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Institute for Policy Studies

Jobs and Internships with IPS


Development Associate


The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a progressive multi-issue think tank in Washington, D.C., seeks a Development Associate to join our committed team of experts and scholars working towards a more just and equitable society.

Position Overview:

Working under the supervision of the Development Director, the Development Associate is responsible for supporting outreach to new donors, stewardship of prospects and donors, management of the Development Calendar, and the application of appropriate policies and procedures for donor acknowledgement, donor database management, and donation reporting. The Development Associate will also play a key role in marketing and communication efforts, and the coordination of fundraising events, most notably the Institute’s annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Act as the initial point of contact with donors, and assist with the creation of standard language for frequent correspondence and questions regarding the Institute and its work
  • Handle internal communications about fundraising activities within the Development Team, and to staff, where necessary
  • Identify and support the implementation of best practices in stewardship planning and operations, including coordinating the production of quarterly donor newsletters
  • Manage direct mail fundraising campaigns and production processes, and assist the Development Director in analyzing the performance of online and offline appeals
  • Collaborate with the Project Directors and the Development Director to prepare grant proposal and report packages
  • Provide key assistance in the establishment and coordination of a Major Gifts and Membership Program through prospect research and cultivation efforts
  • Track fundraising “asks,” anticipated gifts or pledges, income, and report deadlines

Essential Skills and Education/Experience:

  • Entry-level, but experience in fundraising, both institutional and individual, is preferred.
  • Passion for social justice, and interest in fundraising and development
  • Proven systems orientation and experience in donor database management. Proficiency in Blackbaud Luminate CRM is a plus
  • Must have great attention to detail and the ability to juggle multiple priorities in fast-paced environment
  • Excellent written (research, analysis, and editing), verbal, and interpersonal skills
  • Willingness and confidence to work with a variety of policy/academic professionals, and to network with the Institute’s broad base of allies and supporters
  • Ability to generate creative and strategic solutions for engaging and stewarding donors
  • Experience executing first-rate fundraising events locally and nationally
  • Strong project management skills
  • College degree preferred, but not required

Salary and Benefits:

Salary commensurate with experience and within organizational parameters.

Excellent benefits including generous vacation, 403(b) plan upon hire, fully paid dependent health insurance, fully paid life insurance, fully paid long-term disability, optional short-term disability, optional flexible spending cafeteria plan, direct deposit and flex time. IPS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from people of color, women, differently-abled, LGBTQ, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination. Applicants are asked to fill out a confidential survey to assist in evaluating our applicant pool at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/IPSDevelopment.

How to Apply:

Please email your cover letter, resume, and a 1-3 page writing sample to: angelique@ips-dc.org with “Development Associate” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until February 27th. No phone calls, please. Only applicants whose qualifications match the current needs of the organization will be considered and receive responses from the Institute for Policy Studies. Thank you very much for your interest in working with us.

Online Communications Manager

We are not accepting any more applications as we evaluate what we have. Thank you to those who have applied.


Intern Applications

To complete the application process, please submit the following to the Intern Coordinator:

  • Your resume (please be sure to include your GPA)
  • A cover letter that clearly states your top two or three internships of interest and available start date and term
  • A brief writing sample (do not exceed 2 pages--double or single spaced)

Email applications to: emilyn@ips-dc.org

Please state your internship interests and term in the subject line of the email. Any questions can be directed to Emily Norton, the intern coordinator via email.

IPS is the nation's oldest and largest multi-issue think tank promoting progressive thought. Our internship program focuses on developing and nurturing future public scholars through comprehensive skills training classes and challenging research, writing, and advocacy in a wide range of foreign and domestic policy issues.

IPS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from people of color, women, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination. If you have any questions regarding internships, please email: emilyn@ips-dc.org

Internship Terms:
Spring (January-April/May) | Summer (May/June-Aug) | Fall (August-December)

Indicate in your cover letter your intended start date and term.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. All internships are unpaid. However, we do provide a transit stipend during the internship term.
  2. Yes, there is overlap between some internship terms.
  3. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis.
  4. We do not have official start dates for terms; start dates are determined based on individual needs of interns and the program.
  5. You can apply to intern for more than one term.
  6. Internships can last anywhere from 2.5 weeks to 1 year.
  7. The average internships lasts for 3 months.
  8. Interns are required to find their own housing.
  9. We gladly welcome foreign citizens into our internship program. However, to join our internship program you must have work authorization or a student visa. If not, it's a bit more of a difficult process and one that we only pursue on special occasions.

