Accelerate YOUR GROWTH & Impact

The Summer Fellowship Program supports the learning and engagement of highly-motivated individuals passionate about social change and equity while they engage in summer internships in the social impact sector.

Through the Summer Fellowship Program, individuals who are preparing to enter the workforce for the first time or are new to the workforce, participate in meaningful summer internships at mission-driven organizations while taking part in engaging and informative Summer Fellowship programming. The Summer Fellowship bolsters the leadership skills and networks of participants, illuminates pathways to a variety of careers and leadership roles in the social sector careers, and fuels their passion for mission-driven work.

Launched in 2006 at New Sector Alliance, the Summer Fellowship Program formally transitioned to the management and ownership of INP in fall 2021 as part of a strategic partnership agreement between the two organizations. Read more about the program transfer here.


The INP Summer Fellowship Program brings together individuals who are preparing to enter the workforce (including undergraduate and graduate students, and early career professionals with less than five years of work experience) who are interested in exploring careers in the social impact sector. During the program, Summer Fellows gain an understanding of how nonprofit and mission-driven organizations function, hone their leadership and professional skills, and engage in mentoring relationships and network-building that extend beyond the Summer Fellowship experience. The Summer Fellowship Program provides skills, tools, knowledge, and networks that emerging leaders need to be more equipped for long-term career growth. Included in the experience:

  • Seminars, all of which deeply integrate the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, that explore career development, build knowledge about the social impact sector, cover essential leadership skills, and introduce the fundamentals of design-thinking.
  • Networking conversations with a diverse network of other nonprofit and social impact professionals to provide opportunities for connection, collaboration, and building social capital.
  • One-on-one mentorship with a social impact professional.
  • Peer Learning with other Summer Fellows to work on skills, offer support and problem solving, and discuss workshop topics and concepts.
  • Access to additional resources through INP’s active and diverse network. This includes learning from other equity-driven leaders including current students, alumni, faculty members, community partners, and funders.

Who Are our summer fellows?

At INP, we know that the learning experience in the classroom is strengthened by the diversity of our students. We encourage candidates across all identities, backgrounds, and organizational sizes to apply.

Ideal candidates for the Summer Fellowship Program are:

  • Individuals preparing to enter the workforce including undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career leaders with five or fewer years of professional experience.
  • Committed to working within the nonprofit or social impact sector.
  • Growth-oriented and passionate about social justice, racial and gender equity work, and community change.


You can join the Summer Fellowship Program via one of two routes:

  • Professional Development Track: This point of entry is ideal for those who have already secured a summer internship with a mission-driven organization and want to bolster their skills and networks in the social impact sector through the Summer Fellowship Program. There are no geographic restrictions for Fellows entering the cohort through the Professional Development Track as all Summer Fellowship programming is being offered virtually until further notice. We encourage candidates from any geographic location in the U.S. and territories to apply.
  • *Placement Track: This point of entry is ideal for those seeking an internship at a mission-driven organization in Chicago and Minneapolis/St.Paul and who would like INP’s support in doing so. INP works with partner organizations in Chicago and the Twin Cities to recruit and match Fellows with paid summer internships at mission-driven organizations. Fellows complete their internships with the partner organization while participating in the Summer Fellowship Program.

*Please note that our Placement Track is at capacity and no longer accepting applications for the 2022 program.

Apply now


Generally, Summer Fellows meet every three weeks on Friday for an all-day session (10:30am – 4:30pm ET | 9:30am – 3:30pm CT | 7:30am – 1:30pm PT with breaks). Seminars are facilitated by a lead Faculty Member, complemented by guest instructors, and include engaging presentations, case discussions, and small group work with a cohort of 10 to 25 peers. 

Seminar topics include:

  • Designing Your Future: Employing Design Thinking to Shape Your Career
  • Building a Culture of Belonging: Maintaining Authenticity Inside Your Organization
  • Maximizing Your Communication Style and Approach
  • Results-Focused Work: Setting and Achieving Your Goals


INP is currently accepting applications for the 2022 Summer Fellowship. For the health and safety of students and staff, the current program term is being held virtually for the duration of the program, from June to August 2022.


There are currently no geographic restrictions. We encourage any and all early career social impact professionals in the U.S. and territories to apply.


Our application process consists of:

  • Online application with three components:
    • Program preferences, education, and demographic information
    • Short responses to three prompts
    • Virtual interview with an INP staff member

Applicants will receive a more detailed timeline during the interview process.

Application Deadlines

Applications are currently open for the Summer Fellowship Class of 2022. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

Apply Now


Professional Development Track: Tuition for the Summer Fellowship Professional Development Track is $1,000. The cost covers all program access and instruction, including session readings and other materials. Tuition is substantially subsidized and represents a portion of the actual program costs. INP strives to make the program affordable to as many leaders as possible, and on occasion can provide scholarship funds toward the tuition cost. This tuition cost is paid by either the Summer Fellow’s partner organization or academic institution.

Placement Track: Sponsoring organizations incur the cost of the placement and development of Summer Fellows, so there is no cost to Summer Fellows participating in the Placement Track. Fellows are matched into internship roles at partner organizations, and compensation packages vary based on the partner and role. INP requires partner organizations bringing on a Summer Fellow to compensate Fellows at fair market value. 

We are now accepting applications for the 2022 Summer Fellowship Professional Development Track!

Continuing Education, networking & alumni community

In addition to the significant learning and growth participants achieve during the Summer Fellowship Program, INP alumni gain access to lifelong alumni benefits including continuing education, networking opportunities, and more. Check out our Alumni page for more on these benefits.

Alumni Report


of RISE and Summer alums say that skills learned at the Fellowship were largely transferable to their current role


of RISE and Summer alums remain in social impact work


of RISE and Summer partner organizations agree that the support provided by RISE and Summer Fellows was a good or excellent value


of RISE and Summer alums continue to rely on their Fellowship network as an important support system outside of work

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