What Are the Different Types of Charity Internships?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 January 2020
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Charity internships can offer students and those looking to enter the workforce with numerous opportunities to gain real-life experience in their field. Many charities offer future professionals internships that can allow them to explore their career options and, in some cases, earn professional licenses. In addition, because charities often raise funds and have other business concerns, opportunities for those who wish to enter the areas of business, finance, or management may also be available. When students or those seeking career development participate in charity internships, they not only develop their skills and abilities, but they are able to lend their talents and energies to worthy organizations.

Medical, legal, and mental health professionals must often participate in an internship before they can become licensed to practice. Many charity internships offer these individuals the ability to work with the charity's clients under the supervision of seasoned professionals so they can gain the experience they need to move forward in their careers. Some charities also offer internships to individuals who are unsure about their career path and who are simply interested in exploring different occupations. In the latter case, an intern may have the opportunity to work in different roles and in different departments.


Charities also have a business component and rely on individuals who can manage staff, raise funds, and get publicity for the charity and its cause. As such, there are charity internships for aspiring business and public relations professionals in addition to professional practice programs. Students and entry-level workers alike can take advantage of the opportunity to work for a charity and develop an understanding of the work that goes into running a not-for-profit organization. In addition, this experience, particularly if the internship takes place at a large or prestigious charity, can be a valuable addition to a new job seeker's resume.

There is a critical difference between internships and volunteer work. While many internships are unpaid, unlike volunteer workers, interns participate in a structured program with a specific goal in mind, typically the development or advancement of their career. Ideally, charity internships are structured programs, developed by professionals to offer participants the ability to develop a good understanding of what it is like to work in a particular field. Internships are often arranged through a student intern's school so that the student's academic record reflects his participation in the internship program. There are also internship programs designed for non-students, which may be advertised along with other job listings.



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