2 in 5 interns infographic


The Internship Institute allocates at least 10% of all donations to its Unpaid Intern Relief Fund. This fund provides stipends to enable disadvantaged youth to gain work experience at nonprofits that cannot afford to pay wages. We hope that this will encourage and enable more students to pursue careers in the nonprofit sector.

It’s a small ripple in a big ocean. That’s why we hope to expand this program by seeking additional sources of funding through corporate sponsorship, government subsidies, foundation grants — and with your continued support.


Unpaid internships create a socioeconomic divide.

They exclude those who cannot afford to work for free. This creates a barrier to entry in many fields where unpaid internships are still abound:

  • Fashion
  • Publishing
  • Entertainment
  • Government
  • Social sector
  • Nonprofits

Additionally, those with more affluence may have greater access to paid internships and the higher paying jobs to which they lead. For many disadvantaged students, an unpaid internship is the only opportunity they may have to gain the work experience they need.

But when it comes to securing a full-time job, the divide widens:

Students who complete unpaid internships are significantly less likely to get job offers and will earn considerably less than their paid classmates.

We think it’s time to stand up for unpaid interns and remove the barriers to prosperity they create.


Help us pay it forward.