Fellowship Program

Fellowship Program
Program

Since launching in 2005, The Duke Endowment's Fellowship program has been an opportunity for outstanding individuals to spend two years immersed in philanthropy.

In the spirit of continuous improvement that’s so important to our work at the Endowment, we recently conducted an evaluation of the program to assess its impact on participants and on our foundation. With our Evaluation team leading the process, we surveyed our staff members along with all current and past Fellows. We also conducted deeper interviews with a subset of Fellows and staff.

Just as we hoped, the evaluation helped us learn about the program’s strengths and challenges and uncover recommended changes. We will use what we learned to fine-tune the Fellowship and make it as effective as possible for the future.

Instead of hiring a Fellow for 2019-21, we want to spend time thinking strategically about how we can adapt the program’s structure to everyone’s benefit. Over the coming months, a cross-section of employees will work together to support that effort.

We’re looking forward to the next steps in making this successful program even better.

Fellows

Resources

Past and current Fellows share their thoughts about the two-year program and the opportunity for hands-on experience in philanthropy. 

 

FAQs

 

Why did the Endowment evaluate its Fellowship program?

In the spirit of continuous improvement that’s so important to our work here, we conducted an evaluation of our Fellowship program to assess its impact on participants and on our foundation.

How was the evaluation done?

With our Evaluation team leading the process, we surveyed our staff members along with all current and past Fellows. We also conducted deeper interviews with a subset of Fellows and staff.

What did it show?

Just as we hoped, the evaluation helped us learn about the program’s strengths and challenges and uncover recommended changes. For example, all of the Fellows said they “strongly agreed” that the Fellowship broadened their understanding of philanthropy, and nearly half of staff members mentioned the value of the Fellows’ fresh perspectives. However, 60 percent of Fellows said they struggled at times to find enough meaningful work. We also learned how critical it was to hone the purpose of the program to help clarify expectations.

What are the next steps?

We will use what we learned to fine-tune the Fellowship and make it as effective as possible for the future. Instead of hiring a Fellow for 2019-21, we want to spend time thinking strategically about how we can adapt the program’s structure to everyone’s benefit. Over the coming months, a cross-section of employees will work together to support that effort. We plan to present our recommendations to our Board by next summer.

Is the program ending?

No. In the past, we’ve begun recruiting our next Fellow in the fall and winter. We’re putting those efforts on pause as we work internally on modifying the program.

Our Fellows have been talented and committed, and they’ve gone on to do amazing work in their chosen fields. We are looking forward to the next steps in making this successful program even better.

Do you currently have Fellows at the Endowment?

Yes. Our 13th Fellow, Brittany Schwartz, joined us this summer. Before she leaves in 2020, Brittany will spend time supporting our work in higher education, health care, rural churches and child care.

Gillian Small, our second year Fellow, is currently working with our Rural Church program area, and Charisma Hibbler, our 2016-18 Fellow, is working with Child Care. We’re thrilled to have Brittany, Gillian and Charisma with us.

Apply for the Fellowship

Thank you for your interest, but the Endowment is not accepting applications at this time.

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