Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship

Members engage with key content at a meeting for GEO’s Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship cohort.

The Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship is a 10-month peer cohort program for senior executives who are responsible for developing and guiding key change efforts in their organizations. We are no longer accepting applications for the 2020 fellowship program. Applicants can expect a response the week of October 5th, 2020.

Program participants will explore what it takes to lead transformational change through an individual, organizational and ecosystem lens. Participants will convene in-person and virtually with one another to learn, share resources and apply insights to their work in real-time.

Meet the 2019 - 2020 Cohort

Meet the 2017 - 2018 Cohort

Meet the 2016 - 2017 Cohort

Informational Webinars

These informational webinars provide an overview of the program’s structure and goals, as well as an opportunity for you to hear and learn directly from program facilitators and current cohort participants.
July 15, 2020 Webinar Recording | July 29, 2020 Webinar Recording

Why is GEO leading this cohort?

This fellowship program began as a part of Grantmakers for Effective Organization’s larger Leading Change in Philanthropy initiative and is a response to requests from executives to have more support, resources and guidance on how they can lead organizational change efforts. In addition to creating a supportive community where executives have the assistance and guidance they need, the program also helps participants identify best practices and recommendations for creating organizational conditions that support nonprofit success.

With this fellowship, our goals are to:

  1. Create a supportive community where executives have candid conversations and learn with one another about leading change within organizations to support nonprofit success.
  2. Increase participants’ knowledge, skills and efficacy for implementing and guiding organizational change.
  3. Identify best practices and recommendations for creating organizational conditions that lead to smarter grantmaking. These practices, informed by fellows’ experiences and related research, will be shared broadly with the field to support other leaders and build greater knowledge of leading change in philanthropy.

Who is eligible to participate?

Eligible participants in the Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship are senior executives who:

  • Work at grantmaking organizations that are GEO members,
  • Report directly to the CEO, and
  • Are responsible for leading and/or supporting change in their organizations.

Preference is for only one participant from each organization, but we are open to having two or more participants from one organization if all fit the criteria above and are working together on a change project at their organization.

What if I don’t report to my CEO?

We recognize that organizations have different reporting structures. Participants should have enough organizational authority and influence to own and lead an organizational change effort.

What are the time commitment and participant expectations?

Because learning communities rely on the active participation of its members, we expect all participants to remain consistently engaged with the program. Participants must make the following commitments:

  • Virtual retreats. Dates are still being determined for the 2020 fellowship.
  • An estimated 3-4 hours a month, which includes preparation for and participation in monthly 90-minute video conference calls.
  • Occasional one-on-one check-in calls with the program facilitators.
  • Occasional interaction and discussion with colleagues as needed.
  • Proactive and engaged participation throughout the fellowship that advances group learning and ensures the fellowship meets individual and collective expectations and needs.

What is the fee for the program?

For members with an annual grantmaking budget greater than $25 million in grants, the price of participation for the 2020 - 2021 cohort is $5,700. For members with an annual grantmaking budget of less than $25 million in grants, the price of participation is $3,200. Please use your foundation’s grantmaking giving range (e.g., grants, discretionary, FOI, etc.) to determine your fee. Please note that fellowship participants will not have to pay for travel and lodging since we will not be hosting any in-person retreats this year due to COVID-19.

In order to remove prohibitive barriers to participation and assemble a more inclusive cohort, GEO may be able to offer a modest scholarship (up to a maximum of $2,000) to a handful of fellowship participants. Requesting financial assistance will not affect acceptance into the fellowship. Though we cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet every need, we will work to do as much as we can for all accepted participants.

Have questions? Contact Aerial Reese.

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