Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society’s 2018 Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program.

Application deadline: Monday May 14, 2018

The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society’s 2018 Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program will provide leadership training through seminars with Third-sector practitioners, research based on best practices, and the application of a comparative framework.

Fellows are based at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY), where they will attend weekly seminars, explore work of key agencies and foundations, meet with nonprofit leaders and study U.S. and international community foundation models. During the program, participants pursue an individualized research project and develop a professional presentation to disseminate their findings.

The program is geared to young professionals interested in strengthening community philanthropy and building capacity in local Third-sector institutions. Emerging leaders at community foundations and similar place-based grantmaking organizations are especially encouraged to apply. This year’s Fellows will be selected from abroad and from communities of color under-represented in the U.S. grantmaking sector.

Program description

  • The Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program will run from Monday October 1 through Friday November 30, 2018.
  • The program focus will be community foundations, place-based giving, and local grantmaking, set within the context of an increasingly global philanthropic sector. Additional trends and practices in philanthropy will be covered to provide background and to address the research interests of all participating Fellows.
  • Drawing on seminars, readings, discussions with leaders in the field, and the Fellows’ own experiences, each participant will produce a strategy paper with recommendations for the development, adaptation or expansion of community grantmaking or another approved topic. It is expected that these recommendations will consider the variety of experiences around the globe, and will reflect the particular political, social, economic and legal frameworks in the Fellows’ home countries.

Eligibility and selection

  • Program open to community philanthropy practitioners and researchers in the US and overseas.
  • Requirements
  1. Strong institutional base at a community foundation, place-based grantmaker, community philanthropy support organization, or other organization actively working to increase locally-based contributions and grantmaking.
  2. Ability to implement research recommendations
  3. College or university degree
  4. Strong spoken and written English language skills (TOEFL scores or the equivalent should be provided by those whose education was in a language other than English; alternately, a statement documenting facility with the English language within your professional sphere is acceptable.)
  • Top-ranking applicants may be offered an award to participate on one of the following bases: full-award; partial award; or tuition.
  • A select number of full fellowship awards are available. (See “Award” below). These are earmarked for citizens of countries other than the United States All other selected applicants will be admitted on a tuition or partial award basis as described below.
  • Preference is given to candidates who are 1) affiliated with a community foundation or initiatives to support community philanthropy organizations and practice, and 2) who illustrate in their proposals a clear interest in furthering the work of community foundations or strengthening grantmaking and the local culture of philanthropy.
  • Candidates affiliated with other philanthropy sector institutions who submit proposals on current trends and practices in philanthropy (other than community foundations) may apply for consideration on a tuition basis or with financial support from individual or institutional sponsors. Please indicate in your personal statement that you are interested in participating on a tuition basis or with financial support from your home institution.
  • Participation on a tuition basis or with financial support from individual or institutional sponsors is open to all, regardless of country of origin or residence. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements detailed above to be considered for participation on a tuition or sponsorship basis. For further details, please send an e-mail request to the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
  • The selection of program participants will be made by a committee of leaders from the Third Sector.


Full fellowship awards cover the costs of tuition, single-room dormitory accommodations with shared facilities at International House (adjacent to Columbia University) in Manhattan, a meal allowance at International House, medical insurance, program materials, local meetings, local travel and other selected program-related costs.

To apply,

  • complete and submit by Monday May 14, 2018 the online application form (please scroll down further below). In the event that applying online proves challenging, the application form may be made available in an alternate format upon request via
  • follow instructions for uploading the following:


  1. résumé or curriculum vitae identifying past and present employment, and educational experience and relevant publications, if any;
  2. research proposal (3-5 pages) that identifies a research topic on community foundations or community grantmaking, questions to be addressed, anticipated methodology, as well as a plan for disseminating and applying research findings. The proposed research should reflect a comparative framework and must be feasible to undertake and complete within the duration of the program and while residing in New York City.
  3. personal statement explaining what you seek to accomplish during the program and how participation in the program would enhance your work in philanthropy or strengthen civil society locally. Any professional or academic experience outside of your home country should also be described (2 pages maximum).
  4. provide two referees with the online recommendation form link. Two letters of reference are required, and at least one should be from individuals who know the applicant in a professional (rather than an academic) capacity.

Application form.

Application deadline: Monday May 14, 2018

For any program-related questions, please email or visit the official website of the Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program.


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