Host an Encore Fellow

Can My Organization Benefit From an Encore Fellow?

Demaray (1)“Because of our Encore Fellow, we have come further towards disaster preparedness/business continuity in the past year than since I started 7 years ago.” Cindy Roach, Executive Director, Sonoma Humane Society

Encore Fellows bring years of experience and a wealth of knowledge and skills to contribute to their work host. They are eager to learn about the important work you do, and their goal is to advance your organization’s capacity to deliver on your mission. Work hosts are typically nonprofits, public agencies and other social purpose organizations. Work hosts select an Encore Fellow that fits their needs through our matching process. Read more about How Work Hosts Benefit.

How Do Hosts Benefit from Encore Fellows?

“It was really great having a different perspective. Many of us only have worked in nonprofits, and it was really helpful to think about things in a different way.” Teresa Fieth, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Pacific Crest Trail Association Read the Story

Listen to Tracey Gustafson and her work host Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Massachusetts, talk about her Encore Fellowship.

Encore Fellows bring a certain discipline, a certain rigor, to looking at problems and solving them. Having these Encore Fellows who can help lead a project can be the key to whether it’s successful or not.”  Gil Munoz, CEO, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Oregon

Read What Encore Hosts Are Saying

Read Encore Fellow Host Stories

Work Hosts gain many benefits from an Encore Fellow:

  • Flexible source of experienced talent to benefit your mission
  • Professional skills and expertise matched to your needs
  • A time-limited, flexible work arrangement
  • Maturity
  • Life experience, humility and eagerness to contribute in a hands-on role
  • Affordability and value, a fraction of the equivalent market value of the work performed

Impact: Encore Fellow Results

  • Valuable Contributions: 95% of all work hosts surveyed said that Encore Fellows contributed valuable ideas, tools and expertise (2009, 2014, 2015 Encore Fellowships Program Completion Survey)
  • Impact and scale. More than 90 percent of work hosts report that Encore Fellows helped to scale up their organization’s activity and helped develop new service partners, according to’s 2015 study
  • New Talent Sources: Work hosts who said they were “unlikely” to hire encore talent from outside the sector dropped from 28% at the beginning of the fellowship to 6% following the fellowship.  (based on  2009-2013 Encore Fellowship Program Completion Surveys of over 120 Work Hosts)
  • The Encore Fellowships Network was featured in a 2013 “What Works” case study in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

“Using her wealth of clinical experience and our data, Elisa created a program to increase cancer screening rates almost 50%. We couldn’t have accomplished that without her.”  Jean Polster, President and CEO, Neighborhood Family Practice, Cleveland, Ohio   Read the story.

How It Works:

  • A low-risk, high return option to add to your portfolio of talent and benefit your organizational mission.
  • The typical cost of a Fellow, $30,000, is a fraction of the market value of the work performed.
  • You select a Fellow from candidates through a matching process
  • Fellowship assignments last 1,000 hours over six to 12 months. Many host organizations have found ways to retain their fellows for further work or have hired their fellows outright. Other fellows continue as volunteers or Board members.

” Encore Fellows helped me test and shape new roles I believed I needed in the organization.” Marie Bernard, Executive Director, Sunnyvale Community Services, Sunnyvale, California  Read the Story

Listen to Encore Fellows and work hosts from Encore Fellowship Network program operator, SVP Portland.

If you are interested in hosting a Fellow in your organization, please refer to the Program Directory  to apply through one of our regional programs.

“I did not know that allowing an Encore Fellow into our organization was going to have the benefits it did, enriching the lives of staff and clients, reaching into every area of our business, and changing how we do things today and from here on out.”  Holly Noble, Program Director, Peace of Joe, Inc.  Hillsboro, Oregon

“Renee’s work on the capital project will last 75 years. How’s that for impact?” Mark Young, CEO, Friends of the Children, Oregon


Featured Hosts and Fellowships

“Ken helped raise more than $7 million for a new Rockwood campus for the club. In terms of just the complexity of this project, the financing of it, the legalities of it, Ken traversed it in a way that I couldn’t have. I would have had to pay a lot of money to have that expertise come in.”– Erin Hubert, CEO, Boys and Girls Club of Portland, Portland, OR

“Lauren’s impact cannot be overstated. Through her leadership, professional expertise and “can-do” attitude, she has made a significant and lasting contribution to our organization. We targeted starting five chapters of Cure JM. She  launched 3X that many.  In the first year of our walk program, the Cure JM families and Lauren partnered together to organize five walks and raise well over $500,000. ”   Shannon Malloy, Director of Development and Operations, Cure JM. 

