The Encore Fellowships program was originally launched in Silicon Valley in 2009 by Encore.org. Recognizing the need for talent to address critical issues transcends geographic boundaries, the East Coast expansion of the program was successfully launched in 2011 in New York and Washington D.C.
Four years later, Encore Fellows are building capacity at nonprofits in New York, Washington DC, the Greater Boston area, Central Florida, and soon, Cleveland, Ohio. Strategic support for the expansion was provided by the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Encore Fellows are successful, skilled, experienced professionals at the end of their midlife careers in the for-profit sector looking to make a significant impact in social-purpose organizations. The Fellow typically works 12 months, half-time in an embedded role, although the work schedule is flexible and established based on the mutual agreement between the fellow and work host. Given a limited number of Fellowships available and the large number of applicants, the application and selection process is competitive for both Fellow and Work Host applicants.
While earning a stipend, Encore Fellows provide a high value-to-cost ratio for work hosts by bringing experienced, affordable talent to a specific assignment matched to the fellow’s skills and interests. Their deep and broad skills can be deployed in many ways, and their value frequently goes beyond the specific work assignment. Many become role models for other staff members and evolve into executive coaches and mentors in the organization. Their background and years of experience bring analytical thinking and maturity that strengthen their work host’s ability to reach a new level of performance. Nonprofits apply by invitation from the program’s foundation and corporate sponsors or Encore.org.