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Top 5 Reasons to Host an Intern through Leading EDGE

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TNPA’s Leading EDGE Student Internship Program is now open for employers to enroll and host an intern next summer. Is this program right for you or your organization? How could it fit into your current employee recruitment plans? To help answer these questions and more, read on for the top 5 reasons to host an intern with us.

Reason #1: Achieve Your DEI Goals

Organizations’ greatest challenge this year was their ability to attract diverse candidates…It is not that the talent isn’t there; it is about intentionally looking in places where talent exists.”
NonprofitHR in the 2021 Nonprofit Diversity Practices report

Happy young business colleagues indoorsOne of the goals in starting the Leading EDGE internship program was to build a pipeline of talent for the nonprofit sector, and, importantly, to ensure the diversity of that pipeline. We believe that our sector’s ability to change the world is not possible without diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The Leading EDGE recruitment team takes a proactive approach to reach underrepresented and first-generation student populations for you by building relationships with various institutions such as historically black colleges (HBCU’s) and diversity programs at local universities and community colleges.

By hosting an intern through Leading EDGE, you could not only move the needle on your own DEI goals but also become a vital part of introducing these students to nonprofit career options while building a strong talent pipeline for the future of our sector. These internships, like all internships, can then enable first job placements and launch careers in the social good sector.

Access resources and read more about TNPA’s DEI Initiatives here.

Reason #2: Start or Enhance Your Recruitment Strategy

With many organizations facing the challenge of employee recruitment and retention, interns can be a vital addition to any recruitment strategy (whether you have a current internship program or not). Most importantly, interns can become a steady pipeline of future hires for entry-level positions in your organization. You know them and they know you, your work, and your culture.

Once approved, participating employers can post multiple positions per year and participate as many times as needed. So you can build a strategy that works for you and gain access to a growing pool of student candidates. In fact, we saw more than 300 student applicants since the program started in 2022!

Leading EDGE is an excellent program for students who are trying to navigate the professional job market and also to host organizations seeking viable intern candidates. The program not only provides opportunity to coach students, it provides a roadmap to guide and support “Host Organizations” with executing meaningful internship experiences.”
– Leah Lewis, Vice President of Volunteer Engagement at The ALS Association

Reason #3: Save Time and Staff Resources

Hosting an intern through Leading EDGE can also help lighten your workload in two key ways: first, the interns are ready to complete meaningful work, and second, we manage the internship program to make it easy on you.

First, interns can get work done! They can tackle that office project that’s been on the back burner for months, become the team member who actually knows (and lives and breathes) the latest social media trends, or simply provide an extra set of hands to an already busy team.

The Leading EDGE program also lightens your staff workload by doing the recruitment, matching, and preparation of the students for the 10-week internship for you. Of course, you can still make the final decision on selecting your student, but we make the rest of it easy:

• We manage the recruiting process on your behalf, identifying the strongest candidates, and introducing you to the finalists that you will then interview.

• We prepare the students for their internships and create a sense of community through virtual intern orientations, regular check-ins, and cohort programming.

• We provide you with an Employer Guide including information on preparing for your intern, managing performance, providing mentorship, and day-to-day management.

Reason #4: Reach & Learn from the Next Generation

Working with the younger generation (Gen Z) provides outside perspectives and fresh ideas to move your organization forward. They are technologically savvy, eager to learn, and passionate about social issues and making a difference — something our industry specializes in!

Gen Z are also considered to be (see Chegg Internships website):

Loyal. A 2016 study by CareerBuilder and Harris Poll noted that just 16 percent of high school seniors plan to make frequent moves throughout their careers. 87 percent, however, say they think a person should be promoted every 2-3 years. Gen Z hires can make loyal, long-term employees who want to grow within your organization.

Great multi-taskers. This generation is described as “always on,” and they’re able to use up to five screens at once. While this isn’t always an admirable skill, it can translate to the ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines in the workplace.

Flexible. Unlike many other generations, members of Gen Z embrace change. Having grown up in a world of rapidly advancing technology, they are all about staying current and changing with the times. They’ll enthusiastically adopt (or even lead) new initiatives at work.

Reason #5: Join a Growing Community

Last but not least, you should host an intern through TNPA’s Leading EDGE program to join our community of nonprofits, nonprofit-supporting companies, schools and students who are passionate about making a difference through the nonprofit sector! We’re building a network that offers you the support you need for hosting your intern including virtual meetups with other employer-hosts to exchange ideas and online communities for regular updates and news.

I especially appreciated the “check-in” with the other intern host teams which provided some great ideas to enhance the internship experience for both our company and our intern,” says Polly Papsadore, Senior VP of Business Strategy with PMG and Leading EDGE intern host.

So join us! Become a Leading EDGE host employer and be a part of this powerful campaign to diversify and strengthen the pipeline of talent for the nonprofit sector!

Complete the Interest Form Today!

Shelby Truxon
Author: Shelby Truxon

Shelby Truxon is Vice President of Internship Experience at The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA).

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