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Endowed internships (and assistants)

I have a dream of having an juicy endowment to pay for internships.  Even a small stipend would be nice to consistently be able to offer, but my quickie calculations suggest needing a $150,000-$200,000 gift to fully support even this level.

Alas, my idealized program would require a gift in the neighborhood of $1,000,000* — to support a full-blown, proper internship program, paying a fair hourly wage.

Of course the thing that keeps this from happening is that such a gift would always be used to endow a position such as a department/division head, not to mention that the size of institution that could support this sort of intern workforce is probably already big enough to be assuming some of the cost of having interns in the first place.  And in the end, in a smaller institution that could really benefit from the extra intern help, the money would be better spent hiring an additional regular full-time employee.

My real dream however: When I win the lottery, my plan is to set up endowed assistant archivist positions throughout the area. I would give enough money to pay the salary of assistant archivists & librarians, etc. with the cruel stipulation that to receive the gift, a full time department head would have to be in place and paid for by the institution (or by another endowment I suppose).  This should guarantee that every institution has at least two full-time staff, the minimum you need to really get a lot of things done.  I fully acknowledge that this is a self-reflective pipedream for myself.

Does any institution have atypical endowments anything like these?

The upshot: If anyone wants to set up an internship endowment — or better yet, an assistant endowment — don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’m willing to entertain offers of anywhere from 0.15 to 1.00 million dollars.  And just to sweeten to pot, I’ll allow you to adopt me.

*Internship calculation based on three cohorts of two interns each.  Two cohorts each of 20 weeks at 2 days/wk; 1 cohort of 12 weeks at 4 days/wk (equilavent to 48 weeks of full-time work, just short of being equilavent to a single full-time employee’s worth of hours).  Plus I added oversight coverage at 30% of supervisor’s time. The whole thing assumes a modest 4% yearly return on the invested endowment funds.

  1. Jim G.
    August 4th, 2009 at 12:45 | #1

    I don’t have an endowment specifically for internships, but I do have a general endowment from which I can (and do) pay interns. The general endowment was establsihed, and continues to grow, through funds raised by deaaccesioning duplicate books and manuscript material that is both boring and useless (but, apparently, of at least modest value to someone). Keep your dream alive! There’s no better way to bring eager and talented new people into the profession (now that’s “sustainable archives”) than through the positive experiences they have as interns.

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