

MetroHealth System is a public health system committed to providing health care to everyone in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. It is home to the County’s only Adult Level 1 Trauma Center and Comprehensive Burn Care Center. MetroHealth provides care to more than one million patients a year.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland’s mission is to provide ongoing programs and services for achieving, preserving and sustaining the American dream of homeownership. Its vision is to strengthen neighborhoods and communities in northeast Ohio through high quality programs and collaborations in support of affordable homeownership.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Inc.’s mission is to educate the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form through its library, archives and educational programs.

St. Clair Superior Development Corporation’s (SCSDC) represents a mixture of residents, business stakeholders and civic leaders in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood. In 2012, SCSDC conceived of a new approach to retail development that combines “pop-up” retail with simultaneous investments in events and public art.

Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn Centre Community Development facilitates the collaboration between residents, stakeholders and community partners, supporting neighborhood-based initiatives that improve the quality of life for everyone in the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is a conservation organization dedicated to preserving our region’s essential natural assets. From the countryside to the city, the organization supports vibrant and prosperous communities by identifying, preserving, restoring and maintaining essential assets like clean water, working farms, wildlife areas and parks.

West Side Market was dedicated in October 1912 and remains of the few markets that have a maintained a traditional mix of 100 food vendors who specialize in meats, poultry, seafood, baked goods, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and much more. The Market is one of the largest public markets in the United States.