2018 Internship Program

The Kauffman Foundation Internship program will engage a diverse group of 15-20 college students (undergraduate and graduate level) in a paid summer internship experience with three components: meaningful project work, civic engagement and professional development.

We seek college students who are intellectually curious and passionate about our mission. Specifically, we seek interns who want to partner with us to eliminate barriers so that every person – regardless of their background – can take risks, achieve success and give back to their communities.

We know that diverse teams are high-performing teams; therefore, we seek college students with different perspectives and life experiences.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Available for full time, paid work June 4-July 27 (all interns will be onsite at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri).
  • Currently enrolled in college courses, undergraduate or graduate level (enrolled and/or completing courses in Spring 2018).
  • Committed to completing substantive projects in the areas of entrepreneurship, education and/or Kansas City Civic. (More information is available about our mission and priorities on our website.)
  • Committed to professional development, network development and civic engagement experiences (these experiences will be part of the Kauffman internship program).

Deadline to apply is January 31, 2018.

How to apply in two simple steps:

Only those applicants who complete all information will be considered (you will not be judged on the quality of your video).

Step 1. Complete this quick questionnaire where you can also attach a cover letter and resume at the end.

Step 2. Provide a 1-minute video that answers the following three questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you care about?
  • Why are you interested in an internship at the Kauffman Foundation?

The following are the 2018 internships:

Conference Center | Events

Project Title: Event coordination

The Conference Center is a key city asset owned and operated by the Kauffman Foundation. Our Conference Center is open to 501c3 organizations, as well as local and state government organizations. We work with meeting planners from organizations helping plan their events at our venue. We also work with internal clients from the Kauffman Foundation and Kauffman Scholars.

Responsibilities are focused on coordinating events in the Conference Center and include: learning our scheduling tool, assisting in the set-up of events, running reports for meetings, taking payment and providing daily service to our customers – checking in with them, helping them with any outstanding needs and living up to our Credo. One project will include reorganizing the conference center drive.


  • Preferred field of study: travel and tourism or hospitality.
  • Exceptional customer services skills under an array of circumstances.
  • Confident in their ability to work with all types of people, including C-level, admins, non-planners, etc.

Education | Research

Project Title: Education research (two interns to be hired in this area)

Conduct a landscape analsysis of community education programs; design and facilitate focus groups to understand the future of learning; and conduct research on a range of topics that may include strategies used by philanthropy to increase community awareness and engagement and/or early education.


  • Social science research skills and survey development.
  • Socially comfortable and engaging.
  • Passionate about community engagement and activation.
  • Strong communication and writing skills.

Entrepreneurship | 1MC and FastTrac

Project Title: 1 Million Cups (1MC) and Kauffman FastTrac research and program development

Assist with the development of the next generations and expansion of the Kauffman Foundation 1MC program and Kauffman FastTrac.

Responsibilities include researching new 1MC pilot cities, analyzing what’s working and what isn’t in current cities, and helping to create tools and resources for 1MC organizers across the country. Additional responsibilities include supporting the day-to-day activities such as social media, website and application testing; and assisting with the targeted growth campaign for the Kauffman FastTrac online program.


  • Preferred field of study: business, liberal arts, journalism or communications.

Entrepreneurship | Communities

Project Title: Entrepreneurship communities landscape analysis and program design (two interns to be hired in this area)

Assist with the landscape study and program design for the ESHIP Communities programs.

Responsibilities include interviews and research to better understand tools, programs and data regarding vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems; landscape study to support the Kauffman Ecosystem Builders Playbook; research to support department goals, objectives and strategies; and logistics and coordination support for the implementation and kickoff of the ESHIP Communities events.


  • Preferred field of study: social science, economics, urban planning, applied math and/or applied economics.
  • Must be motivated, capable of self-direction and able to work collaboratively in a team.

Entrepreneurship | Events

Project Title: Entrepreneurship Summit project management and event coordination

Assist with the Foundation’s ESHIP Summit, which will take place in July 2018.

Responsibilities include project management, onsite event assistance, event debrief and developing recommendations for future Summits.


  • Preferred field of study: business, liberal arts and/or communications.
  • Ideal for a student with interests in community building, events, and design thinking.

Entrepreneurship | Market Gaps

Project Title: Entrepreneurship Market Gaps RFP (two interns to be hired in this area)

Support the development, launch and grant review process for the Kauffman Foundation 2018 Inclusion Open RFP process.