Program Internships

Break the Chain Campaign

For all internships with Break the Chain Campaign: please send a cover letter, resume, and 2-3 page persuasive writing sample. Please indicate your days/hours of availability in your cover letter. We accept internship applications on a rolling basis, please email materials directly to tiffany@ips-dc.org if you are applying outside the IPS timelines.

We are a busy project and are looking for folks who are committed to the values of our project, are self-starters, are able to work independently, are flexible, and have a great sense of humor.  Here are the four project areas available:

Worker/Immigrant Rights Intern

The focus of this internship will be 1) immigration rights, particularly immigrant women and families, and the rights of immigrant survivors of crime and 2) worker rights, particularly workers in industries historically excluded from labor protections- domestic workers, day laborers, farmworkers, and guestworkers. The work will primarily involve research, writing, and attending policy/advocacy meetings and events, with some administrative work (database entry, meeting minutes, filing, etc.).

Communications and Design Intern

We have factsheets, brochures, and op-eds that we would like to be edited, designed, and distributed. We need a savvy intern with a great eye to take on design and communications projects for Break the Chain Campaign. This internship would be ideal for a graphic design or communications student who had a working knowledge of copyediting and Adobe software. You will also be responsible for overseeing the social media for the project.

Human Trafficking Advocacy Intern

The intern in this position will focus on continuing the development of a domestic worker self-advocacy project that will begin in 2013. The intern will be responsible for collecting best practices, curriculum, research, interviews with experts, workers, and organizers, to help us create a program that would assist trafficked domestic workers to be their own self-advocates at speaking events and congressional visits. Some experience with popular education, worker organizing is preferred. Spanish language skills preferred.

Economic Hardship Reporting Project

Co-edited by New York Times’ Best Selling author Barbara Ehrenreich and award winning author Gary Rivlin, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project seeks to cover underreported issues dealing with domestic poverty, inequality, and lower-income workers and families. In addition to supporting the daily tasks of their supervisor, interns are responsible for maintaining daily content of the website, managing pieces of the project's social media, and monitoring political and policy developments related to poverty, inequality, and the American safety net. They are also encouraged to write their own blogs on poverty issues. Interns will have the opportunity to interact with prominent figures in the anti-poverty effort, to attend policy conferences, and to participate in strategy meetings with other progressive Washington D.C. organizations. Applicants should have a strong commitment to understanding the issues of economic hardship in the U.S, some knowledge of domestic poverty issues, and strong writing skills. Of equal importance, applicants should possess strong computer and technological skills, professional attitudes, self-motivation, and a willingness to learn new things. The internship provides an invaluable introduction to policy, experts, national figures, and networking in Washington DC and nationally.

Drug Policy Project

The Drug Policy Project seeks to end the so-called "War on Drugs" by reaching out to non-traditional allies and employing innovative tactics to promote a sustainable, constitutional, and humane drug control policy. The project's mission is to help foster a paradigm shift replacing the punitive and coercive "social control model" of drug policy with a public health and community economic development model. By encouraging an interdisciplinary discussion concerning the myriad factors contributing to our social ills, we try to advance policies that address the root causes of the drug problem (such as decaying school systems, lack of inner city and rural jobs, shortage of affordable housing, lack of health care, and social alienation) rather than scapegoating the symptoms (addicts, street corner dealers, peasant drug grower overseas, etc.).

Foreign Policy In Focus

Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) provides timely analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs and recommends policy alternatives. The project publishes commentaries, briefs, and reports and organizes briefings for the public, media, lawmakers, and legislative staff. Staff and other FPIF experts write for newspapers, magazines, and other online publications and author books on foreign policy and international affairs. Interns should have solid computer and on-line research skills, writing ability, student activist experience, and background/interest in several of the following areas: foreign policy, U.S. military policy, military spending, intelligence, terrorism, global justice, security, international development, international financial institutions and trade. Foreign language and overseas experience are helpful.

