Support Youth.

CAUSE High School Internship & Nonprofit Grant

Summer 2022


The Community Foundation serving SW Colorado and the Business Education Connection (BEC) are once again offering an amazing, hands-on, paid summer internship program during the month of June with comprehensive learning opportunities for local high school students benefitting 12 lucky La Plata County nonprofits. Nonprofits will receive a complete marketing/social media campaign for your organization, as well as an operational grant to cover marketing expenses.

This year’s grantees are 4 The Children, Be Frank, Bear Smart, Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County, Business Improvement District, Durango Arts Center, In The Weeds, San Juan Citizens Alliance, The Hive, and The Powerhouse.

CAUSE (Community Action Utilizing Service Experience) is not your run-of-the-mill internship! It will include local marketing professionals as mentors for the students. The students, who must be rising juniors and seniors, will be coordinated by the work-based learning coordinators at the BEC and paid through the Community Foundation.

Nonprofits selected to participate will host a high school intern for 4 weeks from June 6 to July 1. In addition to helping at the office, the interns will be assigned social media marketing tasks. At least one staff supervisor needs to be available throughout the month of June to create a fantastic learning opportunity for their student intern.

Save-the-dates: Required all-cohort, joint meetings for the supervisors and their interns will occur on June 6 (2:30 – 3:30 PM) and June 28. Interns will be matched with their nonprofits in mid-May.

Here is what the work week will look like:

  • Students will be onsite working directly with nonprofit staff, in person, on Monday mornings and all day Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • Students will be offsite working with local experts to create social media products for your nonprofit Monday afternoons and all day Fridays.

Nonprofits will be expected to provide an engaging professional work environment where the interns will learn professionalism and office skills. In addition to the intern and the marketing assets, the nonprofit will receive an operational grant (minimum of $2,500) upon successful completion of this program. This money could be used, for example, to execute marketing efforts related to the intern’s campaign.

To be eligible, nonprofits must be located in La Plata County and be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) or be a project or organization under the fiscal agency of a 501(c)(3). Also, nonprofits must have a professional, public office space with consistent staff supervision available Monday through Thursday throughout June.

Nonprofit grantees that participated last year ARE eligible to apply again.

The nonprofit application closes on April 1.

High School students interested in applying should reach out to Marie Kehm at the Business Education Connection in mid-March.

Required *Bonus* for CAUSE Internship Grantees:

Selected nonprofits will be given the opportunity to share their missions with key constituents and earn some extra funds by participating in this year’s Durango Wine Experience Walkabout on Friday, April 29. This will be a coveted opportunity, just for our 2022 CAUSE partners.

Each of the 12 CAUSE organizations will be paired with one of our Friday afternoon/evening Walkabout locations in Downtown Durango. Your team (4 volunteers are required) will work a four-hour shift and represent your organization (think T-shirts/small signage/nametags). A tip jar at your location will go to support your organization. Keep this April 29th opportunity in mind when applying, as participation is mandatory for grantees.


Video below was created by our 2nd year CAUSE intern Gabriella and is geared towards future interns.