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CDF Spring 2021 Internship Application

All CDF Internships will take place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Your Information

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General Information

Familiarity with CDF

Please list contact information for two references who can speak to your experience and character. References are not required to send a formal letter or endorsement; representatives from CDF will contact references for applicants under serious consideration.

Reference 1

Reference 2

Internship Details

Development Position Descriptions

Digital Marketing Intern

We're seeking a dynamic and eager-to-learn Digital Marketing Intern to join the Children's Defense Fund's (CDF's) Development team. This is an excellent opportunity to actively participate in a collective effort to build a best-in-class nonprofit digital marketing program. You'll be involved in conversations that cover a wide range of online marketing and fundraising initiatives. You'll contribute to projects that relate to data analysis and visualization, optimization of digital presence across a multitude of channels (e.g. website, SEO), paid digital advertising, peer-to-peer fundraising and A/B testing. You'll also help to assist with additional Development team needs.

Relational Fundraising Intern

Intern will assist Donor Stewardship Manager on regular and ad-hoc projects. Projects will include: direct outreach to regular and monthly donors via written and oral channels, content creation and writing for a quarterly newsletter to sustaining donors, and data analysis to inform marketing campaigns. While supporting Donor Stewardship Manager, the intern would be expected to work alongside other members of CDF Development, Communications and Operations. Interested applicants should demonstrate excellent time and project management skills, collaboration on teams, and ability to produce quality work on tight deadlines.

Executive Internship

Want to get experience and exposure to what managing a multi-channel integrated fundraising program for a well-known children's charity is all about? Come intern with the Chief Development Officer at the Children's Defense Fund. Take on special projects. Help with analysis that will introduce you to data-informed and data-driven fundraising. Are you ready to be challenged?

Development Grants Internship

Intern would support CDF grant staff in seeking funding from private and family foundations. Responsibilities include researching and identifying grant opportunities and foundations with aligned missions, evaluating eligibility and requirements, and assisting with developing proposals and other written materials. Intern would also assist in efforts to document and measure impact and preparing reports. Gain an understanding of and experience with the nonprofit and fundraising fields, research, storytelling, writing, and CDF’s policies and programs.

Policy Internship Description

For our Spring 2021 program, CDF's Policy Team is recruiting for:

  • Child Welfare (Foster Care Intern)

  • Child Health Intern

Please note that we do prefer applicants write cover letters which detail their qualifications for/interest in the specific role to which they are applying (as opposed to a general cover letter about being interested in Policy work at CDF).

Policy Internship Description:

The CDF Policy Team works with Congress and the federal government to advocate for federal policies for policies that improve children’s lives.  We seek to end child poverty and give every child a healthy start, a quality early childhood experience, a level education playing field, and safe families and communities free from violence—with special attention to children involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Our policy and advocacy work includes raising awareness, gathering and analyzing data, publishing reports and research, highlighting promising practices, seeking legislative and administrative improvements and implementing policies so they truly benefit the most vulnerable children.

Policy Internship Primary Responsibilities:

  • Identifying and researching initiatives in poverty, health, early childhood development, education, child welfare, gun violence, immigration and youth justice to address the needs of children and families

  • Tracking and analyzing federal and state legislation

  • Monitoring, analyzing, and summarizing policy developments, the federal budget, research briefs and studies that relate to children, low income families, and other key issue areas

  • Attending (virtual) hearings and briefings, both on and off Capitol Hill, that are relevant to CDF’s work, and writing succinct summaries to share with the policy team

  • Contributing to the development of issue briefs, fact sheets, and other materials relevant to our work for publication or the website

  • Rapid response research for internal and external data requests

  • Participating in the educational component of the CDF internship program, including luncheons, seminars, and trips

  • Other duties and projects as assigned

Policy Internship Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to work effectively and calmly in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment with daily deadlines

  • Strong organizational and analytical skills

  • Ability to organize facts and present issues in a clear, concise, and logical manner, both orally and in writing

  • Strong internet research skills

  • Self-starter who is comfortable working independently

  • Demonstrated interest in learning about policies that affect children and low-income families.

  • Commitment to social advocacy and CDF’s mission to be a voice for all children in America

  • For those interested in policy research, strong excel skills and ideally experience using a statistical software packaged (Stata or SPSS), and experience with federal data sources (census, NCHS, HHS, DOE, etc.)

Communications Internship

The Communications Team develops and disseminates external-facing materials and messages for all of CDF’s strategic priorities, programs and campaigns. The team works with all other CDF departments and state offices to promote CDF’s brand and advance its priorities through press and media relations, social media, video production and other multimedia content, print and online publications, online advocacy and email marketing, website content development, and other promotional materials.

