Now accepting applications for the 2022 Fellowship. Applications are due by 2:00 PM EDT (14:00) on November 2, 2021.
Start preparing your application offline
The guidance documents below are designed to help applicants understand what we look for in our Fellows and what to expect from the Fellowship application. We encourage applicants to use these documents to begin preparing their application offline.
Echoing Green supports bold leaders from all over the world who see possibility in the face of the most existential challenges of our day. Together, we strive to build a world that has yet to exist: a future free from racism and its far-reaching consequences where all people can thrive.
This Fellowship is for people whose enterprises are at an early stage and who are experts on the challenge they’ve chosen to confront. We seek leaders who reflect the community they serve and bring deep knowledge of the issues into their work as they co-design solutions with and for their communities.
WHAT TO EXPECT
SUBMIT DURING OPEN APPLICATION PERIOD
Our application process is designed to be inclusive, constructive, and engaging; we offer resources to help you while you build your application.
Receive Feedback as You Advance
Our team of expert reviewers closely reads and scores each application. Even if you aren’t selected to advance, we’ll send general feedback that may help you refine your application for future rounds.
PARTICIPATE IN INTERVIEWS
If you’re chosen as a Finalist, you’ll interview with expert panelists and will be featured in our annual Talent Report.
CELEBRATE AND BEGIN YOUR LEADERSHIP JOURNEY
If you’re chosen as a Fellow, you’ll embark on your Fellow journey with guidance from us every step of the way.
“The application itself was like doing a strategic plan. You realize all of the things you aren’t able to fill out and start asking some big existential questions.”
2015 Fellow & Founder of Center for Civic Innovation
Everything you need to know about rules and tips for applying to the Echoing Green Fellowship.
- Will you be 18 years or older by the time you begin the Fellowship?
- Echoing Green Fellowship applicants must be 18 years or older by February 28, 2022.
- Are you able to communicate proficiently in English?
- To be eligible for the Fellowship and fully participate in programming and support offerings, you must be able to communicate in English proficiently. Support throughout the Echoing Green Fellowship is offered in English.
- Are you an original founder or a leading member of your proposed organization’s original founding team?
- We use the term “original founder” to describe people who launched or are launching an organization that is their original idea. You cannot have assumed a leadership position within the organization after its founding. To be eligible, you must be a leader with decision-making power within the organization and be either 1) a sole founder or 2) a leading founder on a team of people who created the organization.
- Are you the primary decision maker for your organization?
- To be eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship, applicants must be the primary decision maker and have the ultimate authority over your organization’s growth and strategic vision.
- Will you be able to work full time on your proposed organization throughout the 18-month Fellowship?
- If selected for an Echoing Green Fellowship, you may hold other professional responsibilities, but you must work full time, defined here as 40 hours a week, on the work outlined in your Fellowship application, and it must remain as your main professional priority.
- Does your proposed organization have a parent organization?
- Organizations that are independent but have fiscal sponsors are eligible for the Echoing Green Fellowship as long as the fiscal sponsor has no authority over the organization’s work and decision making.
- Does your proposed organization operate independently and autonomously from your parent organization?
- To be eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship, you must be able to make and act on organizational decisions of your own choosing. If other organizations or entities manage or hold decision-making authority for your proposed organization, you may not be eligible. Organizations that are independent but have fiscal sponsors may be eligible as long as the fiscal sponsor has no authority over the organization’s work and decision making.
- In your personal assessment, would you describe your organization or idea in the “early stage” of its development and in need of financial and non-financial resources to become sustainable?
- Echoing Green seeks applicants in need of funding to initiate or scale their organizations. We generally describe early-stage organizations or ideas as those that 1) have operated with full-time staff for less than five years or 2) still need resources to grow and sustain their operations. Organizations that already have all of the following in place *may* not qualify as early-stage enough for the Echoing Green Fellowship: a well-defined program model; an initial strategic plan; basic organizational infrastructure (like a bank account, payroll, job descriptions, etc.); a staffing plan; initial funding sources; and a board of directors that meets regularly to manage organizational governance. If you do not have all of these elements in place yet, you may still be in your startup phase and eligible to apply for an Echoing Green Fellowship.
- Does your organization use lobbying to further its mission or goals?
- Per the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Echoing Green cannot distribute funds to organizations whose primary purpose is lobbying. Lobbying is defined as activities that seek to support specific political candidates, specific political parties, or urge action on specific legislative bills. Issue-area advocacy, defined as the attempt to cause political action using methods such as civic education and public campaigns, is not considered lobbying. For more details, please reference the IRS definition here: irs.gov/charities-non-profits/lobbying.
- Does your organization promote or recruit for a specific religious faith?
- To be eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship, the organization cannot engage in recruitment, promotion, or conversion for a specific religious faith to your constituency. If your organization’s work has a spiritual element or works with existing faith communities but does not promote or recruit on behalf of that faith, you may be eligible.
- Have you or any members of the organization’s founding or leadership team previously received an Echoing Green Fellowship?
