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Boston Neighborhood Fellows

Overview

The Boston Neighborhood Fellows Program has provided funding to local leaders doing important grassroots work in an effort to support the Boston community for nearly three decades. The program provides recognition and direct financial support to those who work within community service in the Greater Boston Area. 

Fellows each receive a two-year grant, along with leadership and other training. Fellows also will take part in core activities in some of the Boston Foundation’s discretionary impact areas, providing a valuable, proximate, decision-making voice that can inform and improve the effectiveness of the Boston Foundation’s grantmaking strategy. 

In January 2021, the Boston Foundation welcomed a new class of Boston Neighborhood Fellows, whose fellowship will run until January 2023.

The 2019-2021 Class of Boston Neighborhood Fellows
Learn about the 2021-2023 fellows

The individuals chosen as Boston Neighborhood Fellows can work in government, for community organizations, or as outstanding volunteers. Diverse in identities and occupations, their one common characteristic is that they have, in the words of John Gardner, become less “a servant to what is,” and more “a shaper of what might be.” Priority will be given to leaders of color, LGBTQIA leaders, immigrant leaders, and other leaders from underrepresented populations. 

Please note: the Fellowship is by invitation only. 

Candidate Eligibility and Qualifications

Candidates must: 

  • Live and work in the Greater Boston area.
  • Be particularly interested in candidates who would benefit from formal opportunities for leadership development.
  • Have past or current experience in nonprofits, community service and social entrepreneurship either in a formal or informal setting.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, critical thinking, the ability to actively listen and ask meaningful follow-up questions.
  • Be able to commit to a two-year fellowship.
  • Work collaboratively and maintain confidentiality.
  • Priority will be given to leaders of color, LGBTQIA leaders, immigrant leaders and other leaders from underrepresented populations.  

Program Format and Time Commitment

  • Monthly meetings during first year of the cohort (except December, July & August); Bi-monthly meetings during second year of cohort (except December & August). 
  • Most meetings will take place both days and evenings. However we will survey fellowship cohort to finalize best possible schedule. 
  • There will be opportunities to attend special events, guest lectures and retreats that may occasionally take place during the professional work day and/or on weekends.
  • Attendance at two TBF and/or community meetings.
  • Assist the Senior Director of Grassroots Programs with identifying funding opportunities for grassroots efforts in their respective communities.
  • Assist in the planning and implementation of at least one Grassroots Program Community Convening.
  • Ability to complete two-year Fellowship term.

Curriculum

  • All meetings will follow a curriculum designed by the Boston Foundation and informed by interviews and surveys conducted with Fellows. The curriculum will include learning about community development, and the selection and implementation of a joint community project.
  • Leadership development training.
  • Executive personalized coaching. 

Meeting Locations 

All meetings will take place at the Boston Foundation as well as locations in Greater Boston communities.
*During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fellows are meeting remotely.

Past Fellows

Meet the 2019-2021 Boston Neighborhood Fellows

Meet the 2017 Boston Neighborhood Fellows.

View the full list of Boston Neighborhood Fellows Alumni