Philanthropy Forward 2019-2020


The Forum for Community Solutions and the Neighborhood Funders Group are excited to launch the second year of the Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change Fellowship for CEOs of progressive philanthropic institutions. This second cohort will add to the original 16 cohort members from the first year, an annually growing network of visionary CEO leaders who share a belief in a model of community partnership that centers community knowledge and power building.

Together, Fellows will be strategic thought partners, with a dedicated space to organize together, boldly envisioning and advancing the transformed future of philanthropy. A future that centers and achieves equity and social justice. Philanthropy Forward Fellows will be unlocking the challenges to philanthropy and realizing its fullest role as a collective financial engine for social change.

For questions, please contact Sheri Brady at:

Who This is For

This Fellowship is best suited for philanthropic institutions that are already supporting racial equity and powerbuilding and who are looking to go deeper by building a strong peer group and aligning more towards equity and impact.

Benefits of Participation

Outcomes will be at the individual leadership, organizational, and philanthropic field levels. An important component will be building relationships with other foundation CEOs from across the country within the 9-month program. Fellows will be a part of the Fellow Alumni community and will have opportunities to engage with Fellows of previous and future cohorts.

Through Philanthropy Forward, Fellows will:

  • Gather with other foundation CEOs in a dedicated space to explore bold possibilities together;
  • Build momentum with an ongoing peer learning group;
  • Learn about and share systems-level analyses of both promising opportunities and challenges to advancing racial, gender, and economic equity and power building;
  • Organize and experiment with strategic thought partners;
  • Claim and step into individual and collective strengths as leaders for social justice;
  • Better understand and access support around leadership learning edges;
  • Name and understand power dynamics to build community power and advance equity;
  • Deepen their ability to use and integrate action-based tools and strategies such as evaluation, racial equity practices, place-based initiatives, and strategic collaboration; and
  • Consciously foster and cultivate relationships and build a network of peers to support ongoing leadership and innovation in the sector.
Ultimately, the intention is to emerge with a collective identity as a financial engine for social change focusing on community centered strategies, centering long term impacts, and advancing justice, equity and power.

Core Program Components – Participant Experience

Philanthropy Forward’s second cohort will include three 2.5-day retreats during the weeks of September 23rd, 2019, January 27th, 2020, and our closing retreat in Aspen Colorado the week of May 10th, 2020 (exact days are still to be determined). After the kick-off, cohort members receive a 360-degree leadership assessment on equity and power in grantmaking.

The program also includes the following components:

  • Action learning component including experiments, applied ideas, and experiential learning (e.g. power mapping);
  • Optional individual coaching w/core team member;
  • Breakthrough Groups/Peer coaching and Peer Learning;
  • Creating a toolkit of practices and analysis for leading change; and
  • Virtual time to check in on experiments.

Overall Time Commitment

Estimated time commitment is 12 days over 9 months of Fellowship programming from September 2019 through May 2020, followed by light evaluation activities in July and August 2020. This includes three in-person meetings plus some additional time in virtual sessions for content and strategy learning, peer coaching, and innovation research and experimentation (the innovation work will be scoped by each fellow to be engaging and and realistic to complete).

Registration fee is $10,000 per Fellow.

Timeline for Fellowship

  • Webinar Orientation
    • Summer 2019
  • Cohort In-person Sessions: 3 sessions, 2.5 days each
    • Kick-off: Week of September 23rd, 2019 (Midwest or East)
    • 2.5 days: Week of January 27th, 2020, (West)
    • Close-out: 2.5 days Week of May 10th, 2020 (Aspen, CO)
    • Evaluation during June – July 2020
  • In-between Sessions
    • Peer coaching
    • Content and strategy webinars
    • Innovation research and experimentation
    • Optional coaching with a faculty member

  • February 6, 2019  –  Applications Open
  • March 4, 2019  –  Applications Close
  • March 26, 2019  –  Cohort Announcement

Here is a two-pager with all of this information.