Francisco Noguera

Looking for Ways to Get Involved? Check Out These Fellowship Opportunities

Fellowships are probably the best way to take a dive into the social enterprise space and learn about the challenges of the sector by working in the field. Perhaps more importantly, they allow participants to join a cohort and cultivate relationships that will likely play a significant role in shaping future projects.

We’ve posted news about several of those recently, including the Acumen Fund Fellows program, which is accepting applications until early November, the TED India Fellows and the Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellows, who will take the stage during the annual conference that begins tomorrow in Camden. (Stay tuned for more from Pop!Tech as of tomorrow morning, by the way!)

Three noteworthy opportunities are currently available, offered by LGT Venture Philanthropy, the Deshpande Foundation and the Rural Innovations Network. I encourage you to check them out and spread the word with those you think might be a good fit.

iCats is the name of the program offered by LGT Venture Philanthropy. In their own words The iCats Program is an answer to the need for professional know-how and resources in many philanthropic organizations and social enterprises. LGT Venture Philanthropy created a web-based platform to match experienced professionals with specific positions in selected philanthropic organizations. The fellow positions for 2010 are now online on! Application deadline is 26th October 2009.

A fellow works 11 months on-site with a portfolio organization from February to December 2010 and receives regular mentoring from the LGT Venture Philanthropy team. In addition, a 4-day induction workshop brings all fellows together in the Swiss mountains. Go to to find out more and to apply.”

Secondly, Deshpande Foundation is currently accepting applications for their 2010 Fellows Program. The deadline for applications is January 4th, 2010. You’ll recall reading the posts of Guest Writer Lesley Pories, who shared much of her experiences during her Sandbox Fellowship and the Foundation’s Development Dialogue with the NextBillion community (see here, here, here and here).

Finally, there’s a third opportunity for those of you interested in rural development in India: The Villgro Fellowship, offered by the Rural Innovations Network. There’s one slight problem and it is that expressions of interest are due today. However, if you’re interested and just found out about it (like I did), I’d encourage you to email the team and ask if your application would be accepted tomorrow or the day after. It doesn’t hurt to ask!