Communications and Development Intern

About the role:

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a leading national education-reform think tank, seeks a communications and development intern to support its D.C. office this fall. This person will assist in a number of nonprofit-management tasks critical to maintaining and improving strong media and foundation relations. Regular duties include the following:

  • Creating dissemination strategies and promoting Fordham’s research and events to new audiences
  • Writing communications and development content for grants, websites, emails, and newsletters
  • Researching and strategizing new funder prospects
  • Tracking and analyzing Fordham’s impact on the education-policy debate
  • Managing social-media platforms (including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+)
  • Planning and organizing events
  • Copyediting grant proposals

The position also includes clerical and administrative duties.


This role is diverse and challenging, and it requires a creative and committed individual. Potential interns should be college graduates who are organized, detail oriented, and able to work in a fast-paced and flexible environment. Experience in education policy or teaching is a plus. We’re excited to teach the ins and outs of communications and development, but a desire to learn, the ability to accept constructive criticism, and a proactive attitude are vital for success in this role.

The successful candidate will report to Fordham’s communications and development managers. The position is full time (Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., which comes out to forty hours per week, plus one-hour lunch breaks) and pays $12.50 an hour.


  • A bachelor’s degree in English, communications, political science, or a related liberal-arts field, with demonstrated interest in communications, development, and nonprofit management
  • A passion for education reform
  • Self-motivated and a fast learner, with excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Organized and able to prioritize projects (many of which may be time sensitive)
  • Thorough and thoughtful—able to help design events and media- and funder-outreach strategies, all of which require research chops and an ability to make and see connections
  • Creative, flexible, and in possession of a good sense of humor (we have a tendency to film fun videos at Fordham, and our last two cohorts of interns contributed heavily to this process).
  • Familiarity with social-networking tools (Twitter, Facebook, Google+), Adobe products, and data-analysis platforms, including Google Analytics, Microsoft Excel, Lexis-Nexis, and Meltwater; knowledge of programming and video and web design a plus, but not necessary
  • Experience in the classroom, interning at nonprofits or in education policy, or working on student newspapers a plus

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals interested in an internship should submit a cover letter, resume, and an approximately 500-word writing sample here. A blog post or opinion column is highly preferred; academic writing is also accepted.