Information for Host Organization Applicants

Host Site applications for the 2021 Summer Internship Program will be open through Jan. 18, 2021.

The program provides a limited number of college students, recent graduates, and first year graduate students an opportunity to work in Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies during the summer months. All interns are required to work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) as designated by their host organization, and agencies are encouraged to hire interns as temporary employees. 


The following roles and responsibilities apply to host organizations:

  • Host Sites must be located within Cuyahoga, Lake, or Geauga counties
  • Appoint a senior staff member to serve as the intern’s supervisor. This should be someone that is interested and/or has shown aptitude in mentoring an emerging leader, has the capacity to provide ongoing supervision and support (i.e. through weekly or bi-weekly check-in meetings), is able to provide or facilitate exposure to senior staff/leadership as part of the intern’s networking experience, and is willing to share feedback.
  • Provide meaningful work and learning experiences for the intern. It is important for the intern to have at least one dedicated project that they are working to move forward over the course of the summer. A couple examples of projects from recent summers have included:
    • Creating informational displays for installation within neighborhood institutions, developing a volunteer manual, designing community outreach materials, and conducting a GIS survey of potential environmental sites
    • Finalizing and executing plans for key aspects of programming for an important anniversary
    • Outreach to sponsors and coordinating logistics for an annual fundraising event
    • Researching, writing, and supporting the organization’s advocacy agenda
    • Expanding the capacity of a program through running reports, conducting research, and coordinating meetings between agencies and donors
    • Deepening an organization’s reach in the community by planning events, identifying and engaging with partners, and developing marketing content for their newly established newsletter and podcast
  • A group of interns poses at one of the host sitesDevelop and share a work plan for the intern outlining objectives and deliverables that will be accomplished throughout the 11-week term. Early in the process, the Cleveland Foundation will work with each organization to convert the application that is submitted for the program into a position description for prospective interns to review prior to their selection.
  • Provide a workspace, equipment, and/or any other resources that the intern will need to complete work assignments. This may include access to a laptop, rights to Zoom/other key software, PPE, policies related to safety and expectations within the workplace, and other resources.
  • 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 salary ($13/hour) and some of the equipment/resources that are minimally required to support their experience.
  • Be willing to work with the Cleveland Foundation team and other host organizations (where applicable) through the selection, onboarding, and supervision processes. Beyond e-mail communications and phone calls as needed, this usually equates to about 4 formal meetings per year (a host site orientation, check-in with supervisors in early May, mid-summer check-in with supervisors, and farewell with the entire cohort of interns). The internship coordinator will stay in regular communication to ensure as safe and successful an experience as possible given the unique needs and return to work policies of each organization.

2018 supervisors shared the following highlights at the conclusion of the summer:

“I had a great experience … I would just say allow the intern to learn from you and allow yourself to learn from them.”

“The pool of candidate for interns is of very high professionalism – be prepared to give real projects without hesitation.”

“I would say that this is an incredible program and a wonderful opportunity for supervisors to get to know other organizations within the Cleveland nonprofit and public sectors.”

To apply: 

The application is available through the Cleveland Foundation’s Grants Gateway. If your organization is already registered within Grants Gateway, you can log-in with your username and password to access the application. If your organization needs to register, you can request access through the purple “Grants” box and then proceed through the registration and application processes.

For questions about the program, please contact:

Stephanie Molnar, Program Officer, Leadership Development