Nonprofit Fellowships

There’s an increasing amount of fellowships for recent graduates who want to launch careers in public service and and nonprofits.

What are fellowships? 

Fellowships are often funded by foundations, private donors, or organizations and are designed to provide support to future leadership and mentorship to help you launch your career. 

Fellowships are formal programs that can last anywhere from 3 months to 2 years, and often include a stipend, work experience, well-structured plans for training and professional development, and access to seasoned professionals as mentors. In addition to well-established programs, universities and privately-funded nonprofits like Greenpeace are now setting up fellowships to attract emerging leaders, so opportunities are expanding.

Read more about public service fellowships here, to consider if one is right for you. 

Ways to find fellowships:

  • Include the word “fellowships” when searching on Idealist. Look closely at internship listings as well. There may be post-BA internships that are essentially fellowships.
  • Get to know the Office of Scholar Development and start exploring scholarship and fellowship opportunities.
  • Connect with Tufts alumni and other professionals in your field of interest. The nonprofit community is very collaborative and can provide good word-of-mouth information.
  • Talk to current fellows for the inside story. They are expecting to hear from prospective fellows. Most fellowship Web sites profile current and former fellows. There may be an alumnus from your campus who has been a recent fellow.
  • Find out about professional associations and utilize those formal networks. Some issue-oriented associations, like the Environmental Leadership Program maintain an online clearinghouse of fellowships.
  • Use ProFellow, an online database and resource for professional and academic fellowships, to search for and identify opportunities 

Here are a few fellowship opportunities across a variety of areas to give you an idea of what’s out there, and to help jumpstart your own search, based on your interests:

Lead for America Fellowship
Lead For America is a national service program building the next generation of leaders for our country and communities across all 50 states. Through the Hometown Fellowship, Fellows serve in a paid, full-time capacity alongside a local leader in their hometown or home state for one year, before advancing into positions of community, state, and national leadership for decades to come.

Coro Fellowship
The Coro Fellows Program develops emerging leaders to work and lead across different sectors by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and networks to accelerate positive change.

Future Leaders in Action (FLIA) Fellowships
For up to 13 weeks over the spring, summer, or fall, Future Leaders in Action (“FLIA”) places fellows, emerging social sector leaders in youth-oriented nonprofit organizations to develop or implement enrichment programs which cultivate their leadership skills. Fellows work full-time, on-site with a partner on an enrichment program that focuses on one of the following areas: advancing skills for success, promoting public health and protecting the environment. There are fellowships available in New York, Portland and Iowa and past partners have included Boys & Girls Clubs, the Fiver Children’s Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters and other health-related organizations.

Equal Justice Initiative Fellowship
The Justice Fellowship is for talented and ambitious recent college graduates, post graduates and young professionals. It provides an opportunity to work for two years as a full-time, paid staff member at EJI. The Justice Fellowship supports the mission of EJI by developing young leaders who want experience in nonprofit management, legal reform, and social justice work.

The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship
Emerson Hunger Fellows shape and implement local anti-hunger programs all over the U.S., and then research and support national policy initiatives in Washington, D.C. Fellows are placed for 5 months with community-based organizations involved in fighting hunger and poverty at the local level. In mid-February, the Fellows regroup in Washington, D.C. to debrief and share their field experiences and participate in an extensive policy training. Fellows then work in nonprofit organizations and government agencies on national level policies. The fellowship is for 1-year and offers a salary and benefits.

AmeriCorps VISTA Program
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. The AmeriCorps VISTA program provides a living allowance that enables you to live very frugally, like the community you are serving. In successfully completing your year of service, you’re eligible to receive either the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or the end-of-service cash stipend. AmeriCorps VISTA is open to all U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent resident aliens age 18 and older.

New York City Urban Fellows Program
The Urban Fellows Program is a highly selective, nine-month fellowship which combines work in Mayoral offices and City agencies with an intensive seminar series that explores current urban issues impacting public policy. Program participants are diverse and come from all over the country to work in New York City. After participating in an extensive interview process, New York City Urban Fellows are placed at an array of agencies across the City where they learn about public policy through a hands-on approach.

San Francisco Fellows
The mission of the program is to foster community stewardship by preparing recent college graduates for an 11-month full-time leadership role in public service. The program is looking for enthusiastic, creative, hard-working individuals who are interested in public service and who would like to learn about policy implementation in the City and County of San Francisco.

Mother Jones Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program
The Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program offers a crash course in investigative journalism. It also supports emerging journalists and media professionals, allowing them to make invaluable contributions to a high-flying news organization. Based in San Francisco or Washington, DC, Mother Jones fellows dive deep into every aspect of a national multimedia outfit—from the making of news, to making it pretty, to ensuring its impact, to mastering the inner workings of nonprofit publishing. Fellows receive a $1,500 monthly stipend. After six months, fellows can apply to stay on for a 6-month senior fellowship with an increased $1,800 monthly stipend.

American India Foundation Banyan Impact Fellowship
The Banyan Impact Fellowship (formerly the William J. Clinton Fellowship) for Service in India is an immersive, 10-month volunteer service program matching young professionals with development organizations. Fellows work on scalable and sustainable development projects in the fields of education, livelihoods, and public health.  Through collaboration and capacity-building, fellows work with the American India Foundation and civil society leaders to form dynamic partnerships to capacity-build, exchange knowledge and skills, and share a mutual passion for advancing social and economic development.  

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Congressional Fellowship
APAICS provides exceptional graduates and young professionals with opportunities to work on policy issues as full-time staff members of a U.S. congressional office, federal agency or nonprofit community organization in Washington, D.C. Placements are in these three areas.

Chamberlain Fellowship in Women and Public Policy
Chamberlain fellows work in Washington, D.C. as general research assistants on a variety of projects and reports. Research tasks include reviewing literature; collecting, checking and analyzing data; and preparing reports and report graphics. Attendance at relevant U.S. congressional briefings, policy seminars and meetings is also an integral part of the program. Research areas include the quality of women’s jobs, increasing access to higher education and non-traditional jobs for low-income women, strategies for improving child care access, affordability and quality. Pla

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellowship
CHCIPPF is a nine-month paid program in Washington, D.C., that offers talented Latinos who have received a bachelor’s degree within two years of the program start date the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at the national level in the public policy area of their choice. Fellows work in congressional offices and federal agencies in their area of interest. Past focus areas include international affairs, economic development, health and education policy, housing and local government.

Global Health Corps Fellowship
Global Health Corps offers a one-year paid fellowship in which fellows make a significant, measurable contribution to a partner organization and its target population. GHC recruits partner organizations involved in healthcare access and positive health outcomes for the poor. Fellowship placements are domestic and international. Candidates apply for specific positions with one of Global Health’s partner organizations for which they have relevant skills and experience. Fellows are selected jointly by GHC and the partner organization.

Millennium Fellowship
The Millennium Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that convenes, challenges, and celebrates bold student leadership advancing United Nations sustainable development goals on the local campus and in communities.   Millennium f ellows hone skills, take concrete action, and earn a certificate of recognition from the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network.

Washington Bus Summer Fellows
Washington Bus is a 10-week political boot camp for young leaders. Fellows spend the summer in Seattle, managing campaigns, organizing grassroots initiatives, formulating public policy and developing leadership skills. The fellowship is an intensive, intentional, transformative experience for fellows who are ready for public service. Fellows take classes from regional authorities in their fields.