Exposing Students to Nonprofit and Public Administration Sectors

The Cleveland Foundation has conducted a summer internship program since 1999 that provides talented and diverse undergraduate students and recent college graduates an opportunity to work with Cleveland-area nonprofit and public sector organizations in an 11-week paid internship. Interns also participate in and coordinate weekly seminars highlighting key organizations and programs being conducted in the local nonprofit and public sectors.


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

November/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.
  • Providing a full time, paid internship opportunity ($12 per hour)
  • 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.

About - Summer Internship Program - Group in Mayors OfficeRead more about interns’ projects and experiences on our blog and follow #SummerofPurpose on social media for updates. Also, check out these interviews with three of our 2015 Summer Interns:

Joyce Huang – Cuyahoga Land Bank

Khalid Ali – Cleveland Transformation Alliance

Sam Braun – Montefiore Foundation

Meet the 2018 Cleveland Foundation Summer Interns

Christina Abdelshahid, a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance, is placed at Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI). Christina will create and conduct surveys to support ECDI’s small business loan program in Northeast Ohio. Her work will culminate in a final report to the Northern Ohio lending team.

Caroline Carulas, a senior at Bucknell University majoring in Global Management, is placed at Evergreen Business Services. Caroline will be integrally involved in market research, investment fund, and reporting projects related to the work of Evergreen’s for-profit and non-profit entities.

Grace Chu, a senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in Sociology, is placed at Policy Matters Ohio. Grace will work closely with members of the research and policy analyst staff to complete substantive, interesting research, policy analysis, and reports in one or more policy areas.

Claire Dunphy, a junior at Capital University majoring in Public Relations and Organizational Communications, is placed at Esperanza, Inc. Claire will help to develop, expand, and maintain Esperanza, Inc.’s marketing channels. She will also play a key role in planning and executing the annual Back to School event, handling event promotions and live media logistics.

Heather Eby, a senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Studies, is placed at West Creek Conservancy. Heather will work with a variety of stakeholders on the “repurposing Parmadale capital campaign.” She will also conduct ecological assessments and stormwater control audits as part of the work with the Central Lake Erie Collaborative.

Monica Fallon, a senior at University of Notre Dame majoring in History and German, is placed at Downtown Cleveland Alliance. As part of the Special Events team, Monica will develop, plan, and implement several key experiences including Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s Giving Day, Fourth of July Party, and SPARX City Hop Mural.

Tessa Holmes, a junior at Minerva Schools at KGI majoring in Cognitive Science and Political Science, is placed at Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation. Tessa will develop an understanding of land acquisition and mapping processes, participate in the Innovation Square housing initiative, convert historic Fairfax information to a digital format, and engage in community outreach.

Jordan Kerr, a senior at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in Psychology and Nonprofit Management, is placed at Group Plan Commission. Jordan will be responsible for coordinating free “Summer Splash” programming on Public Square.

Juliana Kosik, a graduate of Cleveland State University majoring in Political Science and Philosophy, is placed at Leadership Geauga County. Juliana will be focusing on projects related to alumni engagement, coordination of a ‘Leaders on Board’ event, and facilitation of a summer retreat.

Katie Kuckelheim, a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University majoring in Communications and History, is placed at the Cleveland Restoration Society. Katie will be integrally involved in research and tasks related to the Heritage Home Program and Preservation Services. This will include engaging with homeowners, developing content for a monthly newsletter, and collecting oral histories and written descriptions related to prominent local sites.

Simone Malone, a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University majoring in Political Science, is placed at SPACES. Simone will be undertaking a multifaceted Salesforce Management project. In addition, she may help to plan and implement SPACES’ 40th Anniversary Exhibitions as well as a neighborhood project coordinated with Hingetown Culture Works.

Caitlin Matthews, a senior at John Carroll University majoring in Sociology and Criminology, is placed at Trust for Public Land. Caitlin will support the planning and hosting of community engagement events with Lakeview Terrace, the Community Park Listener Program, and a set of core research projects. 

Rachel McDonald, a senior at Ohio University majoring in Global Studies, is placed at the City of Euclid. With an emphasis on community engagement and neighborhood revitalization, Rachel will have the opportunity to acquire a variety of experiences such as the creation of content for articles, grant writing, and project/event planning related to “Keep Euclid Beautiful.”

