Tom Ford Philanthropy Fellowships:
A Success Story
by: Bill Somerville, President & CEO, PVF
Twelve years ago the idea to place graduating Stanford students at a foundation for a year-long fellowship was proposed by Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Now 34 students have participated in the unique effort to bring more young people into philanthropy: the Tom Ford Fellowship Program. Susan Ford Dorsey and the Sand Hill Foundation has funded the program for all those years.
The fellowship program is run by the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford and has become well known on campus. Students are given a $30,000 stipend for 11 months in full-time positions. 8% of the students now work full-time in philanthropy, which was the goal of the program.
Near the end of their internships the students report on this experience. It is interesting to note what impresses them about the experience. One fellow with the Boston Foundation came away with appreciating "the urgency of now" and came to see the value of small grants and of working with teachers. Another fellow with a New York City-based foundation explored social justice in such things as sustainable agriculture. The third fellow is with the UN Foundation in New York City and focused on global health programming. She saw what it is like to both seek money and give it out as well as appreciating what is involved in getting collective involvement and cooperation.
From left to right: Jaclyn Le, Boston Foundation; Isabelle Wijangco, UN Foundation; Jenny Rempel, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation; and Megan Swezey Fogarty, Director of Fellowships, Stanford's Haas Center.
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation also proposed and helped establish the philanthropy fellowship program, through which five undergraduate students at Stanford are selected and placed each summer at Bay Area foundations. These two fellowship programs are emulated by a number of higher education institutions.
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation does extensive referrals helping people enter foundation work, helping retired persons find meaningful positions in the human service sector, helping foundations make their own work more meaningful.
We also specialize in helping donors do exciting and significant giving in about any area of concern they might have. To illustrate the diversity of issues, here are a few: getting Hispanic parents involved in their children's educations; broadening opportunities for Filipinos in the Bay Area; sustaining day worker programs; starting a new effort to offer students from UC Berkeley internships in philanthropy; training start-up entrepreneurs in solid business practices; revising the food stamp program in San Mateo County to serve more people; bringing more minorities into philanthropic work; advising a program of home nursing; advising an effort to bring service learning to China; taking donors on field trips to see firsthand programs that receive philanthropic support; presenting to agency staff and boards about fundraising and trying new ideas; visiting grantees to assess impact; lecturing to college students about foundations; meeting with, advising, and supporting programs serving the poor.
We would love to hear from you, our readers, about what more we could and should be doing. And, we are very grateful for the support you give to the above work.