Elevating LeadHers Fellowship

About

Girls For A Change, a Black-led nonprofit empowering Black girls and young women has launched its inaugural Elevating LeadHers Fellowship. The Elevating LeadHers Fellowship will provide sustainable career pathways for women of color leaders in fundraising, data analytics, branding and nonprofit leadership.

Area of Focus

The Elevating LeadHers Fellowship's first cycle - October 2021 - October 2024 - will explore philanthropy trends, women of color-led fundraising and racial justice giving. Girls For A Change designed this three-year fellowship for an emerging to mid-career fundraising professional. The selected fellow will develop her fundraising skills, receive mentorship from diverse, seasoned grant makers, fundraisers and philanthropists, learn about racial justice giving and develop an innovative framework to address a systemic issue in philanthropy.

Career + Compensation

This fellowship will be a community-led effort to create a pathway for a woman of color fundraising professional and secure her place in a field where people of color are underrepresented.

The selected fellow will receive a $50,000 stipend over 12 months, plus health insurance and a relocation allowance.

Purpose of the Fellowship

The year 2020 brought on an unprecedented number of challenges that disproportionately affected the girls and young women in Girls For A Change's program areas. Against the backdrop of a pandemic that ravaged their communities and claimed the lives of their loved ones, our participants were among the most impacted when schools transitioned to virtual learning, unemployment claims skyrocketed and community healthcare systems experienced shortages.

Still, community partners, participants and donors turned to Girls For A Change because of its long-standing social justice programs and mission. The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor amplified the organization as the country attempted to address centuries of racism and terror. Girls For A Change attracted a new segment of donors; they recognized the devastating effects of police brutality, systemic racism and a criminal justice system that often inflicts more harm than help for communities of color.

Now more than ever, Girls For A Change must double down on its work to bring more justice to our communities and bring forth culturally competent solutions. We believe our next responsible step is to ramp up our capacity, particularly while America is listening and standing with Black women.

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Field of girls outside jumping up

Eligibility

Girls For A Change launched the Elevating LeadHers Fellowship to change the narrative of fundraising and philanthropy and increase the financial support of  Black-led organizations. Girls For A Change designed this fellowship to engage, strengthen and propel emerging leaders who identify as a Black woman or a woman of color committed to the cause of eradicating disparities in fundraising and development. Applicants representing racial and ethnic groups who have historically been underrepresented in fundraising and philanthropy are strongly encouraged to apply.

All interested fellows:

  • Should identify as a woman of color

  • Must have one to two years of professional fundraising experience

  • Must be confident in advocating for Black girls and asking for large donations from individual and institutional donors

  • Must show artistic, scholarly, or professional excellence and potential for continued growth

  • Must be independent, resourceful, and open to cultural exchange experiences beyond the specific goals of the fellowship activities

  • Must possess excellent writing skills and verbal communication

  • Must have sharp interpersonal skills and self-awareness

  • Must bring her best authentic self to work

  • Must be a problem solver and obsessed with being organized

  • Should have a track record of racial equity

  • Must be available to work at least 150 hours/month

  • Must be proficient in Google Suite and Microsoft Office

How To Apply

Applicants should review this entire application, including FAQs and then complete the online application linked on this page. Prospective fellows have between Friday, October 29 and Tuesday, November 30 at 5 p.m to complete the online application. Please complete the application in one visit. We recommend answering the questions on a separate document and transferring them to our online application in the case of any technical issues that could cause your information to be lost.

The position begins on January 15, 2022.

Elevating LeadHers Fellowship FAQs can be found at the bottom of this page.

Before You Begin the Application

It may be helpful to collect the following before you begin the application:

  1. Your résumé.
  2. Why are you interested in the Elevating LeadHers Fellowship?
    (150 words maximum)
  3. How can you help to change the narrative of philanthropy for women of color and increase funding for organizations led by people of color? If you could start today, what would you change or improve in philanthropy?
    (1,000 words maximum)
  4. What talents, vision or gifts do you bring to fundraising or philanthropy?
    (150 words maximum)
  5. Explain how you advance racial equity in your life and work?
    (200 words maximum)
  6. Is there anything else you would like to add?
    (500 words maximum)
  7. Introductory Video. If you would like to include a video to introduce yourself, please upload it to your preferred video platform (YouTube or Vimeo) and share the link with us. You may provide the link to it at the end of the application. If you choose to make the video private, be sure to share it with tasha@girlsforachange.org.