Miranda Moulton, a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in Communication Studies, is placed at Deepwood Foundation. Miranda will enhance Deepwood Foundation’s marketing and community awareness strategies. Specifically, she will coordinate public relations, marketing, and donor recognition for the Miracle League of Lake County ribbon cutting and support Gala preparations.

Diamond Page, a junior at John Carroll University majoring in Sociology, is placed at University Hospitals. Diamond will help to coordinate Community Health Needs Assessments and engagement activities. She will also brainstorm and plan celebrations to support UH’s maternal and infant care initiative.

Nathan Pflaum, a junior at Cornell University majoring in Industrial and Labor Relations, is placed at Alliance for Working Together Foundation. Nathan will help to manage the Summer Manufacturing Institute, coordinate and prepare two special event golf outings, and conduct research projects related to school-to-business internship opportunities and surveys of past program participants.

Chloe Schaufele, a senior at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in English, is placed at Art House, Inc. As a development intern, Chloe will be immersed in Art House’s fundraising, grant writing and research, writing and storytelling, marketing and communications initiatives. She will also have the opportunity to assist with some management of special events.

Noreen (Noni) Thomas, a junior and Mandel Scholar at Cuyahoga Community College majoring in Business, is placed at Cuyahoga Community College Creative Arts Academy. Noni will be integral to the program management, communications, reporting, and strategic thinking processes that support the coordination of 9 summer camps in the areas of dance, orchestra, and jazz.

Tristan Warder, a senior at University of Wisconsin – Madison majoring in Economics with a Certificate in Education and Educational Services, is placed at Cleveland Transformation Alliance. Tristan will co-facilitate and support grassroots community conversations and action planning. He will also create a social media campaign, manage data, and communications with both families and community partners.

Information for 2018 Summer Intern Applicants

Applications for the 2018 Summer Internship Program will open Nov. 13, 2017 and close Jan. 22, 2018

  • Semi-finalist applicants will be contacted in early February and interviews will be conducted in mid-February.
  • Interns will be notified of their acceptance into the program by the end of March.
  • The internship program begins May 30, 2018, and concludes Aug. 10, 2018. 
  • Host sites and project descriptions will be shared alongside the launch of the application. To review examples of previous host sites and the projects that have been completed by interns, please refer to the “Interns and Host Organizations” documents that are included under Internship Resources along the left side of the page.


Applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Applicants must be a college junior or senior in fall 2018 or a graduating senior in spring 2018.
  • If not a student attending a college or university in Cuyahoga, Lake or Geauga counties, applicants must be a permanent resident of Cuyahoga, Lake or Geauga counties.
  • Applicants should exhibit interest in the nonprofit or public sectors.
  • Applicants must not be a relative of a member of Cleveland Foundation staff or 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

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 email, and creating a login ID. An email will be sent to you within 5 minutes. Please check your spam folder. Click on the link in the email to complete the registration process.
  • Login (with the email address you used to register), complete the internship application and upload your documents. NEW: You will need to complete the application and upload supporting documents for each mandatory requirement before you can “submit” your application. Deadline to submit: January 22, 2018.

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 recommend that you upload the letters of recommendation directly into your online application. However, if your personal reference prefers to email their recommendation to us directly, they may . You will then need to upload a statement identifying the reference who will be emailing a Letter of Recommendation on your behalf. We will upload all Recommendation Letters received by the application deadline.
  • 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. 

Please if there are any problems with registration.
For questions about the program, contact: 

Stephanie Molnar, Program Associate 


Helpful hints:

  • Have all documents required for the application ready to upload in a .pdf format (your resume, transcripts, essay and two letters of recommendation)
  • Start early – applications must be submitted by the deadline of Jan. 22, 2018
  • The application submission process (if you have all documents ready) should take about 15 minutes 

Information for Host Organization Applicants

Host Site applications for the 2018 Summer Internship Program will be open from Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 through Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. 

The 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 (up to 40 hours) 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:

  • 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 a 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 at the Cleveland Foundation for selected Host Sites.
  • Organizations that have hosted an intern within the last two years are not eligible to apply.
  • Host Sites must be located within Cuyahoga, Lake, or Geauga counties. 

For questions about the program, please contact:

Stephanie Molnar, Program Associate