Feel like your organization is missing something? It could be an intern!

Learn how to engage with local career fairs to recruit the next generation of nonprofit leaders!

As ACC’s intern, I have a unique perspective on this subject. Over the past 6 months, I’ve observed a recurring need for nonprofit employee recruitment, especially targeting individuals with experience. Additionally, it’s been frequently asked “How can we engage the next generation of nonprofit leaders?” I’ve developed several ideas to help nonprofits enhance their recruitment efforts, particularly among students like myself.

In the upcoming months, I will be sharing additional ideas on recruitment and employee training. For now, let’s begin with my first tip:

#1: Engage with your local career fairs!

Within the next month, there are several career and internship fairs being held at the University of Arizona. MOST IMPORTANTLY there is a career/internship fair just for your organization! It’s called the Careers with Impact Day on Wednesday, September 13th. Right now, only 9 organizations are registered in comparison to the 79 organizations registered for the Careers of Science and Technology Fair. There is plenty of room for nonprofits to grow their outreach in this area. Will you take the step?

If you’re still reading and have decided you’re interested, here’s a calendar of upcoming career fair dates for the University of Arizona!












How do you register?

If you need further assistance with Handshake, reach out to Marbila Rocha at marbilarocha@arizona.edu. You can also check out this support page: Getting Started With Handshake: Employers – Handshake Help Center (joinhandshake.com)


Now, let’s assume you’ve already completed the registration process and are wondering about your next steps.

Here are some valuable resources to assist you in crafting an effective internship job description and establishing a successful internship program. These resources, curated by the University of Arizona, offer excellent guidance that I recommend you make use of.

University of Arizona’s Guide for Hosting Internships

University of Arizona’s Guide for Writing an Internship Job Description

Furthermore, I am available to answer any questions you may have. When it comes to questions about interns, who better to ask than an intern?


What should you bring to the (literal) table at these career fairs?

Check out the Bingo sheet below to make sure you have everything you need:



While those resources are great, I’d like to add some extra tips & insights based on my personal experience as an intern.

Here are some of the Do’s and Dont’s of internships:


1. Clear Expectations:

  • DO provide interns with a detailed overview of their roles and responsibilities.
  • DO outline the goals and outcomes expected from the internship.

2. Meaningful Projects:

  • DO assign interns tasks that align with your nonprofit’s mission and provide valuable learning experiences.
  • DO encourage them to contribute to projects that have a positive impact on the community.

3. Structured Learning:

  • DO offer mentorship and regular feedback sessions to guide interns’ growth.
  • DO create a learning plan that includes skill-building opportunities and professional development.

4. Internship Binder:

  • DO provide an internship binder containing mission statements, semester checklists, marketing/brand standards, grant writing resources, and an intern manual for reference.

5. Inclusivity:

  • DO foster a diverse and inclusive environment that respects all interns’ backgrounds and perspectives.
  • DO ensure fair opportunities and access to resources for all interns.

6. Networking:

  • DO facilitate networking opportunities with staff, volunteers, and other professionals in your nonprofit’s field.
  • DO encourage participation in relevant events, workshops, and conferences.

7. Recognition and Gratitude:

  • DO acknowledge interns’ contributions and express gratitude for their efforts.
  • DO provide certificates or letters of recommendation to recognize their achievements.

8. LinkedIn and Resume Development:

  • DO assist interns in creating and enhancing their LinkedIn profiles and resumes by providing guidance and resources.

9. Endorsements:

  • DO encourage supervisors and colleagues to provide LinkedIn endorsements to highlight interns’ skills and accomplishments.


1. Unrealistic Workload:

  • DON’T overwhelm interns with tasks beyond their capacity or expertise.
  • DON’T assign busywork that lacks meaningful value.

2. Lack of Communication:

  • DON’T leave interns uninformed or unsure about their tasks and responsibilities.
  • DON’T neglect regular check-ins or feedback sessions.
  • DON’T provide insufficient guidance or support from supervisors.

3. Limited Learning Opportunities:

  • DON’T confine interns to repetitive or unchallenging tasks that hinder their professional growth.
  • DON’T ignore their interests and aspirations when assigning projects.

4. Exclusive Environment:

  • DON’T create a clique-like atmosphere that excludes interns from organizational activities.
  • DON’T disregard their input or ideas in team discussions.

5. Unclear Path Forward:

  • DON’T leave interns without guidance on potential career paths or next steps after the internship.
  • DON’T fail to provide information about potential job openings within your nonprofit or similar organizations.

6. Unappreciated Efforts:

  • DON’T take interns’ contributions for granted or overlook their hard work.
  • DON’T withhold recognition or feedback that helps them improve.

7. Lack of Transparency:

  • DON’T keep interns in the dark about internship requirements, expectations, and organizational policies.

8. Limited Technology Access:

  • DON’T deny interns access to essential tools like Microsoft Teams, company email, and Google Calendar, which are crucial for communication and collaboration.

9. Communication and Guidance Issues:

  • DON’T make it difficult for interns to coordinate with or schedule meetings with their supervisors.
  • DON’T provide inadequate communication channels that hinder interns’ ability to seek guidance when needed.

On top of all these do’s and don’ts, you might be wondering, “How can you maintain competitiveness by providing a paid internship?” If this is a concern for your organization, you may be able to seek support through the University of Arizona. If you engage a University of Arizona student, they could qualify for internship compensation via the University’s Career Center. This support could amount to up to $2500, contingent upon the student’s financial need. Should you require more information, please contact Amanda Harrell at the Career Center: 520-621-5722 | amandaharrell@arizona.edu.

Whether you’re looking for an intern or to hire a full-time professional position, these career fairs are an excellent source to recruit our much-needed nonprofit professionals. And, you already know a great way to get them trained: Do Good Better Studio Workshops!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Best of luck with your recruitment endeavors!