FPIF offers three unique internship opportunities:

African Affairs Internship:
Applicants should be knowledgeable about U.S. neo-colonialism in Africa and the African Diaspora. FPIF is currently involved in the RESIST AFRICOM campaign which opposes the militarization of U.S. engagement with Africa, spotlights the abuses of U.S. private military contractors in Africa, and advocates for a more responsible U.S. role in advancing Africa's pursuit of peace, justice, and healthy economies. FPIF is also involved in initiatives to end the exploitation of workers and the environment in Africa and is particularly focused on a campaign to end the abuse of child labor and dumping of toxic wastes in Liberia by Bridgestone/Firestone. Applicants should familiarize themselves with FPIF's position on these issues. This internship will support the work of FPIF co-director, Emira Woods.

FPIF Research, Writing-Web Internship (Asia, Eastern Europe):
Applicants should have experience with copy editing, strong research and writing skills, and be comfortable with updating web content. Knowledge of Asia or Eastern Europe is a plus. There will be many opportunities to be published in FPIF publications and affiliated media outlets. This internship will support the work of FPIF co-director, John Feffer.

Right Web, Writing-Web Internship
Right Web monitors organizations and individuals -- both in and out of government -- that promote militarist U.S. foreign and defense policies, with a special focus on the "war on terror" and the Middle East. Knowledge of the Middle East or military affairs is a plus. This intern will work closely with Right Web director Michael Flynn and with FPIF co-director John Feffer.

Green Security Project Intern

Converting a Militarized Economy Research internship:

This internship will support the work of IPS’ Green Security Project and its director Miriam Pemberton. It will involve research, writing, production and organizing related to mapping and facilitating a transition from a militarized to a green economy. We have the first opening since the end of the cold war to bring down the bloated military budget and reinvest resources in averting climate catastrophe. The Project is focused on linking action at the federal, state and local levels to make that transition possible.

Climate Policy Program

The Climate Policy Program works in partnership with grassroots groups and policy advocates in the U.S. and abroad on environment and development issues with a focus on climate change, energy, environmental justice, and economic issues .

Just Transition Intern

The Climate Policy Program seeks a research intern (graduate level a plus) to help complete a critical review of existing proposals and activities that could contribute to a transition to a sustainable economy in the United States (sometimes called “green jobs,” “just transition,” or “new economy”). In addition, the intern will help synthesize research from members of a just transition-oriented coalition and identify material most relevant to the coalition’s action and advocacy goals.

A strong applicant will have research experience, an eye for detail, comfort writing (eg. blogs, fact sheets, memos, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews), familiarity with “green jobs” or “transition” to a sustainable economy, and a deep commitment to social justice. Familiarity with economic analysis a plus. This intern will receive a $1000 stipend.

IFI Research Intern

The Climate Policy Program seeks a research intern (graduate level a plus) to help complete a critical review the World Bank’s carbon finance portfolio and advance research on the Bank’s private sector climate and energy-related activities. The research intern will help staff prepare advocacy materials based on this research for key meetings and events in spring 2014.

A strong applicant will have experience with database management and analysis, comfort writing and editing (including blogs, fact sheets, memos and literature reviews), familiarity with the World Bank (or other international financial institution) lending programs, and a deep commitment to social justice.

Genuine Progress Project Intern

IPS seeks two interns to work on the Genuine Progress Project (GPP) out of our Portland, OR office or our Washington, DC office.

New indicators like the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) now in place in Maryland and Vermont, are a key foundation of a new, more sustainable economy. Increasingly, states and countries are coming to recognize that traditional indicators such as Gross Domestic/State Products are inadequate in providing useful information in evaluating societal wellbeing and in informing public policy.

The GPP intern will assist with research, outreach and grassroots mobilization on the GPI project. Useful skills and experience: ecological economics and statistical training; research, writing and good communications skills; social media; and willingness to help with grassroots outreach.

Global Economy Project Intern

This project monitors the social and environmental impact of corporate-driven globalization and works to develop just and sustainable alternatives to the free trade model. In addition, the project produces an annual report on executive compensation. Interns are typically involved in research and writing to produce policy papers related to these issues. Summer interns conduct data analysis for the annual executive pay report. Strong math or finance background needed.

New Economy Working Group

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), YES! Magazine, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and the People-Centered Development Forum (PCDForum) joined together to create the New Economy Working Group (NEWGroup) to put forward a bold vision and strategy for building a New Economy that works for all of Earth's people and the living systems on which their well-being depends. The NEWGroup was created as a forum in which to freely explore possibilities unbounded by established ideologies and conventional wisdom.

