The Development Intern will be a true member of the Development team, working directly with staff and making sure committed donors have a strong and lasting relationship with the Des Moines Symphony & Academy.

The Development program is responsible for identifying, recruiting, and stewarding donors who give donations totaling more than $1.5 million annually to the Symphony & Academy. The Development Intern will receive hands-on experience through responsibilities such as donor correspondence, creative projects and guaranteeing the integrity of the Symphony’s growing donor database. The intern will also be able to learn more about other parts of the organization through volunteer opportunities and group activities. Please note: the Development Intern will not be responsible for soliciting money from donors


The Development Intern will have the opportunity to showcase skills and build a true professional presence through:

  • Event Planning & Management: Assist with the Des Moines Symphony’s largest annual fundraising event, the Viewing Party for Yankee Doodle Pops, including supporting event committees and managing the solicitation, receipt, and marketing of silent auction items. Assist in the planning and execution of Water Works Pops VIP Experiences.
  • Annual & Major Gifts: Manage research and help plan cultivation and solicitation techniques for individuals, corporations, and foundations (grants).
  • Donor Relations: Support the Symphony’s donor relations program, including sponsor and donor benefits, comp tickets, employee enrichment programs, and special receptions.


  • An in-depth understanding of non-profit fundraising and how fundraising finances the programmatic and educational work of an arts organization.
  • Gain transferable database management, communications skills, and office and customer service skills applicable to future employment opportunities
  • Observation of how a Development department uses varied income streams to meet a $3+ million dollar organizational budget
  • Experience handling responsibilities in a high-energy environment
  • The opportunity to learn the work of the Des Moines Symphony & Academy across all of our departments


  • Ability to meet deadlines and thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Comfortable providing service through email and phone correspondence
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to independently problem solve
  • Ability to type quickly and accurately with proven skill to proofread own work
  • Moderate proficiency in Microsoft Word & Excel, with the ability to become adept at the use of these and other computer programs and databases
  • Willingness to learn the details of non-profit fundraising
  • Professional, responsible & team-oriented manner
  • Demonstrated interest in arts & culture
  • Prior database and customer service experience a plus


  • This is an unpaid internship. School credit is available upon request.
  • Internships are based out of our offices in Des Moines, IA
  • Email resume and cover letter to
  • Deadlines for application materials: April 13, 2020
  • Please refer questions to our website; for any other questions, email

The Des Moines Symphony is a not-for-profit, professional orchestra formed in 1937 to enrich, educate and inspire the community by performing great orchestral music. The Symphony Association, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and operating on an annual budget of more than $3.2 million, supports the Symphony Academy and its numerous music education programs including four youth orchestras, and supports the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra which performs seven pairs of Masterworks concerts, a Pops series including the traditional New Year’s Eve Pops, education, outreach and family concerts, and other special events in its home at the Des Moines Civic Center. The organization also produces and performs a Summer Pops series including encompassing Water Works Pops and the annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert in July on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol, which attracts more than 100,000, the largest single day attendance of any concert event in the State.