Applying To Be a Fellowship Host
Nonprofit organizations are vital partners in the success of the FAO Schwarz Fellowship Program. We work with leading organizations in Boston, New York and Philadelphia to design fellowship opportunities that build the capacity of our host organizations and prepare Fellows for leadership roles in the social impact sector.
Funded by the FAO Schwarz Family Foundation, the Program covers the FAO Schwarz Fellow’s salary—the host covers supervisory and health care costs for the Fellow.
The organizations we choose to host Fellowships are diverse (list here), but share some common features. They are successful nonprofits involved in direct service to their communities. They have a special commitment to young people and education, deliver measurable impact, are valued and respected in their cities, and can benefit from the Fellowship. We’re particularly inspired by organizations that are addressing key societal issues related to inequity and social justice.
Please note: Application is by invitation only. If your organization is invited to apply, the Fellowship’s Executive Director will send a Request for Proposal. Applications from organizations that have not been invited will not be considered.
The RFP requires prospective hosts to offer a detailed description of the Fellow’s responsibilities at the host organization. We expect every Fellowship to have two distinct and equal components each representing 50 percent of the Fellow’s time: a direct service role which engages the Fellow in delivering services to the youth served by the organization, and a special project role that includes the Fellow’s participation in, design of, or management of a strategic project that builds the organization’s reach or capacity. Special projects must not be exclusively focused in the area of fundraising/development.
Examples of direct service could be working directly with high school students on their college plans, serving as a tutor or academic support resource, delivering civics education presentations in public schools, leading afterschool outdoor activities, running community-based environmental programs with young people.
Examples of special projects could include designing an alumni engagement program, participating in the development of a new program offering, designing and managing a social media campaign, planning advocacy and policy initiatives.
The Foundation’s review committee carefully reads the RFPs of all prospective hosts. Our evaluation criteria include:
- The Fellow’s overall experience including onboarding, day-to-day supervision, and quality and balance of direct service and special project work
- Fellow’s potential for personal and professional growth at the host organization
- Key host organization characteristics, including a compelling mission and model, stable and talented leadership, financial stability, and strong evaluation results
- Potential of direct service and special project work to build host organization capacity
After we make our selection, the Executive Director works with each Host to finalize job descriptions and promote the Fellowship to qualified college seniors.
Host organizations will be expected to provide and implement a plan for recruiting, and to report regularly on their progress. These efforts, in addition to the recruiting efforts undertaken by the Fellowship itself, combine to ensure that all Host organizations receive a diverse pool of highly qualified applicants for the Fellowship.
The Fellowship is highly selective—less than 5 percent of all applicants receive offers.