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Development Gap Year Fellowship 2023-24

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, offers an opportunity to work alongside our Development team through direct involvement in daily fundraising activities, long-term projects, and special events. Fellows will obtain a unique and enriched learning experience through working with the team, performing research on current and potential donors, providing support with database initiatives, and assisting with the preparation for events. This fellowship will require a commitment of nine months and will provide a stipend of $5,000 dispersed in installments, contingent on the completion of the program. It is ideal for a student seeking to take a “gap year” either post grad, between studies, or pausing undergraduate or graduate school for the 2023-24 academic year.

Fellows will be welcomed as members of their assigned team and participate fully in the community of PEN America, including departmental and all-staff meetings, professional development offerings, and social opportunities.

The fellowship will operate from our headquarters in New York City on a hybrid schedule during normal business hours. Applicants needing a fully virtual arrangement are also welcome to apply and should indicate this requirement in their applications. Candidates with diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Additionally, candidates who would be balancing the fellowship (in place of school) along with outside employment are also encouraged to apply and should indicate this in their application for special consideration regarding schedule flexibility.


  • Provide support with Development communications materials, including fundraising appeals, acknowledgement letters, and cultivation event invitations
  • Research current and potential donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors
  • Generate and update reports to track revenue, new donors, and other metrics
  • Assist in behind-the-scenes preparation for both private and public PEN America events
  • Work and gain experience with Raiser’s Edge through ensuring donor records are up-to-date
  • Assist with data clean-up in Raiser’s Edge


  • Excellent writing and research skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to multitask and shift priorities
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite, Mailchimp, and Google Suite
  • Desire to gain exposure to and experience in all areas of nonprofit management and Development
  • Passion for art, literature, and human rights
  • Commitment to PEN America’s mission to protect the right to free expression


  • Must be able to provide proof of authorization to study in the United States
  • Must be able to provide proof of enrollment or acceptance into an academic program of study for the academic year of 2023-24 or 2024-25, or prepare a document that explains their academic history with academic plans or postgrad aspirations (if recently graduated)
  • Must commit to 24–35 hours, and four or five days per week, within normal weekday business hours for 9–10 months

  • A resume or CV, one to two pages maximum
  • A cover letter indicating your interest in the fellowship, how the fellowship will support future plans or current studies/projects, and the skills you would bring to the fellowship
  • A separate short statement explaining your academic status and why a gap year is planned
  • A work sample that demonstrates your proficiency as a writer, researcher, advocate, or communicator, preferably with applicability to PEN America’s work (five pages maximum)

The above must be sent via email to with a subject line that includes “Gap Year Fellowship,” the department you are interested in, and your first and last name (for example, “Gap Year Fellowship – Development – Jane Doe”).

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please. 


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.