“Thanks to Tracey’s work, MySTEM grew by leaps and bounds and we were able to double the number of kids we served this past year …and it had such an impact on our communities, we decided to keep Tracey on in a part-time position with us.” Jeffrey Chin, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest

“We are so lucky to have had Tracey working on the MySTEM program. Her years of professional experience, her confidence, and her eagerness to learn were assets to our agency. “  Jessica Haggett, Director of MySTEM and Corporate Programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest

“It wasn’t until Fancy Bryant’s Encore Fellowship that the program began to see significant growth….his work had an immediate impact on over 200 students, resulted in technical training for a dozen staff members, and provided support for over 100 families.”  Jahi Awakoaiye, Director of School, Ile Omode School, Oakland, CA

“We had Mike work on two capacity building projects for us. He identified new possibilities and ideas for our services.” Kathryn Miles, Executive Director, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Long Beach, California. 

“Encore Fellows helped me test and shape new roles I believed I needed in the organization. Ultimately,  I hired Tory and Catherine into permanent positions due to the skills, maturity and expertise they brought to us.” Marie Bernard, Executive Director, Sunnyvale Community Services, Sunnyvale, California

Meet Other Work Hosts
Watch videos from sponsors and nonprofits about the value of Encore Fellowships.

See the EFN’s non-discrimination policy.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Sort Of Work Do Encore Fellows Do?

Encore Fellows bring a wide variety of highly transferable skills that can have a huge impact in the organizations that host them. Typical functional backgrounds for fellows and the project areas they relate to 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
  • Facilities and Construction Management: design and project management, facility maintenance and administration

What Are Work Host Criteria And Responsibilities?

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. This document guides the definition of the work and outcomes throughout the Fellowship, but also allows for flexibility to incorporate new opportunities and learning during the course of the Fellowship.
  • 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 selection process to ensure a good fit and 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. The ideal fellowship is approximately 1,000 hours, lasting one year on a part-time basis, with flexibility to accommodate the needs and circumstances of the fellow and the work host.
  • Financial engagement: The work host contributes a significant portion of the Fellowship cost, reinforcing the value of the Fellowship to the work host and the Fellow. This contribution may be part or all of the fellow’s stipend and a program fee. The full cost of a fellowship ranges between $25,000 and $35,000 for 1,000 hours, based on geography. This cost is a fraction of the equivalent market value of the work performed. Encore Fellowships are a very affordable source of experienced talent to your organization. A limited number of sponsorships are available

What Are The Next Steps To Host A Fellow?

The first step is to find an Encore Fellowships program which fits your needs. Each program has a director who is able to provide information about the focus, scope and terms of their program. 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. Most programs accept Work Host applications year-round; note that some programs limit work host applications to an invitation-only basis.

Once your organization is accepted into a program, you will work with the Program Director to describe your needs in more detail and conduct the matching process to identify a fellow.

Each program may have a range of funding models. Work hosts typically pay some or all of the fellow’s stipend and a modest program participation fee. The cost is a fraction of the equivalent market value of the work performed, so under any of the funding scenarios, Encore Fellowships are a very affordable source of experienced talent to your organization. A limited number of fellows have sponsorship from a former employer or other organization.

If a match is made, you and your fellow will work together to further define the objectives and scope of the project. You will be responsible for providing space, equipment, a proper orientation and to sponsor the fellow’s work. In addition to what you provide, the Encore Fellows Program Director offers opportunities for your fellow to interact with other fellows and ways for them to learn more broadly about the sector and social-purpose work.

How Do I Find And Apply To Host An Encore Fellow?


Visit the Program Directory page to find and apply through the appropriate regional program.