Internship Program

Connecting Interns with DCNP Members

We partner with various departments at Northern Illinois University—such as the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies and Career Services—as well as DCNP-member organizations to make undergraduate internships possible with DeKalb County nonprofits. Students build their resumes and nonprofits benefit from the interns’ 120 hours of service during the semester. Yet another partner, the Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation, generously supports the $575 internship stipends.

This program helps develop a local leadership pipeline while also building the capacity of participating nonprofit organizations!

Visit our archive of Intern Spotlights!

Program Process

  1. DCNP-members can apply to participate in the internship program each fall and spring. The application is sent via our e-newsletter to all current DCNP members.
  2. Participants are selected to match the number of students that are recruited.
  3. Orientation training is held to familiarize intern supervisors with the program, requirements, and expectations.
  4. Intern resumes and cover letters are provided to participating intern supervisors.
  5. Supervisors rank the interns in preferential order. Interns also rank the organizations by preference at this stage.
  6. Interviewing groups are established based on rankings from both supervisors and students.
  7. Interviews take place at NIU Career Services.

  8. Supervisors and students rank each other once again after the interviews.
  9. Final placements are determined based on rankings plus factors such as schedules and availability.
  10. Interns begin onsite with their supervisors and stipend checks are issued to organizations so the funds can be passed on to the interns.


More than 24,120 internship service hours have been completed through this program to date. When multiplied by the value of volunteer time per hour in Illinois ($25.43), this translates to an economic impact of $613,371.

Students are often hired by the organizations they intern with after the program concludes and past participants have shared their gratitude for this opportunity. Here are a few examples:

“I see this internship as a selling point for when I start my future career. This experience will set me apart from other applicants who have not had the same opportunity.”

“I am so grateful to be part of this opportunity. Thank you for providing such a life-changing experience to students.”

“I can honestly say, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experiences as a DCNP intern.”

Internship supervisors have also shared their feedback:

“The quality of our intern was outstanding and she was able to provide new and fresh ideas for our social media campaign.”

“The program is well-planned and expectations were clearly defined. I appreciate the option to choose from several highly-motivated  students and the access to resources to guide the process.”

“Our intern was a valuable and important part of our team. I believe she’ll be an asset to any organization that she works for in the future.”

Questions about the Internship Program? Please contact us.