Elevating LeadHers Fellowship Application

This application will open at 8am on Friday, October 29.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is Girls For A Change?

Girls For A Change (GFAC) was formed in 2000 with the mission of empowering young women by inviting them to design, lead, fund and implement social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Since 2013, GFAC has focused more deeply on the empowerment and uplifting of a population whose needs are most unmet—Black girls and other girls of color. We, as an organization and movement, view this action as a first step to end the prejudice, poverty and lack of resources that leave Black girls and young women vulnerable at the margins of society.

Through GFAC programs, not only do girls create change by engaging in social change projects, but in the process, they learn problem-solving skills, as well as what it means to change policy and create movements. GFAC programs also focus on leadership skills, goal-planning, financial literacy, building a network, exposure, community engagement, skill-building, sisterhood building, and socio-emotional learning, among other things. We also address various issues to include institutional racism, sexism, the digital divide, and the glass ceiling, which for many Black girls can be a concrete ceiling.

GFAC programs are designed to provide consistent support to girls, from their youth into their young adulthood, and beyond. We also provide outreach programs for middle and high school girls. Through experiential learning and consistent exposure, we focus on ensuring girls are ahead of the learning curve, breaking cycles and closing the opportunity gaps faced by too many disadvantaged, marginalized or underrepresented girls—specifically Black girls. We want to give every girl who aspires to get ahead a chance to be seen, heard and celebrated.

Where is Girls For A Change located?

Girls For A Change is located in Chesterfield, Virginia, which is about 20 minutes away from Downtown Richmond.

What is the purpose of the fellowship?

The Elevating LeadHers Fellowship's first cycle — October 2021-October 2024 — will explore philanthropy trends, women of color-led fundraising and racial justice giving. Girls For A Change designed this three-year fellowship for an emerging to mid-career fundraising professional. The selected fellow will develop her fundraising skills, receive mentorship from diverse, seasoned grantmakers, fundraisers and philanthropists, learn about racial justice giving and develop an innovative framework to address a systemic issue in philanthropy.

This fellowship will be a community-led effort to create a pathway for a woman of color fundraising professional and secure her place in a field where people of color are underrepresented.

How long is the fellowship?

The fellowship’s duration is three years. All interested applicants are expected to complete the full three years, but full completion is not a contractual obligation. Girls For A Change will renew the fellowship annually.

Do I need to live in Chesterfield, Richmond or some other nearby city or county in Virginia?

No, but we would prefer to work with someone locally. The fellowship is available as a telecommute position. The selected fellow will have some office hours and will need to meet in-person with donors in the fall and winter of 2021/2022. If the selected fellow decides to relocate, we will provide up to $2,500 for relocation expenses.

Do I need to be a woman of color to apply?

Yes. The fellowship is designed for a woman of color to begin the work of changing the narrative of philanthropy. Visit our Careers page to learn about full-time job opportunities.

What is the time commitment?

We expect the selected fellow to work at least 150 hours each month.

When is the application due?

The full application must be submitted online by Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 5 pm.

Is the stipend taxed?

The fellow will be paid as an independent contractor. The fellow is responsible for filing her taxes. You can learn more information about independent contractors here.

Is the stipend negotiable?

No. The stipend is $50,000.

What are the fellowship’s objectives?

  1. Provide a safe space for a woman of color fundraiser to deepen her skills and explore philanthropic trends through access to culturally competent mentors, philanthropic workshops and training
  2. Secure funding for Girls For A Change and provide it with a long-term fundraising strategy based on the fellow's research, findings, experience and resources
  3. Connect the fellow to prospective donors through our relationships with peer organization
  4. Build trusted relationships with prospective donors through consistent recruitment and cultivation
  5. Cultivate relationships with current Girls For A Change donors through compelling and consistent solicitations and creative special donor events
  6. Raise the visibility and increase the representation of women of color fundraisers to help shift perceptions of the face of fundraising
  7. Amplify the lack of diversity in fundraising and the significance of the fellowship through various media channels

Do I need experience in fundraising?

Yes. The preferred fellow will have at least one to two years’ fundraising experience within a progressive organization.

Who do I contact for additional information?

Please send any additional questions or comments to fellowship@girlsforachange.org and include Elevating LeadHers Fellowship in the subject line.