Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interns are a Win/Win

Last week, I shared a few insights and resources that we have gathered over the past nine months as we have been encouraging nonprofits to consider whether they can provide, and benefit from, internship opportunities. Coincidentally, one of our friends, Mike Smith, an attorney who works with nonprofits was on the same track and shared some research he has done around that prickly issue of “Do we have to pay interns?”.  See last week’s article at  Here are Mike’s insights:

Bryan - I saw your blog post on summer interns.  Coincidentally, I’ve been working on a couple of my own blog entries– one for businesses and one for nonprofits – dealing with the question of payment of interns. 

For nonprofits, there are three categories of interns:
·         Employees, who have to be paid minimum wage and overtime compensation.
·         Trainees, a narrow category.  Trainees cannot be paid.
·         Volunteers, a much broader category.  Volunteers can be paid no more than a “nominal” stipend or fee, along with reimbursement of expenses and some benefits.

Only the first two categories are available to for-profit businesses.

These entries have some guidance (useful, I hope!) on the requirements for interns to qualify as either trainees or volunteers.

Michael Ray Smith

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