Responsibilities include research/landscape analysis, project management, and supporting the grantee interview and selection process as well as supporting a convening of grantees (event coordination/logistics).


  • Preferred field of study: business, liberal arts and/or communications.
  • Ideal for a student with interests in community building, events, and design thinking.

Entrepreneurship | Research

Project Title: Entrepreneurship research

Assist on specific research, including literature reviews, review of research methodologies and compiling work in new fields of research related to entrepreneurship.


  • Graduate level.
  • Experience in statistics required.

Entrepreneurship | Research data

Project Title: Entrepreneurship research with a focus on data

Assist with data-related initiatives, including conducting research on data infrastructure, data sources and opportunities to build out data initiatives in the broader strategy.

Responsibilities include assistance with the Kauffman Index work and methodological review for new initiatives and grant proposals.


  • Graduate level.
  • Experience in statistics required.

Entrepreneurship | Research Education

Project Title: Entrepreneurship research with a focus on Entrepreneurship Education

Assist with general research regarding topics including: current trends around entrepreneurship content in secondary and higher education, new and innovative models of entrepreneurship education, and curricular trends in teaching entrepreneurship.

Responsibilities include creating a contact list of leaders and practitioners in entrepreneurship education in Kansas City and assisting with the development of a rubric for evaluating entrepreneurship education programs.


  • Non-graduate level.
  • Requires strong quant background in math, statistics or finance.

Entrepreneurship | Special Projects

Project Title: Entrepreneurship special projects

Assist the Entrepreneurship Chief of Staff/Director of Entrepreneurial Communities in special projects related to overall department strategy and execution. May include projects to support operations, budgeting and process refinement.


  • Preferred field of study: business.
  • Strength or experience in project management, finance and business analysis.

Evaluation | Nonprofit capacity

Project Title: Nonprofit capacity

This internship sits at the intersect of evaluation and the Kansas City Civic strategies and focuses on identifying tools and approaches for measuring nonprofit capacity specifically in the areas of program delivery, staffing and sustainability.

Responsibilities include conducting a literature review on best practices for defining and measuring nonprofit capacity, identifying instruments and approaches for measuring nonprofit capacity and creating a set of recommendations on how best to measure nonprofit capacity.


  • Preferred field of study: graduate level program, master's or PhD in economics, political science, public policy, or related fields.
  • Knowledge of evaluation and research methodology, descriptive and statistical analysis and interpretation, and data reporting.
  • Experience doing research and/or evaluation is preferred.
  • Basic competency using Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, PPT).
  • Personal characteristics: self-directed, takes independent initiative, strong communication (written and verbal), problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, and highly adaptable.

Investments | Research

Project Title: Investment research and review

Assist the Investment team with projects related to the $2.3B multi-manager portfolio. The portfolio is invested across a wide range of asset categories including public equity, private equity, hedge funds, energy partnerships and real estate partnerships.

Examples of projects may include: a review of a historical market event including key takeaways that could help us better understand and navigate the current market environment; a study of a current investment manager (this would include a review of the team, investment philosophy and process as well as a review of the portfolio to assess whether it aligned with the stated philosophy); an analysis of a prospective investment manager, including a review of the strength of the organization, team, investment philosophy, process and performance; data collection and analysis on the holdings of our private equity managers.


  • Flexible regarding a degree.
  • Must be motivated, capable of self-direction and able to work collaboratively in a team.
  • Should be comfortable with quantitative analysis and using Excel.

Public Affairs | Social media

Project Title: Social media

Create content for social media packages, help implement a social media influencer strategy, assist with editorial needs, including storytelling about the grantees and others impacted by the Foundation’s work.


  • Preferred field of study: Journalism, Communications or English major, although anyone with direct experience doing social media, blogging or video will be considered.
  • Familiarity with content creation.
  • Candidates with ties to the community a plus.

Public Affairs | Writing and editing

Project Title: Project management, writing and editing focused on New Entrepreneurial Learning (NEL)

This internship sits at the intersect of Public Affairs and the Entrepreneurship strategies and focuses on writing/project management to engage audiences in content and events that advance NEL.

Responsibilities include writing and editing for cross-channel branded content, including newsletters, e-mail campaigns, landing pages, blog posts and social media; supporting event and workshop communications; trafficking external requests for interviews; and managing projects, including meeting notes and timelines.


  • Preferred field of study: Marketing, Strategic Communications, Journalism, English, Public Relations, or related field.