Careers in Program Development


Looking for an entry level job or internship in program development? Here's an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have entry level and internship opportunities that will interest you.

See companies with program development careers or search the latest program development jobs and internships.

Bike and Build is a non-profit that leads cross-country bike trips in support of affordable housing. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that an under-taking of this magnitude involves a lot of planning. Some tasks on the list include leaders for the trips, participants for the trips, fundraising, biking and food supplies, route-planning, press for the program, etc. Chances are a number of program assistants helped make this program everything that it is. Program assistants and jacks (and jills) of all trades: they do anything and everything to help push their program forward.

Program Assistant Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Program Assistant Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Program Assistant
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Program Assistant
  4. Best Locations for Program Assistants
  5. Pros and Cons of Being a Program Assistant
  6. What You Need to Know to be a Program Assistant
  7. Program Assistant Resources
  8. Careers Related to Program Assistant
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships for Program Assistants

What a Program Assistant Does

Non-profit program assistants tend to serve as the right-hand persons of their supervisors. As a result many of their duties are administrative but they may also have some supervisory duties. Non-profit program assistants solicit grants for the organization by preparing grant application letters and meeting with grantors to discuss the purpose of their organization as well as how they intend to use the grant money. In addition they sometimes interview job candidates, train new workers, and supervise staff members in the director’s absence. They may also visit media outlets to promote upcoming events that the organization is sponsoring such as food drives, charity dinners, or a school supply giveaway.

A Typical Day for a Program Assistant

While there is no typical day for a program assistant, some tasks might include:

Salary and Career Progression for a Program Assistant

The average salary for a Program Assistant in a non-profit is $35,000 per year, although it ranges between $31,000-$43,000. One way to begin at a non-profit is in direct service. From there people often transition into coordinating aspects of programs (a program assistant), such as managing volunteers, and then eventually managing entire programs. You could consider getting involved in the development ($55,000) or marketing ($25,000-$45,000/yearly) aspects of the company as well.

Best Locations for Program Assistants

Here are some great locations for program assistants:

Pros and Cons of Being a Program Assistant


What You Need to Know to be a Program Assistant

To be a program assistant you will usually need at least a high school diploma and/or a bachelor’s degree with a focus in either business, communications or marketing. Other skills to develop for this function include the ability to multi-task, handle difficult clients, pay attention to details, great working collaboratively, and take initiative.

Program Assistant Resources

If being a program assistant still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Job Search Resources

Careers Related to Program Assistant

Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Program Development


MATHCOUNTS - MATHCOUNTS is an Alexandria, VA based non-profit that “provides fun and challenging math programs to US middle school students."

See the complete MATHCOUNTS profile

Bottom Line Logo

Bottom Line - Bottom Line is a Boston, MA based non-profit that “has helped thousands of low-income and first-generation students stay in college and earn their degrees.”

See the complete Bottom Line profile

The New York Academy of Sciences Logo

The New York Academy of Sciences - The New York Academy of Sciences is a New York, NY based “international, nonprofit membership organization working to advance scientific knowledge."

See the complete The New York Academy of Sciences profile

Children's Literacy Initiative Logo

Children’s Literacy Initiative - Children's Literacy Initiative is a Philly based non-profit “that works with teachers to transform instruction so that children can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers.”

See the complete Children’s Literacy Initiative profile

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center Logo

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center - Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center is an SF non-profit that helps people "achieve financial self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.”

See the complete Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center profile

The San Francisco Foundation Logo

The San Francisco Foundation - The San Francisco Foundation is a non-profit founded in 1948 “to pull the community together to create pride and unity and improve quality of life” in the Bay Area.

See the complete The San Francisco Foundation profile

Philabundance Logo

Philabundance - Philabundance is a Philadelphia, PA based organization that holds the “simple belief that no man, woman or child should go hungry.”

See the complete Philabundance profile

The Center for Effective Philanthropy

The Center for Effective Philanthropy - The Center for Effective Philanthropy is based in Cambridge, MA and San Francisco, CA and helps "philanthropic funders better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness."

See the complete The Center for Effective Philanthropy profile

National Alliance to End Homelessness Logo

National Alliance to End Homelessness - The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a Washington, DC based non-profit that, as its name indicates, is working to end homelessness.

