Show The Graduate Center Menu

2021 Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program

PROGRAM DATES:  Monday September 27 through Friday December 3, 2021

Our virtual International Fellows Program offerred unparalleled networking opportunities through connections with alumni around the world. The 2021 Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program will provide leadership training through online seminars with community foundation leaders and other Third-sector practitioners, research based on best practices, and the application of a comparative framework.

The program is hosted by the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY).  Fellows will attend seminars online, explore work of key agencies and foundations, hold discussions with nonprofit leaders, and study U.S. and international community foundations. 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 through locally-funded grantmaking organizations that build the capacity of civil society organizations in their home regions. Emerging leaders at community foundations and similar place-based grantmaking institutions are especially encouraged to apply. This year's Fellows will be selected from abroad and from communities of color under-represented in the U.S. grantmaking sector. 

Tuition is US$3,000 per fellow.  Partial or full fellowship awards may be offered.  See details under "Tuition" further below.

Generous program funding for the International Fellows Program is provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.  Additional support is provided by Friends of the Fellows and program alumni from around the globe.

About the program

Program description

  • Program dates:  Monday September 27 through Friday December 3, 2021.  Participants are expected to attend online seminars and other meetings three (3) to five (5) times per week during the full ten-week program.
  • Program focus: community foundations and local place-based giving and grantmaking practices around the globe. 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 alumni mentors and other leaders in the field, and the Fellows' own experiences, each participant will produce a strategy paper and a professional e-presentation (PowerPoint or 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 professional or post-graduate-level
  • College or university degree

Due to the competitiveness of the program and limited funds, preference for full fellowship awards 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 


Tuition for the virtual program is US$3,000 per Fellow. Tuition may be waived in full or in part based on the determination of one or more of the following: the GDP of the selected applicant’s country; availability of organizational discretionary funds to support employee professional education; and the applicant’s personal financial capacity.

Externally-supported applicants

Pending approval of the selection committee, other applicants may be considered for participation in the program with external financial support from individual or institutional sponsors, if they are EITHER

  1. affiliated with philanthropy sector institutions other than community foundations, support organizations or initiatives intended to develop or strengthen community philanthropy organizations and practice around the world or the U.S. AND submit a proposal on current trends and practices in philanthropy OR
  2. US citizens working in US-based community foundations or initiatives to support community philanthropy organizations and practice, AND who submit proposals illustrating a clear interest in furthering the work of community foundations

Application form

Senior International Fellows Program


Spotlight on Community Philanthropy
Press releases
Global impact—Spreading the Seeds of Community Giving
Fellows as global leaders