- For you and your organization to be eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship, no founding team members and no people in a leadership position can be an Echoing Green Fellow.
Writing Your Application
Give yourself plenty of time
Our application is open for two weeks but don’t wait until the last day to start an application. The best answers are well thought out, reflective, and concise. Build in time for several rounds of proofreading and review. Submitting your application before the due date gives you time to deal with any unforeseen technical issues. Your application must be received before 2:00 PM (14:00) ET on the date of the application deadline.
Show why you are addressing the challenge
Echoing Green wants to know what your organization does and how, but, most importantly, we want to understand what inspired you to address your issue and why you are the right person for the job. Your application should demonstrate your personal connection to the community you will serve and the issue you’ll address.
Be as specific as possible
We know that you may not have all the answers right now – but many applications do not advance to the next stage of consideration because answers are vague and lack clarity. If you don’t have demonstrated results, that’s okay. Walk us through your thought process for what your goals might be and how you would measure them. For instance, provide concrete examples, hypotheses, and statistics related to your work instead of vague generalizations. Establish a clear connection between the work you do and your goals and objectives.
Be straightforward and use plain language
While you should be descriptive, avoid the use of jargon as you write your responses. Assume they will be read by someone with limited knowledge of your field, the population you’re working with, or your industry.
Utilize all available resources
Read the Question by Question Guide to help you strengthen your responses. The help text provides clarification and offers suggestions on what you should and should not include in your response. Use the Worksheet to draft your answers offline; you can edit and refine your answers before submitting your application. This worksheet will be available prior to the launch of the Echoing Green application.
Below is an outline of information you’ll be asked to provide in the Echoing Green Fellowship application
- General information about you
- Information about your organization including but not limited to: general overview, financial overview, and how you think about and categorize your work
- A series of short answer questions asking about your leadership, work, and the organization you are building.
- A collaborative analysis where you will be asked to identify other organizations similar to yours and how you might work with them toward shared goals.
- A resume that should demonstrate your qualifications
- You will be asked to upload a 60-second video answering the question “Why do you do what you do” while sharing your personality, energy, and passion.
Application Cycles & Timing
Applicants who are selected for the Fellowship will be notified in March 2022. Our next application cycle will launch in April 2022. Sign up to be notified about new application cycles.
Policies for all applicants
- Submit your final application using Echoing Green’s application website. Do not mail, fax, or email your application – Echoing Green will not accept it if it is not submitted through the application website. No exceptions!
- Any extraneous materials submitted will be discarded immediately and not reviewed. We will not accept or review any other documents (e.g., letters of inquiry, business plans) in lieu of the online application.
- Your application must be received before 2:00 PM (14:00) ET on the date of the deadline. Without exception, if Echoing Green receives your application after this deadline, regardless of technical difficulty, your submission will not be considered for the Fellowship application cycle.
- Applications cannot be revised once they have been submitted. Once you submit on Echoing Green’s application website, no changes can be made, even if time remains before the final deadline.
- You may only submit one application. Any applicant who submits multiple applications for the same project or single applications for different projects in the same application cycle will be automatically disqualified from consideration.
Echoing Green has a small staff. Annually, we receive close to 2,000 applications for our Fellowship programs. We cannot grant personal interviews to any applicant, either over the phone or in person. Please do not contact our office requesting an appointment for a personal interview.
If you have questions about the application process that are not answered above, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will usually receive a response within two working days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of feedback does Echoing Green provide if I am not selected to be a Fellow?
Echoing Green receives close to 2,000 applications per cycle. Due to the large volume of proposals that we receive and the limited capacity of our staff, we are unable to equitably provide individualized feedback on each application.
However, we also recognize the time and effort it takes to complete the application. Therefore, we share numerical feedback specific to how reviewers read and scored your application based on Echoing Green’s selection criteria and scoring rubric. This feedback is designed to provide insight into how our reviewers perceived the strength, clarity, and/or level of detail of your responses— not on your idea or model for change. We hope that this general feedback helps applicants refine future proposals for Echoing Green or other institutions.
I’m not based in the United States can I apply to Echoing Green?
You do not need to be based in the United States or be an American citizen. We encourage applicants of all nationalities, working in any country, to apply for the fellowship. Echoing Green does not sponsor American work permits for any foreign nationals.
My organization has multiple founders, can we all apply for an Echoing Green Fellowship?
An organization does not only have to be run by one individual, but only a single applicant is eligible to apply for an Echoing Green fellowship starting in 2021.
Are there any educational requirements to apply for an Echoing Green Fellowship?
Echoing Green does not have any educational requirements to apply for a Fellowship.
Does my organization need to be structured as a nonprofit in order to be eligible?
No, all organization structures are eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship as long as they are focused on social impact.
I have not incorporated my organization, can I still apply?
Organizations still in the idea phase are eligible. You do not need to establish 501(c)(3) status or register your organization before you apply.
If I am rejected can I re-apply in the future?
Yes, you are welcome to reapply in future cycles if you are not awarded a fellowship.