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2021 Senior International Fellows Program

The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society's Senior International Fellows Program offers professional development through seminars, meetings with Third-Sector practitioners, research based on best practices, and the application of a comparative framework.  2017 Senior International FellowsThe program is designed for decision-makers in community philanthropy who are committed to strengthening civil society capacity in countries around the globe. The ideal candidate is affiliated with a community foundation, place-based grantmaking organization or an institution that supports community foundation development. 

Fellows are based at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York in midtown Manhattan, where they attend weekly seminars, explore the work of key agencies and foundations, meet with nonprofit leaders and study U.S. and international community foundation models. Program, participants will prepare a strategy paper and develop a professional e-presentation for dissemination.

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

About the program

Program description

  • Program dates:  Monday April 12 through Friday May 7, 2021.  Participants are expected to be present on site during the full 4-week program.
  • Program focus: community foundations and local place-based giving and grantmaking practices globally. Additional trends and practices in philanthropy will be included to provide background and to address the research interests of all participating Fellows. (Arrangements to explore other issues related to an applicant’s professional work is an option with external funding.)
  • Program format:  Drawing on seminars, readings, discussions with leaders in the field, and the Fellows' own experiences, each participant will produce a short strategy paper (approximately 5 to 8 pages) 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
Senior-level 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 post-graduate-level
  • College or university degree

Awards – Full Fellowship
Due to the competitiveness of the program and limited funds, preference 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 

Awards cover

  • tuition
  • either single-room dormitory accommodations with shared facilities at International House adjacent to Columbia University, or studio apartments elsewhere in Manhattan, depending on availability
  • meal allowance or a prepaid card at a local grocery store
  • medical insurance
  • local travel by subway/bus
  • program materials
  • other selected program-related costs (e.g. group meetings or events).

Awards for tuition paying and 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 or initiatives to support 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

Tuition-based or institutionally-supported appointments require approval by the selection committee. Awards for these appointments do not include housing and the amount of the matching funds from the Center is dependent on fund availability.

Application form

Emerging Leaders Program

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