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.

2016 Summer Intern Program

The deadline for applying for the 2016 Summer Internship Program is January 20. Personal interviews with select applicants will be conducted between mid February and early March. Interns will be notified of their acceptance into the program by the end of March. The internship program begins on May 31 and ends on Aug. 12, 2016. You can read more about each of our intern’s experiences on our Grantmaking Blog.

Information for Intern Applicants


Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program

Applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Preference will be given to college juniors, seniors and first and second year graduate students in the fall of the current year and graduating college seniors in spring 2016.
  • 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)
  • Must not be a relative of a member of our staff or the Cleveland Foundation Board of Directors.

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 in a .pdf format
  • Documents must be uploaded before the deadline of January 20, 2016
  • The application submission process (if you have all documents ready) should take about 15 minutes

How to Apply

(If you have registered with us in the past you can skip the registration step and go to the Login link below)

  • Register for access to our online application gateway 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 (with the e-mail address you used to register), complete the internship application and upload your documents.

Required Documents (to be uploaded in .pdf format):

  • 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 request that you upload the letters of recommendation directly into your online application. However, we will accept a formal letter or e-mail recommendation. 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 personal statement of 750 words or less, double spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins.  In the essay, please describe your interest in the nonprofit or 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 beginning in February through early March, and finalists will be selected by the end of March/early April. 

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

2016 Summer Internship Program Host Sites

Asian Services in Action (ASIA) is a nonprofit organization empowering and advocating for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and to provide AAPIs with quality linguistic and culturally relevant programs and services.  The only pan-Asian social services agency of its kind in Northeast Ohio, ASIA provides comprehensive, wrap-around services focused on serving Cleveland’s low-income immigrant population.

Burten Bell Carr Development (BBC) is a neighborhood development organization that serves Cleveland’s Central and Kinsman neighborhoods. In 2014, BBC adopted a new mission to empower citizens, and revitalize blighted and underserved communities through the integration of green space development, real estate development, health and wellness programming, and social enterprise formation to grow neighborhood economy and strengthen social fabric. 

Care Alliance is a non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides medical, dental, and supportive services to individuals and families in Cleveland experiencing homelessness, living in and around public housing, and the underserved. Care Alliance provides high quality, comprehensive medical and dental care, patient advocacy and related services to people who need them most, regardless of their ability to pay.

Center for Community Solutions – AIDS Funding Collaborative (AFC) is a public/private partnership that strengthens the community’s response to HIV/AIDS providing coordination, leadership, advocacy and funding in Greater Cleveland. Since 1994, the AFC has leveraged and invested over $10 million in Cuyahoga County.

CEO’s for Cities is a bipartisan, nonprofit alliance of mayors, corporate executives, university presidents and nonprofit leaders that works with local and national policy-makers to advance the economic competitiveness of cities. The organization connects cross-sector changemakers with each other and with the smartest ideas and practices for city/regional economic growth & opportunity.

Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) is Northeast Ohio’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developer and energy conservation provider, building strong families and vibrant neighborhoods through quality affordable housing and strengthened financial stability.

Cleveland Public Library was founded in 1869 with the mission of being the Peoples University and today is the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community serving nearly 4 million people annually through its 27 branch locations and outreach activities. Long a leader in library services, CPL provides literacy programs, arts & cultural programming, children and teen programs, diversity celebrations, exhibits, musical performances and lectures, in addition to serving traditional library audiences.  

Cogswell Hall is a permanent solution for homelessness that offers quality low-income housing with on-site supportive services, builds community, and advocates for disabled and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Fairhill Partners connects people to opportunities for lifelong learning, intergenerational relationships and successful aging providing activities and programming, short term housing, support and assistance for older adults and caregivers and tools for maintaining health.

Friends of Breakthrough Schools performs fundraising and advocacy activities that support the Breakthrough Schools network, a network of 11 high-performing K-8 public charter schools serving over 3,300 students in the City of Cleveland. 

Future Heights serves to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights (CH) and University Heights (UH). FutureHeights works as a change agent by inspiring and facilitating communication, collaboration, engagement and empowerment among residents, businesses, other community-based organizations and local government.

Greater Cleveland Volunteers recruits volunteers ages 18 and older to serve at over 100 local nonprofit organizations and assists people in finding the right opportunity to serve based on their interests, skills, and availability.

Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor is an effort to transform the area between downtown Cleveland and University Circle into a thriving economic force, with clusters of innovative health-tech and high-tech businesses leveraging the area’s medical, academic, and entrepreneurial resources to bolster Cleveland’s economy.  HTC works to retain, grow, and attract businesses and advocates for and facilitates real estate development. 

Providence House provides a safe haven for children in Cleveland whose families were experiencing a crisis. As Ohio’s first licensed crisis nursery, Providence House offers free, voluntary emergency shelter to children newborn through ten years old, actively living in crisis situations which place them at risk of abuse or neglect.

Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County (STC) provides comprehensive, coordinated, efficient and affordable transportation to seniors and adults with disabilities throughout Cuyahoga County. STC serves 12,000 individuals annually who have mobility challenges due to age, lack of access, disability, frailty or inability to drive.

DANCECleveland is a vibrant, small non-profit performing arts organization bringing the very best of modern and contemporary dance to Northeast Ohio.

The Hebrew Free Loan Association is a nonprofit organization established in 1904 to help individuals in Northeast Ohio with access to interest-free loans in times of need when conventional funds are not available to them. 

Village of Fairport Harbor was founded in 1812 and is the largest Village in Lake County with nearly 3,000 residents, a small retail and industrial base and premiere public access to Lake Erie.  The Village is in the process of launching economic development initiatives to address vacant storefronts. 

Zygote Press  is an artist workshop promoting contemporary fine-art printing. Through advocacy, exhibitions, community programs, and affordable, professional workspace, Zygote stimulates collective exchange between artists and audiences and strengthens collaboration in our community.

Information for Host Organization Applicants (Application submission is now closed for 2016 Host 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 2016 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

  • Log into Grants Gateway
  • Click on Apply for Grant.
  • Complete the Summer Intern Host Site Application.
  • Application submission is now closed for 2016 Host Organizations.

If your organization does not have access to our Grants Gateway, click here to complete a login request form.