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City University of New York (CUNY) Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program 2020 (Fully-funded

Applications accepted through Monday, January 20, 2020.

The 2020 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 colour under-represented in the U.S. grantmaking sector.

Program description

  • Program dates: Monday, September 14 through Friday, November 20, 2020. Participants are expected to be present on-site during the full 10-week program.

  • Program focus: community foundations and local place-based giving and grantmaking practices globally. Additional trends and practices in philanthropy will be included to provide background and to address the research interests of all participating Fellows.

  • Program format: Drawing on seminars, readings, discussions with leaders in the field, and the Fellows' own experiences, each participant will produce a strategy paper and a professional e-presentation (Powerpoint similar). 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

Eligibility to apply

Community philanthropy practitioners and decision-makers from around the globe, including the U.S.


  • Strong institutional base at a community foundation, place-based grantmaker or community philanthropy support organization; affiliation with other philanthropy sector institutions is also acceptable

  • Ability to implement research recommendations

  • Strong ability to read, write, conduct research and converse in English at a post-graduate-level

  • College or university degree

Awards – Full Fellowship

Due to the competitiveness of the program and limited funds, preference is given to candidates who are affiliated with community foundations or initiatives to support community philanthropy organizations and practice (not in the US), AND

submit proposals illustrating a clear interest in furthering the work of community foundations or strengthening grantmaking and the local culture of philanthropy, AND

are citizens of and living and working in countries other than the United States

Awards cover

  • tuition

  • single-room dormitory accommodations with shared facilities at International House adjacent to Columbia University

  • meal allowance

  • medical insurance

  • local travel by subway/bus

  • program materials

  • other selected program-related costs (e.g. group meetings or events).

To apply to the Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program, please complete the online application form below. Applications will be accepted through Monday, January 20, 2020.

In addition to completion of the online form below (please scroll down further), applicants are expected to upload the following as part of their application:

  • Résumé or curriculum vitae;

  • Proposal (3-5 pages) for a strategy paper on an issue related to community foundations or community grantmaking, including a plan for sharing and applying findings and recommendations. The proposal should provide a comparative framework and must be feasible to undertake and complete within the duration of the program;

  • 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.

Application dossiers must include two letters of reference. Applicants should provide their referees with the link to the online recommendation form. At least one of the two letters should be from individuals who know the applicant in a professional (rather than an academic) capacity.




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