May 5, 2008

Public Innovators Undergraduate Internship

Root Cause is a nonprofit organization that accelerates enduring solutions to social and economic problems by supporting social innovators and educating social impact investors. We do this through business planning and implementation, leadership development, research, and the creation of professional and funding networks that unite the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Our key initiatives include consulting, social enterprises, knowledge sharing, research, and public policy.

Public Innovators, a nonpartisan Root Cause initiative, introduces government leaders at the city, state, and federal levels to social entrepreneurship and guides them in identifying and advancing transformative and sustainable solutions to today's toughest social problems. Public Innovators builds off our work with the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor’s Office, as well as two Root Cause reports: Social Entrepreneurship and Government: A New Breed of Entrepreneurs Developing Solutions to Social Problems, published by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Advancing Social Entrepreneurship: Recommendations for Policy Makers and Government Agencies, a co-publication with The Aspen Institute. These publications and more information are available at

About the Internship

The director of Public Innovators is Minnesota-based and seeks an unpaid intern for the summer, with the possibility that the position may be extended into and through the academic year. The intern may also apply for academic credit.

A new initiative, Public Innovators is experiencing rapid growth and is at the cutting edge of research and practice on social problem solving. This internship offers an excellent opportunity for students to gain significant knowledge of and experience in: the nonprofit sector and nonprofit management; public policy and government; and innovative approaches to social problem solving. The intern will be expected to commit to a set number of hours each week and must have access to a personal computer. If committing to full-time work during the summer, the individual may be eligible for a stipend. There is some flexibility in the particular projects the intern will work on, depending on skill set and interests.

Possibilities include:

  • Brainstorm and research potential strategic partnerships
  • Contribute to fundraising and development strategy
  • Manage web outreach strategy, including Public Innovators’ own website, blog and wikis
  • Research critical policy issues in specific states
  • Conduct research and draft memos on policy issues and efforts, such as the creation of a social innovation fund and tax structure changes to enable new organizational forms
  • Administrative assistance
Additional Qualifications
  • Currently pursuing or recently completed an undergraduate degree
  • Excellent writing, communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Internet, etc with access to own computer (laptop preferred)
  • Interest and comfort in working in an entrepreneurial, start-up environment
  • Ability to work independently and a desire to take on increased responsibility
  • Strong project management skills and public policy exposure desired
To Apply

Send your resume to Colleen Ebinger at with a cover letter describing your interest in the internship and your relevant skills/experience. Questions about the position are welcome.

Applications will be considered as they are received; priority consideration to early responses.