Money & Business

Thursday Buzz: Why You Should Pay Your Interns

By / Jul 27, 2017 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Paying interns can be costly, but there are good reasons to do it anyway. Also: how to identify content your members will want to read.

Today marks the first National Intern Day, making it the perfect time to recognize the valuable contributions interns make to the nonprofit sector. They provide hard work and fresh ideas while gaining work experience and mentorship. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship with one sticky problem: Should they be paid?

In a recent post, the Capterra Nonprofit Technology Blog lays out arguments for and against paying interns. Cost, obviously, tops the “against” column. Hiring and onboarding any employee is expensive, and smaller nonprofits may simply be unable to afford to pay interns.

In the “for” column: Paid interns work more effectively. Offering paid internships also expands the pool of people available to you by encouraging lower-income students to apply. “Paid internships break down this unseen barrier, allowing for more income mobility once these students complete their internships and move on to higher paying careers,” writes Morpus.

Ultimately, “if a nonprofit is able to afford paying an intern, it is my opinion that it is in the best interests of the organization and its interns to provide a stipend of some sort,” he writes.

Content Creation

You know you need to serve relevant content to your readers. Luckily, figuring out what your members want to read doesn’t require expensive tools or extensive market research.

Start by analyzing your own web data. Look at the content that’s performing best and “build out the pages and content that receive the most attention, or pull out the topics that are attracting visitors and expand on those in new pages,” Julie Dietz writes in a Higher Logic blog post.

And be sure to leverage your online communities. “Find your highest activity discussion forums and read what members are posting,” suggests Dietz. “Develop additional resources on these subjects to help answer questions and stimulate further discussion.”

Other Links of Note

Engage young people. A new post on Beth Kanter’s Beth’s Blog recommends empowering children through philanthropy.

Twitter growth stalls. According to AdAge, the social platform is losing monthly users.

Keep event costs down. Successful Meetings shares a few ways to make your events more affordable for attendees.

Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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