CDF’s Communications Team seeks interns to work across traditional press and publications, digital outreach, and/or multimedia and design, depending on the intern’s interests and the team’s needs.

Primary Responsibilities May Include:

  • Update and maintain press lists

  • Assist with press outreach

  • Create and compile press materials for events and publications

  • Track and compile news coverage related to CDF’s work

  • Edit and provide feedback on CDF publications and materials

  • Attend CDF events to gather content for social media, the website, etc.

  • Create content for CDF social media platforms and digital outreach

  • Track social media conversations and trends related to CDF’s work

  • Help with maintaining and developing content for CDF website

  • Analyze data related to digital engagement on website, social media, etc.

  • Assist with research projects for the Communications Team

  • Create and edit custom graphics for publications, website, and social media

  • Assist in organizing CDF’s multimedia archives

Necessary Qualifications Include:

  • Great writing, editing, and research skills

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail

  • Basic digital skills including Microsoft Office, Adobe, web research, formatting, etc.

  • Familiarity with social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

  • Experience with online design tools like Canva and Piktochart preferred

  • Experience with Wordpress, HTML, and web content management systems preferred

  • Creativity, flexibility, and ability to complete projects efficiently

  • Passion for CDF’s mission

Freedom Schools Internship Descriptions

Rooted in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program is a six-week summer literacy and cultural enrichment program designed to serve children and youth in grades K – 12, in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is limited, cost-prohibitive, or non-existent. The program is offered at no-cost to families in partnership with schools, faith and community-based organizations, municipalities, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities. The CDF Freedom Schools program enhances children’s motivation to read and generates positive attitudes toward learning, while connecting the needs of children and families to appropriate resources in their communities, and provides a research-based multicultural curriculum that supports scholars and their families through five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family development; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational servant leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. In addition, participating children and youth receive two nutritious meals and a snack, daily, as well as a book each week to build their home libraries.


In alignment with its intergenerational leadership model, the CDF Freedom Schools program is staffed primarily by college students and recent college graduates, with a 10:1 child to adult ratio. As a result, children and youth are empowered to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, country, and world with hope, education, and action!


CDF Freedom Schools® Data and Systems Intern


The CDF Freedom Schools national office, located in DC, is in search of a Data Systems Intern, with opportunities for internship extension. The ideal candidate has an interest in data entry, research methods and practices, evaluation tool design, strong written and verbal communication skills, and a heart for impacting positive change for children and youth.


Reporting to the Data and Systems Manager, responsibilities include:


  • Assist with record keeping for Salesforce data

  • Assist with attendance reporting

  • Assist with report generation from CDF Freedom Schools National Training and additional orientation and meeting demographics, as well as local site data collected through Salesforce

  • Track and flag data gaps to guide communication to CDF Freedom Schools partners for accurate data recovery

  • Supporting colleagues in the creation and preparation of training materials.

  • Collaborating with colleagues for the production of the CDF Freedom Schools monthly news broadcast.

  • All other duties as assigned.


CDF Freedom Schools® Programs and Training Intern


The CDF Freedom Schools national office, located in DC, is in search of a Programs and Training Intern, with opportunities for internship extension. The ideal candidate has an interest in curriculum and program design, and possesses strong written and verbal communication skills, and has a heart for impacting positive change for children and youth.


Reporting to the Director of Programs and Training, responsibilities include:


  • Work with Director of Programs and Training to solicit verbal and written feedback from consultants regarding the overall training and consultant experience for program and training improvement

  • Upload all training presentations and handouts onto Basecamp, editing as necessary

  • Create an online “training and technical support” portal/folder within Basecamp for local operation support

  • Create a communication plan to check in with returning CDF Freedom Schools partners in an effort to strengthen relationships with partners and improve communication perception, as well as to provide technical support assistance as an representative of the CDF Freedom Schools national office

  • Create and organize a space on the server for CDF Freedom Schools training materials for ongoing use and preparation for application season

  • Collaborate with National Director and Director of Program and Training to create a packet of materials to support sponsoring organizations in their application process (portion of training manual that outlines CDF Freedom Schools background, history, vision, components, and mission of CDF

  • Collaborate with Director of Program and Training for the creation of toolkits and training schedule for Executive Directors, Project Directors, Site Coordinators, and Servant Leader Interns, which includes the creation of a training syllabus for each of the CDF Freedom Schools Orientation and Training Meetings

  • Partner with the Communications, Engagement and Outreach Intern to manage the CDF Freedom Schools newsletter and broadcast

  • All other duties as assigned


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