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Internship Opportunity: External Relations, WITNESS

Research and Individual Giving Internship – Spring 2015

External Relations



WITNESS uses video to open the eyes of the world t human rights violations. WITNESS empowers people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change. Founded 20 years ago by musician and activist Peter Gabriel, WITNESS partners with NGOs, community groups, and grassroots organizations around the globe (


Internships at WITNESS offer a unique, hands-on opportunity to enhance your educational objectives through practical, real-world experience under the guidance and mentoring of experienced professionals in the areas of human rights, video advocacy, communications, media operations, fundraising, IT, human resources, and nonprofit administration.  Interns participate in an array of activities depending on the department and projects, which may include research, event planning, outreach, organizational support, translation, and writing.



The External Relations Department secures financial support for WITNESS through a major gifts program, foundations and corporate donors, an annual fund campaign that targets individuals, and a program of events including breakfasts, dinners and an annual fundraising gala. This is a unique opportunity for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and intelligent individual to hone their research and communication skills while building hands-on development/fundraising experience.


Tasks Include:

  • Conducting research on individual donors and prospects;
  • Creating and updating detailed and concise prospect and donor profiles, financial snapshots, and event briefings for presentation to the Individual Giving Team;
  • Researching and generating a solid list of major giving prospects;
  • Proactively identifying new tools and techniques for prospect research;
  • Drafting and editing content for external communications including (but not limited to) newsletters, email appeals, donor communications, etc.;
  • Assisting with database entry;
  • Assisting with the planning and execution of stewardship and cultivation events and supporting the External Relations staff as needed.


The Research and Individual Giving Intern will play a key role in helping to build WITNESS’ network and pipeline of supporters. This position will require the ability to think strategically about WITNESS’ appeal to donors and known philanthropists, new populations and networks for WITNESS to target with specific projects, and a comprehensive approach to finding connections amongst varying constituencies linked to WITNESS.


All interns are expected to spend between 20-30% of their time engaged in administrative support.


Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the internship, the intern will learn how to:

  • Conduct research on individuals, family foundations, and corporations;
  • Write compelling, donor-focused communications;
  • Effectively use internal database ( and external online platforms;
  • Map connections between key donors, Board members, or donor prospects;
  • Support individual stewardship and cultivation events.



Currently we are seeking interns enrolled in a 4 year undergraduate or graduate program related to Nonprofit Development and Management, English, Communications, Human Rights, International Relations, Political Science, or interdisciplinary studies. We also review applicants of recent graduates who may be seeking the same type of mentorship and educational focus related to their career choice or educational background.


The following would be beneficial for entering our program:

  • Excellent research skills;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to work independently as well as to multitask effectively;
  • Previous development/fundraising experience preferred;
  • Knowledge of MS Office applications a must; experience with web-based database systems and web design a plus.


General Information

We require a minimum commitment of 2 months, for 16-24 hours a week. Internships are unpaid. All internships are based in our Brooklyn office, convenient to the Atlantic Terminal / Barclays Center (2,3,4,5,B,D,Q,N, & R trains), LIRR, and the C (Lafayette) and G (Fulton) trains.


Application Instructions

No phone inquiries, please. Please submit your application via email to including a Resume and Cover Letter with “Research and Individual Giving” in the Subject.

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