LENGTH OF INTERNSHIP:  September 2019 – April 2020

Availability: M-F 9am-5pm (flexible); 16 hours/week



Additionally, the Public Engagement team is willing to work with university requirements to allow for internships.

Mercy Corps responsibilities

  • Access to Mercy Corps online tools
  • Workspace within the Mercy Corp office in Portland, OR
  • Training and supervisory support
  • All other tools, materials and communication requirements for this project to be undertaken

Intern responsibilities

  • Travel to/from Mercy Corps Office
  • Lodging in Portland, OR
  • Living expenses


Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

This position is a part of the Resource Development (RD) department. RD staff work in three main areas: 1) raising private funds and cultivating and maintaining relationships with private donors; 2) defining the agency’s brand, raising our public profile and sharing stories about our work by engaging with the media, the public, and our supporters and producing a wide range of online and offline communications; and 3) teaching visitors to our Portland Action Center about issues of global poverty and engaging them in efforts to end it. This position will relate directly with the Action Center to raise visibility of our global programming.

The RD team includes several dozen dynamic professionals who possess a wide range of skills. We are database managers, web developers, digital marketers and public relations experts. We are writers, designers, photographers and teachers. We are fundraisers with expertise in direct response, online, community, major gift and corporate giving. We are specialists in fundraising analysis, stewardship, prospecting and customer service. Most of all, we are passionate about Mercy Corps’ mission and dedicated to supporting our worldwide team that’s improving the lives of 19 million people in more than 40 countries.

This position will sit on the Public Engagement team in the Action Center. The Public Engagement team serves as Mercy Corps’ public engagement hub – through the Action Center as a visitor and gathering space for the Portland community, and through interactive events that bring our mission to life in Portland and other target cities. Our currency is live events and our focus is building community around issues Mercy Corps cares about through lectures, panel discussions, simulations, workshops, webinars, exhibits and volunteer opportunities that support the RD goals of raising profile, influence and funds. We work to attract new people to Mercy Corps and offer existing donors multiple opportunities to connect to Mercy Corps and to each other.

The intern will support and participate in the work of the program. Areas of focus may include:

  • Assist the Public Engagement Officer with event coordination in Portland and potentially in other west coast cities including Seattle and San Francisco: logistics, procuring venues/vendors, promotion, and execution before/during/after events
  • Assist with event research and brainstorming sessions
  • Develop and execute tours of the Action Center, for both adult and youth audiences


At the completion of this internship, the intern will:

  • Understand the importance and complexities of non-profit event coordination
  • Hone their ability to multitask and prioritize multiple deadlines
  • Gain experience in event coordination
  • Demonstrate abilities in project management
  • Hone public speaking skills
  • Hone writing skills for a specific audience
  • Acquire deep understanding of Mercy Corps’ work around the world


The intern will support the team through the following activities:

  • Assist in planning, preparation and coordination of public and donor events
  • Serve as editor and/or writer for various Public Engagement communications and projects
  • Develop tours of the Action Center for adult and youth groups, both small and large


  • Graduate or undergraduate study, complete (no more than 1 year out) or in progress, in communications, marketing, international studies, or related field, or equivalent work experience
  • Previous experience organizing events or large projects
  • Experience with public speaking
  • Experience and competence in complex logistical coordination
  • Excellent writing and editing skills with the ability to “translate” technical language into compelling messages and stories
  • Superb attention to detail
  • Excellent problem solving and interpersonal skills
  • Interest in international development
  • A demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and adaptable, and to work both independently and as part of a team

LIVING CONDITIONS: Portland, OR Headquarters

Mercy Corps interns and team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.


Candidates interested in this internship should submit a resume and a cover letter. In your statement, you are encouraged to discuss any experiences related to the projects outlined.  You may wish to describe your career interests (specifically as they relate to non-profits, events, education, or humanitarian aid) and discuss your previous work and educational experiences demonstrating these interests. 

All applications must be submitted by August 30 to be considered. Your application will be reviewed by the hiring team within 3 weeks of submission and shortlisted candidates will be contacted directly for interviews. All applicants will receive notification once a decision has been made.

Apply Here

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