Development Associate

The Beacon Center is Tennessee’s premier free market public policy organization. Beacon is pound for pound the most effective and efficient state-level think tank in the country. With a staff of just seven, Beacon has achieved remarkable policy victories on the scale of those by think tanks four and five times our size. Some of the policy achievements that have empowered Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives include:

  • Repealing the state death tax and phasing out the Hall Income Tax on retirement income, becoming just the second state in history to eliminate an income tax. These tax cuts have cumulatively saved taxpayers nearly $2 billion to date.
  • Enacting the nation’s fourth education savings account program, Tennessee’s first private school choice program.
  • Blocking an unaffordable and immoral expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare…twice.
  • Advancing free market healthcare reforms, including direct primary care, an overhaul of Tennessee’s certificate of need laws, and Right to Try.
  • Exposing the harmful truths of civil asset forfeiture and occupational licensing via transparency legislation and strategic litigation.
  • Filing lawsuits on behalf of Tennesseans whose economic liberty and property rights have been violated. Our first ever lawsuit led a judge to strike down Nashville’s Airbnb regulations as unconstitutional, the first victory of its kind in the nation.

As a result of our efforts, thousands of Tennesseans can now realize the American Dream. But we’re still not satisfied, and we won’t be until Tennessee becomes and remains the freest, most prosperous state in America.

That’s why we are looking for new talent. Beacon seeks a Development Associate who will help take our organization—and the freedom of our fellow Tennesseans—to the next level. The Development Associate will expand our capacity and take advantage of several unique opportunities on Beacon’s horizon. The main role of the Development Associate will be to work hand-in-hand with the CEO and Director of Development to grow Beacon’s fundraising capacities.

Beacon is a lean, innovative organization that operates like a start-up. We are not afraid to take risks and develop new ways to solve old problems. And neither should our Development Associate. He or she should have an entrepreneurial spirit and a high velocity of work, and be results-oriented, optimistic, and curious.

We believe that the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government are the foundation of a prosperous and opportunity-laden society. So our Development Associate must believe in and abide by these core principles.

The Development Associate’s key roles and responsibilities will include the following:

  • Assist the CEO and Director of Development in implementing key aspects of Beacon’s strategic vision.
  • Help create and execute yearly development plans that tie into that overall strategy.
  • Assist the Director of Development in managing Beacon’s major donor and foundation solicitation programs, including maintaining tracking sheets, the grants and reporting calendar, task list, and mail schedules.
  • Draft, review, and edit grant proposals, solicitation letters, reports, meeting presentation documents, and other donor-centered material.
  • Oversee and report on the progress of foundation grant projects.
  • Conduct donor prospect research.
  • Cultivate relationships with select donors, prospects, and foundation representatives through personal engagement, including regular meetings and phone calls.
  • Maximize and customize Beacon’s development database.
  • Schedule meetings for the CEO and Director of Development with major donors, prospects, and foundation representatives.
  • Represent Beacon at conferences, seminars, and other events.
  • Assist in the planning and execution of occasional donor events.


  • Familiarity with basic computer software programs.
  • Database management, or knowledge of Salesforce, Emma, and Excel is a plus.
  • One to three years experience in nonprofit fundraising or business development, especially in the start-up community, is a plus.

To Apply:

Qualified and sincerely interested candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Cover letter explaining your philosophical interest in our mission, an overview of your experience, and salary requirements.
  • Résumé
  • A list of at least three references

Materials should be emailed in one PDF document to Sam Cosby at

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls please.



While we thank all applicants for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls, please.



The Beacon Center of Tennessee provides undergraduate, graduate, and law students who believe in individual liberty and have a strong vision and interest in public policy with an invaluable opportunity to experience first-hand the inner workings of a public policy organization.

What is the Beacon Center of Tennessee?

The Beacon Center is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization based in Nashville, Tennessee. The Center’s mission is to change lives through public policy by advancing the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government.

The Center is dedicated to providing concerned citizens, the media and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market policy solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee. The Center generates and encourages public policy remedies grounded in the innovations of private enterprise, the ingenuity of individuals, and the ability of active communities to achieve a freer, more prosperous Tennessee.

What type of internships are available?

  • Public Policy
  • Legal
  • Communications
  • Fundraising

When and where is the internship, and how long does it last?

Student interns will work from the Center’s main office located in the heart of downtown Nashville. The internship lasts for a full semester or summer, and can be conducted either in the spring, summer, or fall, depending on the student’s schedule. Final decisions are made as follows: November 15 for spring semester, March 15 for summer, and July 15 for fall semester. Applicants are encouraged to apply early for consideration.

Are college credits or stipends available?

All Beacon internships are voluntary. However, depending on your major and university, you may be able to receive credits for completing the internship. Please contact your major department or career services regarding the opportunity to earn credit hours.

How do I apply for an internship?

Graduate students, law students, and undergraduate students can apply for the internship by filling out the application below and submitting it along with their cover letter, writing sample, and résumé.




Phone Number*





Grade Level*

Internship you are seeking:
 Public Policy Communications and Marketing Fundraising and Development Legal (limited to those who have completed first year of law school.)

Semester you wish to complete internship:
 Spring Summer Fall

In 2-3 sentences, please answer the following:

As you likely know from your research of our organization, the Beacon Center is committed to limited government under the belief that people of every socio-economic status thrive when their lives are free from unnecessary government interference. Given this context, which of our areas most interests you and why?

Upload Your Cover Letter

Upload Your Resume

Upload Your Writing Sample

NOTE: Each student is responsible for obtaining permission from the appropriate department of his or her university if s/he is seeking to obtain college credit for the internship, including submitting the necessary paperwork prior to the deadline imposed by the university. The Beacon Center is not responsible for ensuring that the student meets his or her university’s requirements.

If you have additional questions, contact Suzanne Michel at (615) 383-6431 or

To apply, submit your application, cover letter, and résumé to the address below:
Beacon Center of Tennessee
ATTN: Internship Program
P.O. Box 198646
Nashville, TN 37219

Summer Fellowship Opportunities

In addition to the Beacon Center’s traditional internship, we are proud to team up with the Institute for Humane Studies to offer summer fellowship opportunities. Students can gain state policy experience and help us make a difference for liberty by applying through the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies. The program includes a paid eight-week internship, two public policy seminars in Washington, DC, and career training. Find out more and apply by January 31 at:

While we thank all applicants for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls, please.