PEERS Fellowship Program
Social entrepreneurs are becoming more common as nonprofit leaders strive to solve the pressing needs of society. The Fieldstone Foundation and the PEERS Network recognize that these leaders need access to other entrepreneurs to think with and learn from as they continue to work toward addressing social challenges.
To support nonprofit leaders operating as social entrepreneurs in San Diego County, The Fieldstone Foundation and the PEERS Network have teamed up to create the PEERS Fellowship Program as part of the Fieldstone Leadership Network. This program offers an opportunity for a nonprofit executive director to work with an executive coach, attend the nonprofit schools at either Stanford or Harvard (or similar leadership development program) and work with a mentoring group of PEERS members for one year.
The Fellowship Program is offered annually. The next application cycle will occur in December 2014.
Individual candidates for this program should:
· Be experienced leaders who have a demonstrated track record of contribution to the community through social entrepreneurship
· Work for a nonprofit organization or served as a founder of a nonprofit organization
· Hold primary or significant responsibility for management of the organization’s funds.
· Have worked between 5 and 10 years leading a nonprofit organization.
· Be employed full-time at the applicant organization.
· Live full-time in San Diego County.
· Be an active member of the Fieldstone Leadership Network (have graduated from a learning group or coaching program).
· Be willing to participate in the various programs of the Fieldstone Leadership Network and share their experience and learnings with others.
The candidate’s employing organization should:
· Be located in San Diego County.
· Be recognized by the community as a leading social entrepreneur organization in both mission and program delivery.
· Be able to sustain regular operations during the candidate’s participation in the monthly meetings and out of town training programs (Stanford/Harvard)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you define a Social Entrepreneur?
Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They find solutions to these problems with entrepreneurial zeal, business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organizations and innovates by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem.
I work for an organization that is not in San Diego County. Can I apply to the Fellowship Program?
No, the Fellowship Program is limited to applicants who work for organizations in San Diego County at this time.
I have not yet participated in a Fieldstone Learning Group or the Coaching Program. Am I eligible to apply for the Fellowship Program?
Because we believe that providing personal leadership development opportunities to our members on a continuum best suits their ongoing needs, the program is only available to those nonprofit leaders who have successfully completed either a Fieldstone learning group and/or coaching experience.
I am self-employed and do freelance work in the nonprofit sector. Can I apply?
No, only full-time paid staff is eligible for the program.
I have been a lifelong volunteer in the nonprofit sector. Am I eligible?
No, the program is open to paid staff only.
I am a development director or program director. Can I apply?
Unfortunately, no. The Fellowship is designed for the Executive Director of the organization, who carries the responsibility for managing resources and implementing the mission of the organization.
I work for a nonprofit educational institution. Can I apply?
No, the program is not open to applicants working at educational institutions or in government.
I have worked in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years, though not consecutively, and I have been employed by more than one nonprofit institution. Am I eligible?
Yes, you must have worked a minimum of ten years in a leadership role in the nonprofit sector, but those years need not be consecutive and do not have to be at any one organization. The important thing to focus on is the social entrepreneurial framework of the
I have had a successful run as an Executive Director of a mid-size nonprofit for the past ten years, and I am thinking of what my next career move might be. Can I use the Fellowship as a vehicle to plan my future?
No, the Fellowship Program is designed to assist social entrepreneurial/nonprofit leaders with tools, learning opportunities and human resources to further their efforts to address a social issue or concern through their organization. It is not intended for use as a career networking or planning. It is not intended to aid job transitions. We realize, of course, that there are natural transitions in individual career paths and in the lives of nonprofit organizations, and that former Fellowship recipients may eventually leave their positions. However, we ask that people who are actively contemplating job transitions do not apply to the program.
I will be retiring in the next couple of years. Am I eligible?
The program is targeted to nonprofit leaders who will continue to dedicate themselves as social entrepreneurs leading nonprofit organizations for years to come. Those who will soon retire or move out of the nonprofit sector are not encouraged to apply.
Who selects the Fellowship recipients?
As a pilot program, the Selection Committee currently consists of representatives of the PEERS Network and The Fieldstone Foundation. In the future, we envision past Fellowship program members participating in this process.
If I have already attended Stanford or Harvard’s nonprofit program, can I use the funds for other professional development?
Yes, if you have already attended one of these programs and have a desire for another type of personal leadership development experience, we will be happy to work with you to identify appropriate alternatives. The Fieldstone Foundation and PEERS Network reserve the right to approve the specific training as to make sure the opportunity selected is in alignment with the goals of the program. If the Stanford/Harvard programs are not selected as the Fellow’s personal development opportunity, then the Fellow must submit a plan identifying the alternative training, including timelines for participating and costs for the program. The PEERS Fellowship funds will not exceed $5,000 for this purpose. If the program costs exceed $5,000 the Fellow or his/her organization must provide the funds to cover the gap.