The applicant selected for this internship will assist with blogging, article writing, video, and other media creation, and social media outreach. The applicant should have strong writing and analytical skills andhave a flexible schedule. Candidates are not required to have a background in economics or related fields to apply for this internship. The applicant selected will work closely with the New Economy Coordinator, Noel Ortega.

New Internationalism Project

IPS' New Internationalism Project includes organizing as well as research and writing; areas of work include ending the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, challenging U.S. policy that supports Israeli occupation, and working on a number of UN-related issues. Interns for the New Internationalism project should have interest and experience in international developments, opposition to U.S. interventionism, and good research and writing skills. A background in Middle East studies and/or organizing experience in peace or international solidarity movements is especially helpful. Interns will be involved in research, preparation of educational materials and organizing within the anti-war movement.

The internship would be between 15 - 25 hours a week. The project director spends some time on the road, so applicants should be comfortable working with a fair amount of independence and maintain flexibility on days and times in the office. There will be opportunities to be published in IPS publications and affiliate media outlets.

Communications / Media Internships

OtherWords Intern

This project is responsible for the distribution of commentaries and cartoons aimed at amplifying progressive analysis in the national conversation. It empowers readers to become more engaged citizens. About 1,700 newspaper editors subscribe to our weekly editorial package that consists of three columns, four op-eds, and one cartoon. Most of our subscribers are small dailies and weeklies in America's heartland.

The applicant selected will assist with the editorial process, copy edit, outreach to editors, assess OtherWords' reach, and regularly contribute to the IPS and OtherWords blog. The applicant selected will work closely with OtherWords Managing Editor, Emily Schwartz Greco.

Web Design and Development Intern

Looking for students interested in real hands on experience managing, developing, and designing WordPress-based websites. IPS has a dozen or more websites on various topics and campaigns from inequality to militarism. Websites don't maintain themselves however and there is more than enough creative work to go around.

Interns will have the opportunity to learn cutting edge web development techniques using HTML5, CSS, CSS, jQuery, PHP, and MySQL on live websites, as well as server maintenance, web design, and search engine optimization.

Applicants should have a programming background, a basic understanding of PHP and database driven websites, and the ability to work independently under the guidance of a mentor. WordPress experience required (you should at least have installed and played with it).

Events Coordination Intern

The Institute for Policy Studies and its projects host events around the world. Most events take place in Washington, DC, are free and open to the public. IPS holds events on inequality, corporate power, polluters, militarism, and many other social justice issues.

The events intern will work directly in the supervision of the IPS Events Coordinator and have the opportunity to experience not only all of the logistics of event planning from booking and coordinating with venues, organizing hospitality, booking travel and lodging for guest speakers, but also formulating and crafting of content of events including choosing speakers, films, etc and much more.

Applicants must have strong communication and social media skills, the ability to work independently, and some familiarity with database entry. Graphic design skills are a plus. Event interns must be available to attend evening events. Interns will have the opportunity to develop and organize an event reflecting their own interests, as long as it fits within the IPS mission.

Administration Internships

Development / Fundraising Intern:

This position is best suited for those looking to gain experience in business/nonprofit administration. You will have the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes operations of an effective organization. It is great experience for those also interested in establishing their own organization. This intern would be responsible for assisting IPS program staff with development efforts, data entry, organizing and filing development materials, donor mailings (printing letters, stuffing envelopes, prepping letters for postage and mailing), fundraising prospect research, organizing and assembling grant proposal packages, and planning/attending fundraising events.

Affiliated Project Internships

Split This Rock Poetry Festival

Split This Rock is dedicated to calling poets to a greater role in public life and fostering a network of activist poets. Building the audience for poetry of provocation and witness from our home in the nation's capital, we celebrate poetic diversity and the transformative power of the imagination. We sponsor a bi-annual poetry festival, which brings poets and activists from throughout the country to Washington, DC for four days of poetry, workshops, panel discussions, open mics, and activism at the intersection of the arts and social change. We also sponsor a monthly poetry series "Sunday Kind of Love" at Busboys and Poets, a reading series at IPS called "Poets in the Think Tank," and other local collaborations throughout the year with activist and arts organizations. Interns are needed to help with event planning, community organizing, outreach, fundraising, and publicity work.