Doctors without Borders (MSF) Philanthropy Research Internships 2021

By | July 26, 2021

Doctors without Borders (MSF) is inviting all persons to apply for the ongoing Philanthropy Research Graduate / Internship Programme.


Reporting to the Head of Philanthropy & Partnerships, the Philanthropy Research Intern supports the growth and retention of MSF SA’s Major donor, corporate, trust and foundation revenue program mainly:

  • By participating in the identification of individual and organisational donor who will have the propensity and capacity to give to MSF SA, with a focus on their reporting requirements
  • By researching and providing updated project, grant and other relevant information on the current portfolio (of major donors, trusts & foundations and corporate donors)
  • By collecting necessary data internally within MSF and preparing requisite internal philanthropy team and external donor reports
  • By maintaining an updated planning to deliver grant proposals and reports in due time

We are looking for a proactive and analytical individual with a commitment to confidentiality and high ethical standards. The Philanthropy Research Intern will have the ability to synthesize and translate his/her research into practical suggestions/actions to the Philanthropy team fundraising goals.

The Philanthropy Research Intern will have to be an individual with an interest in data gathering and research. He or she should be highly computer literate with high-level oral, written communication and data presentation skills.


  1. Prospect Research and management
  • Identify and qualify new prospects by researching and analysing individuals, foundations, and corporations for their potential interest in MSF.
  • Research and write due diligence reports on new prospects to ensure that new donations are in line with MSF SA’s gift acceptance policy.
  • Conduct prospective donor research, including identifying active mid-level donors for potential upgrade through active data mining and ranking.
  • Rate donors (lapsed or mid-level) and prospects in terms of inclination and capacity to give.
  • Participate in team meetings on prospect review, cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Contribute to and maintain the report tracking system for major donors and prospects including the recording of meetings, outcomes, next steps and follow up strategy.
  • Write confidential research profiles on individual, corporate and foundation donors/prospects for meetings and strategic planning,
  • Assist with preparation of background briefing notes for staff in preparation for donor/prospect meetings.
  1. Administrative support to the Philanthropy unit
  • Participate and take minutes  in donor meeting debriefings with the Philanthropy team and other staff/volunteers as needed/requested.  
  • Provide administrative support to the Philanthropy team in recording donor/prospect contacts and moves as requested.
  • Collect data to fulfil the reporting needs
  • Update the tracking system for trusts & foundations/corporate donors and prospects, based on research into grant eligibility criteria and application guidelines.
  • Keep current of all recent trends in the Southern Africa NGO sector, the culture of philanthropy (especially in Africa), prospect research and incorporate any relevant information into briefing materials and regularly report on opportunities to appropriate staff.
  • Other duties as required to ensure the continued success in MSF SA’s Fundraising activities.


This Internship position allows for rotation between the Philanthropy Research Intern and the Philanthropy Reporting Intern. Rotations will be determined through team needs, candidate interests and mentor guidance. The reason for the rotational internship is to encourage development by allowing for a more holistic view of the different aspects of philanthropy over the 12-month period. The benefits of a rotation system are:

  • Successful candidates get a full view of how the philanthropy unit operates over the 12-month internship.
  • The interns support and empower each other, while receiving learning support from team members within Philanthropy and Fundraising unit as a whole.
  • Constant and clear pathway for the transfer of information and skills thus encouraging accelerated development.


Reporting to the Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy Officer, the Philanthropy Report Intern supports the retention of MSF SA’s Corporate, Trust and Foundation revenue program and the relationship management activities of front line fundraisers:

  • By maintaining an updated planning to deliver grant proposals and reports in due time
  • By assisting with data collection from MSF SA Communication department, OCB Funding Unit, Operations, Medical and other relevant teams for the purposes of compiling reports as required
  • By preparing written grant proposals, reports and presentations



  • Relevant tertiary qualification in Marketing, Business Administration, Data Sciences

Knowledge and skills

  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to understand basic financial information from a variety of sources. Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet, e-mail and database management
  • Demonstrate proficiency in research methodologies
  • An understanding and keen interest in philanthropy and the development of African philanthropy space would be an added advantage
  • Skilful in drafting and editing research and briefing materials.

Personal attributes

  • Detail-orientated, deadline-driven and self-directed.
  • Team-player with an ability to work under pressure.
  • A natural curiosity about people is key, as in an interest in research
  • Confidence to show initiative (especially in identifying new sources of information and analysis of that information).
  • Tact, diplomacy, sound judgment and demonstrated commitment to professional ethics and safeguarding donor confidentiality at all times.
  • A positive mental attitude, persistence and desire to learn.
  • Identify with the values upheld by MSF.

Internship Application closing date: 27 July 2021

Internship Location: Johannesburg , Gauteng

How To Apply For Doctors without Borders (MSF) Philanthropy Research Internships Programme

Click here to apply online for Doctors without Borders (MSF) Philanthropy Research Internships 2021

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