Learn About the
Leadership Fellows


Today’s practitioners.
Tomorrow’s leaders.

With growing economic inequality, inadequate supply of affordable housing, broad gaps in educational achievement, and insufficient living wages, the work of our city’s robust nonprofit sector has never been more important.

It is critically important that tomorrow’s nonprofit executive directors and managers have the necessary knowledge and skills to guide their organizations in successfully addressing the challenges and opportunities facing New Yorkers.

The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program was created in 2015 in partnership with the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College to address these issues. Upon completion of the program, Fellows will receive a certificate from the Office of Executive Programs of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.

Nominations for Fall 2021 are closed. We are currently accepting nominations for the Spring 2022 cohort. Spring 2022 dates are TBD.

  • “Gleaning from such a diverse assemblage of distinct leadership was rewarding in and of itself, however, having the opportunity to spend my Fridays with a fantastic group of colleagues made it that much more special.”

    Renee McWilliams
    Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation

  • “Taking part in the fellowship was one of the best things I could have done. From building networks with individuals with a similar passion to developing my managerial abilities, the fellowship gave me the push I needed.”

    Alexander Joseph
    Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health

  • “The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows was inspiring and changed my perspective on leadership. I look forward to applying the significant skills I gained through the fellowship program.”

    Monica Duque
    Coalition for Hispanic Family Services

Program Overview

The program is designed to strengthen the participants’ knowledge and skills in five core areas:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Financial Planning
  • Resource Mobilization
  • Communications

Fellows will participate in virtual class sessions (using Zoom) which are scheduled on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. They will also attend a minimum of four Leadership Conversations, which are scheduled once per month on Mondays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The sessions will be taught by distinguished faculty from the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs and other experienced practitioners.

All of the costs associated with the fellowship are underwritten by the New York Community Trust. The program is effectively free for applicants.

The program features:

  • A curriculum taught through the lens of real-world issues and trends
  • Small group exercises using tools and strategies to address the particular challenges and/or opportunities
    faced by the nonprofit sector
  • Leadership Conversations where fellows connect with nonprofit sector and government leaders
  • The opportunity to have a minimum of four 1-hour meetings with a carefully selected mentor affiliated with the fellowship

We aim to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for BIPOC, and we encourage executive directors to consider nominating talented people of color from their staff.



  • You must be a mid-career professional with a minimum of five years of overall nonprofit experience and at least three years of managerial experience — managing people, projects, and budgets.
  • Your organization must have received a grant from The New York Community Trust, The Westchester Community Foundation, The Long Island Community Foundation, or Robin Hood within the last three years. Unfortunately, donor-advised grants are not eligible.
  • You must be nominated by your executive director or CEO.


Class Schedule

For the Fall 2021 cohort, sessions will be held virtually from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on the following days:

  • Thursday, September 23
  • Friday, September 24
  • Thursday, September 30
  • Friday, October 1
  • Thursday, October 7
  • No class on Friday, October 8. Indigenous Peoples’ Day observed.
  • Thursday, October 14
  • Friday, October 15
  • Thursday, October 21
  • Friday, October 22
  • Thursday, October 28
  • Friday, October 29
  • No class on Thursday, November 4. Diwali observed.
  • Friday, November 5
  • No class on Thursday, November 11. Veterans’ Day observed.
  • Friday, November 12
  • Thursday, November 18
  • Friday, November 19
  • No class on Thursday, November 25. Thanksgiving observed.
  • No class on Friday, November 26. Native American Heritage Day observed.
  • Thursday, December 2
  • Friday, December 3
  • Thursday, December 9
  • Friday, December 10
  • Thursday, December 16
  • Friday, December 17

Please note that some dates are still subject to change. We will finalize this list of dates by September.


How Nominations Are Evaluated

Nominations are scored on a 25-point scale. Candidates are awarded a maximum of 5 points for each of the following categories:

  • Evidence of Relevant Management Experience: Has the candidate been responsible for managing a project or program? Has the candidate managed staff, volunteers, board members, or other stakeholders at his/her current organization?
  • Analytical Thinking: Does the candidate describe a challenge or issue that gives context to his/her proposed project?
  • Written Communication Skills: Is the writing clear and convincing?
  • Leadership Experience: Has the candidate held leadership roles involving staff, volunteers, board members, or other stakeholders at his/her organization? Does the candidate have leadership experience prior to his/her current organization?
  • Proposed Change Project: Does the proposed change project make sense for the organizational issue(s) or challenge(s) the candidate has identified?


Join Us

Nominations for the Fall 2021 cohort are closed.

Nominations for the Spring 2022 cohort are currently open until April 2022 (deadline TBD).

If you would like a PDF preview of the nomination form, you may find one here.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].


Our fellows come from over 230 amazing organizations, like the following: