FAQs

Potential Fellows:

What kind of work do Encore Fellows do?

Encore Fellows bring a wide variety of transferable skills that can have a strong impact on the organizations that host them and the communities they serve. Typical functional backgrounds and capacity building projects include:

  • Marketing/communications: messaging, collateral, public relations and brand management
  • Information technology: hardware, software and cloud computing technology planning, implementation, support and maintenance
  • Human resources policies: systems and structures, staff development and coaching
  • Legal: structure, contracts, tax, employment and intellectual property
  • Financial management business processes, budgeting, forecasting, and cost modeling
  • Sales/business development: policies and strategies, fundraising initiatives and target donor identification
  • Strategic plans: scaling initiatives, partnerships, deployment and board recruitment
  • Operations and performance management: planning, coordination and analysis
  • Project/program management: operations, initiatives, a new venture or expansion
  • Technical specialists: specific skill areas such as engineering and statistics
How do I get matched?

Once you have completed your application, your Encore program director will search for organizations who have applied to the program looking for someone with your skills and talents. If there is a potential match, you will be introduced to the organization and have an interview to determine mutually if there is a good match for both the Fellow and the host. You may have several interviews over a period of time before finding the right match for you.

 

Will I be able to continue with my hosting organization after my Fellowship?

Many of our Encore Fellows do stay on as employees, volunteers or board members after their Fellowship ends. Approximately 45 percent stayed with their current organization after their Fellowship ended, according to a recent 2018 survey of alumni. The decision is made between the organization and the Encore Fellow exclusively.

Do Encore Fellowships help people transition to work in the social sector?

Over 58% of Encore Fellow alumni reported they continued to work in the social sector after their Fellowship ended, with 45% of Encore Fellows continuing to work with their host organization, 13% with other social sector organizations, 8% consulting within the sector, and another 9% reported joining a board.

 

Host Organization:

What kind of work do Encore Fellows do?

Encore Fellows bring a wide variety of transferable skills that can have a strong impact on the organizations that host them and the communities they serve. Typical functional backgrounds and capacity building projects include:

  • Marketing/communications: messaging, collateral, public relations and brand management
  • Information technology: hardware, software and cloud computing technology planning, implementation, support and maintenance
  • Human resources policies: systems and structures, staff development and coaching
  • Legal: structure, contracts, tax, employment and intellectual property
  • Financial management business processes, budgeting, forecasting, and cost modeling
  • Sales/business development: policies and strategies, fundraising initiatives and target donor identification
  • Strategic plans: scaling initiatives, partnerships, deployment and board recruitment
  • Operations and performance management: planning, coordination and analysis
  • Project/program management: operations, initiatives, a new venture or expansion
  • Technical specialists: specific skill areas such as engineering and statistics
What is the best way to utilize an Encore Fellow?

The Encore Fellowship is designed with seasoned professionals in mind who can work to increase capacity, expand current programs, investigate new services, and increase organization effectiveness, among other types of work. Often these are needs that have been identified, but staff does not have the bandwidth, time or expertise to implement.

Encore Fellows can:

  • Bring skills not available in-house
  • Investigate new markets or services
  • Test out new roles to support the organization’s work (marketing, data analysis, IT, HR, etc)
  • Develop financial strategies
  • Improve current processes and organizational structures
  • Create new services and programs and roll out new initiatives
  • Expand your mission (establish chapters, identify new partnerships)
  • Serve as a thought partner, conduct strategic planning and expand your possibilities and thinking
Why hire an Encore Fellow rather than an employee?

Encore Fellows undertake projects that substantially build work hosts’ organizational capacity and consistently deliver a sustained positive impact on your mission. The emotional maturity, skills, talent, and decades of work experience that Encore Fellows bring yield perspective and flexibility, a strong sense of responsibility and the ability to initiate and execute projects at a fraction of market rates.

Some hosts may not know exactly what role is needed, whether it is a continued need or a short term consultative project. Encore Fellows provide a chance to test and shape a role. Hosts find that the year-long Encore Fellowship allows them to determine what skills and roles they may need and if the role is one needed permanently,

What is expected of me as a Work Host?

Work hosts, typically nonprofit, education or public agencies, create and manage impactful Encore Fellow assignments. Below are the key criteria of an effective Work Host:

  • High-impact work: A work host identifies a role or assignment for the fellow that advances its mission and responds to high-priority organizational needs. A matched Work Host and Fellow agree to a “Statement of Work” which clearly defines the roles, expectations, and milestones and aligns with the fellow’s skills and abilities.
  • Leadership and commitment: The work host integrates the fellow into its leadership team, provides strong sponsorship from its executive director, ensures organizational buy-in, and commits the personnel and resources to support the success of the assignment.
  • Fellow selection and support: The work host actively participates in the fellow matching process and approves the candidate to assure a good fit, then provides management and support throughout the fellowship.
  • Structure and flexibility: Together the work host and fellow determine a work schedule that ensures the fellow has time to achieve results for the nonprofit and develop meaningful experience in the social sector. Fellowships are approximately 750-1,000 hours, over a period of 6-12 months.
How do I gain the support of my board?

To advance a big project or initiative, such as the type of projects Encore Fellows work on, a highly skilled consultant would normally cost $75-150K for the 1000 hours of talent that Encore Fellows bring.

Encore Fellows deliver valuable results for a fraction of the cost of a consultant, jumpstarting and fast-tracking initiatives that are needed but existing staff have not had bandwidth to implement. The results can pay for themselves.

  • 95% of all work hosts surveyed say that Encore Fellows contribute valuable ideas, tools and expertise.
  • 93% report that Encore Fellows help scale up their organization’s activity
  • 92% report that Encore Fellows help develop service partners.
  • 90 percent said the Fellow made a sustained impact in increasing their capacity.
What are the next steps to host a Fellow?

The first step is to identify the right Encore Fellowships program. Check our Program Directory to see if there is a program in your geography. If your area does not have a geographical program operator, apply to our National Program in the Program Directory. Each program follows a common application process, which involves describing your organization, fellowship position(s), and why your organization and the position are a good fit for an Encore Fellowship.

Once your organization is accepted into a program, you will work with the director of the program in your geography to discuss your needs in more detail and begin the matching process.