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About The Fellowship


Each year a new cohort of FAO Schwarz Fellows begins paid two-year assignments with leading nonprofit organizations. The Fellows work at high-impact  nonprofit organizations in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. These organizations are all deeply valued in their communities and have a strong record of delivering consistent results and high-quality services. Host organizations vary from year to year — and all have a proven commitment to addressing critical issues of social inequity. 

Fellows deepen their knowledge and understanding of relevant social issues, work directly with host communities, and lead strategic projects that strengthen the host organization’s capacity and impact (learn more about direct service and special projects).

Former fellow Joe Rosales speaks to a crowd


The FAO Schwarz Fellowship is committed to investing in the professional development of our Fellows through a structured program of retreats, professional trainings, and mentoring.

Fellows attend two four-day leadership retreats each year to learn about the social impact sector, develop critical skills and build relationships with—and learn from—current and alumni FAO Schwarz fellows. 

For many Fellows, these retreats are one of the highlights of their experience. 

In addition to one-on-one weekly meetings with a supervisor, every Fellow has two mentors who offer support and guidance over the course of their Fellowship. Fellows also join a valuable network of current and alumni Fellows as well as leaders from host organizations. 

After two years, Fellows are well prepared for successful careers in the social impact sector (more on mentoring).

I still talk about the Fellowship to this day and about how it exposed me to a whole different side of non-profits and outreach that I would never have seen in my first five years of work after college, much less my first year.

Jordy Owen | Director of Multimedia and E- learning Technologies at Children’s Literacy Initiative, Philadelphia | FAO Schwarz Fellow at Children’s Literacy Initiative | 2008

Former fellow Claudia speaks at a fellow retreat


FAO Schwarz Fellows who start their Fellowship during the summer of 2021 will receive total compensation of approximately $75,000  plus benefits over the two-year Fellowship.

  • $35,000 salary for the first year
  • $38,000 salary for the second year
  • $2,000 bonus at the end of the Fellowship
  • Health-care insurance coverage (100%)*
  • Monthly subway pass

* Fellows are responsible for co-pays and expenses not covered by insurance.


  • Engage in direct service work with youth
  • Play a role in special project work 
  • Attend Fellowship retreats 
  • Explore key social issues
  • Receive individual mentoring and support
  • Participate in the cohort experience
  • Network with social impact leaders
  • Launch a career in the social impact sector