Hosting an Intern

Why host an intern?

Have you envisioned who will succeed your organization's board and staff positions over the next twenty years? The need for new leadership in cooperative and community organizing has never been so great. We need people who possess not only the necessary skills to perform their jobs, but also the vision and dedication to bring movements into the new millennium. In order to thrive, we must educate future co-op leaders about cooperative models and values as a viable alternative to traditional business models. How can future leaders today learn about cooperatives and community organizations? By hosting an intern, your co-op, non-profit, or business does more than meet project needs; you are building the skills and experience of the next generation of movement builders. You are training future co-op and community leaders today.

Not your typical interns

NASCO’s 50 member organizations represent over 4,000 individuals, the majority of whom are youth living in housing cooperatives. Unlike standard internship applicant pools, our members are entering the workforce with a wealth of cooperative experience, advanced democratic competencies, and a deep appreciation for the cooperative model.
Through leadership positions in their co-ops, many applicants have honed valuable skills relating to nonprofit governance, financial literacy, personnel management, organizational development, conflict resolution, member education, maintenance, kitchen management, and community organizing.

Program benefits

NASCO provides the following services to internship hosts:
  • Internship listing on NASCO website
  • Internship advertised to NASCO’s membership email list and general mailing list
  • Internship program posters mailed to NASCO members (50 co-ops, 4,000 individuals)
  • Internship advertised to NASCO’s newsletter (3,000+), Facebook (2,000+), and Twitter (1,800+) followers
  • One-on-one meetings between NASCO staff and hosts for support developing meaningful internship positions
  • Applications from interns (general information, short/long responses, resume, and references) compiled and sent to hosts for review
  • Other applicants that are good fits for specific positions will be encouraged to apply
  • NASCO staff will support host in communicating with applicants, ranking applications, and scheduling interviews
  • NASCO staff will place interns with hosts based on intern and host preferences (NEW IN 2018)*
*NOTE: Former hosts have found that offering positions to prospective interns applying to several positions has caused uncertainty in securing a match. This year, NASCO will ask hosts and interns to rank each other so we can effectively and efficiently match Interns to host organizations.

NASCO encourages internship hosts to provide:

  1. A meaningful internship of at least three months which allows the intern to develop specific employable skills. Take a look at this list of previous positions for inspiration.
  2. Mentoring to ensure mutual learning benefits for the host organizations and the intern.
  3. Educational activities organized for the intern to demonstrate the values and principles of cooperative and community organizations.

Eligible hosts

Internship host organizations must be located in Canada or the United States and must be one of the following types of organizations:
  • Cooperative businesses
  • Associations of cooperatives
  • Cooperative development organizations
  • Organizations that support cooperatives
  • Solidarity Economy/New Economy organizations

Compensation guidelines

In order to create positions that are accessible to low-income applicants, host organizations must at least provide the following compensation to interns:
  • Full-time (30-40 hrs/week): Provide living wage hourly rates, room/board plus living wage stipend, or a combination of hourly wages/ stipend/ room/ board based on living wage.
  • Part-time (10-30 hrs/week): Provide living wage hourly rates or room/board.
  • Less than part-time (Less than 10 hrs/week): Internships that are less than 10 hrs/week may be uncompensated if an organization has very limited funds, however providing a stipend is strongly encouraged in order to make internships accessible to people of limited means.
We encourage all hosts to consider covering a combination of room/board, hourly rate, or stipends towards moving expenses in order to make these internships supportive to low-income students and community members.
If you cannot afford to hire your own intern for the summer, consider partering with another organization in your area. This can create more rounded positions for interns while making the internship more affordable for hosts. Be creative, and explore cross-sectoral partnerships - housing cooperatives can partner with other organizations, for example, providing free housing while the other host provides a monetary stipend.
NASCO has also received a $1,000 grant from the New Economy Coalition to support host organizations with limited funds in providing intern compensation.

Internship start & end dates

Many of our internship applicants are students or recent graduates. Late May or early June to late August are recommended start and end dates.

Program fees

Active and Associate Members of NASCO
Participating in the program is free for NASCO member organizations for up to three postings. For every posting after that there is a $50 processing fee.

A $50 USD non-refundable deposit is required with the application for non-members. If matching is successful, there is an additional $150 program fee. Organizations with limited funds may apply for fee discounts.

More information

If you're considering hosting an intern this summer, we welcome you to join us for one of two Informational Calls. We will be hosting informational calls for all prospective internship hosts on Friday, February 16 at 12:30pm CT and Wednesday, February 21 at 4:00pm CT. The calls will open with an overview of the Internship Network, lead into anecdotes and advice gathered from participants, and will close with a brief Q&A. 
Please RSVP the session you would like to attend:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
For general advice on developing an internship program in your cooperative or organization, email Ratih Sutrisno at

Apply today!

We invite you to submit an application today using this form. Applications must be received by Thursday, March 1, 2018.