See the complete National Alliance to End Homelessness profile

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Logo

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance - National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance is an Amherst, MA based non-profit that supports “technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education."

See the complete National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance profile

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Chemical Education Foundation Logo

Chemical Education Foundation - The Chemical Education Foundation is an Arlington, VA based non-profit that “is committed to enhancing science education among every generation."

See the complete Chemical Education Foundation profile

Natural Resources Defense Council Logo

Natural Resources Defense Council - NRDC is an NYC based non-profit that wants to "safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends."

See the complete Natural Resources Defense Council profile

Mercy Corps Logo

Mercy Corps - Mercy Corps, a Portland, OR non-profit, helps “people in the world’s toughest places survive the crises they confront and turn them into opportunities to thrive.”

See the complete Mercy Corps profile


FareStart - FareStart is a Seattle, WA non-profit that empowers homeless and disadvantaged people "through life skills, job training and employment in the food service industry.”

See the complete FareStart profile

Job TitleLocation
2nd shift ScanningOklahoma City, OK
Database SpecialistSeattle, WA
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Road Scholar Logo

Road Scholar - Road Scholar is a Boston, MA based non-profit that aims to inspire "adults to learn, discover and travel" by offering educational tours all across the world.

See the complete Road Scholar profile

Beauty Bus Foundation Logo

Beauty Bus Foundation - Beauty Bus Foundation is a Santa Monica, CA non-profit that “delivers dignity, hope and respite to chronically or terminally ill people" through beauty services.

See the complete Beauty Bus Foundation profile

Job TitleLocation
Physician/AssociateMerrill, WI
Family MedicineMerrill, WI
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Institute for Educational Leadership Logo

Institute for Educational Leadership - The Institute for Educational Leadership is a Washington, DC based non-profit that does research, leadership development, and policy work in the area of education.

See the complete Institute for Educational Leadership profile

Chicago Run Logo

Chicago Run - Chicago Run is a non-profit that uses running to promote “the health and wellness of Chicago children through innovative, engaging, and sustainable youth programs.”

See the complete Chicago Run profile

Lend for America Logo

Lend for America - Lend for America is a New Brunswick, NJ based non-profit that helps "college students change the lives of their communities’ low-income families" through microfinance.

See the complete Lend for America profile

iMentor Logo

iMentor - iMentor is an NYC based non-profit that “builds mentoring relationships that empower students in low-income communities to achieve their ambitions.”

See the complete iMentor profile


FIRST - FIRST is a Manchester, NH based non-profit that uses robotics to create "a world where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”

See the complete FIRST profile

Red Rabbit Logo

Red Rabbit - Red Rabbit is a New York, NY based company aiming “to fix the school food system—one community at a time” by providing healthy school meals.

See the complete Red Rabbit profile

Seattle Tilth Logo

Seattle Tilth - Seattle Tilth aims “to inspire and educate people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system.”

See the complete Seattle Tilth profile

Food & Friends Logo

Food & Friends - Food & Friends is a Washington, DC based non-profit that cares for people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other illnesses by preparing and delivering meals.

See the complete Food & Friends profile

Reasoning Mind Logo

Reasoning Mind - Reasoning Mind is a Houston, TX based non-profit that uses web technology to help kids learn math, and they're hiring lots of new grads.

See the complete Reasoning Mind profile

Social Impact Logo

Social Impact - Social Impact is an Arlington, VA based management consulting firm that aims “to make international development more effective in improving people’s lives.”

See the complete Social Impact profile

New Leaders Logo

New Leaders - New Leaders is a non-profit that “develops transformational school leaders and designs effective leadership policies and practices for school systems across the country.”

See the complete New Leaders profile

Real Change Logo

Real Change - Real Change is a Seattle, WA based non-profit that provides "opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic justice.”

See the complete Real Change profile

New York Needs You

New York Needs You - New York Needs You is a non-profit that is aiming to enable “first-generation college students to realize their college and career ambitions."

See the complete New York Needs You profile

Wounded Warrior Project Logo

Wounded Warrior Project - Wounded Warrior Project is a Jacksonville, FL based non-profit that aims “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

See the complete Wounded Warrior Project profile

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