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About The Fellowship

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the work of our Fellows. But Fellows and their host organizations are adapting and continuing to serve their communities. It is an extraordinary time to be a Fellow and to rise to the challenge of leadership in a crisis. Hear more from the Fellows about the impact of pandemic on their work here.


Each year, a new cohort of FAO Schwarz Fellows begins paid two-year assignments with leading nonprofit organizations. The Fellows work at leading 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).


Applicants must be college seniors at accredited four-year institutions at the time of application and be eligible to work in the United States for the duration of the Fellowship.


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, the 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 | Graduate student at Drexel University and Associate Director of Content Development at Children’s Literacy Initiative, New York, NY | FAO Schwarz Fellow at Children’s Literacy Initiative | 2008


FAO Schwarz Fellows who start their Fellowship during the summer of 2021 will receive total compensation of approximately $77,000 over the two-year Fellowship.

  • $30,000 salary for the first year
  • $30,000 salary for the second year
  • $2,000 bonus at the end of the Fellowship
  • Health-care benefits plus subway pass (value of approximately $15,000)


  • Explore key social issues
  • Engage in direct service
  • Plan and lead special projects
  • Attend leadership retreats
  • Receive individual mentoring and support
  • Network with social impact leaders
  • Launch a career in the social impact sector

Sign up for email from the FAO Schwarz Fellowship and we’ll send you periodic reminders and updates. Thanks for your interest.