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 an executive certificate from the Office of Executive Programs of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.

  • “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

Fellows will participate in 10 class sessions on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. They will also be expected to attend all of our Leadership Conversations, which are scheduled according to the needs of our Fellows and external audience.

All of the costs associated with the fellowship are underwritten by foundations. The program is effectively free for applicants and their organizations.

It 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 professionals, social justice practitioners, and government leaders
  • The opportunity to have a minimum of four 1-hour meetings with a carefully selected mentor

We aim to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for communities of color and immigrants, and we encourage executive directors to consider nominating talented people of color and immigrants 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, the Ford Foundation Good Neighbor Committee, or the Fund for the City of New York within the last three years. Unfortunately, donor-advised grants are not eligible.
  • You must be nominated by your executive director or CEO. (EDs and CEOs may nominate themselves.)

Fall 2024 Nomination Form Checklist

  • Do I have approval from my CEO or ED to apply?
  • Have I read through all the information on the Apply and FAQs pages?
  • Have I been given a change project to work on at my organization?

Class Schedule

The tentative schedule for the Fall 2024 cohort is listed below. Please note that all sessions are subject to change at this time. All session will take place at FPWA (40 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004) from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

  • September 6
  • September 13
  • September 20
  • September 27
  • October 18
  • October 25
  • November 8
  • November 15
  • December 6
  • December 13
  • January 3
  • January 10

How Nominations Are Assessed

Nominations are scored on a 20-point scale.

Candidates are awarded a maximum of 5 points for each of the following categories:

Analytical Thinking: Does the candidate describe a challenge or issue that gives context to his/her proposed project?

Written Communication Skills: Is the candidate’s writing clear, convincing, and easy to understand?

Leadership Experience: Has the candidate held leadership roles with internal and external stakeholders at his/her organization? Does the candidate have leadership experience prior to his/her current organization?

Proposed Change Project: Is the proposed change project of front-burner importance to the organization?

Join Us

Spring 2024 nominations are closed.

Fall 2024 nominations are tentatively open, though Fall dates have yet to be finalized.

All applicants must submit the form linked below. You will receive an email confirmation when you have successfully submitted.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my organization nominate more than one person?

Unfortunately, we can only accept one nomination from an organization per cohort cycle.

In simpler terms, this means that you can nominate Person A in the spring and Person B in the fall, but you cannot nominate both A and B in spring at the same time. You and your team will have to decide which individual is nominated per cycle.

Do I need to pay tuition to participate?

No. All costs associated with the fellowship are underwritten by the New York Community Trust. The program is free for applicants.

What time commitment do I have to make?

Each cohort runs for approximately four months in the Spring (April to July) and Fall (October to December) with about 30 fellows per cohort. Fellows will participate in approximately 10 sessions scheduled each Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fellows are also required to attend all Leadership Conversation panel discussions that provide a forum for engaging with leaders and change makers in the nonprofit sector from different organizations and foundations as well as all levels of local, city, and state government.

What if I have a conflict with the planned class times?

Please reach out to us at to discuss this on a case-by-case basis. We will be happy to work with you.

Who fills out the nomination form?

Your CEO/ED or other nominating officer should fill out the first part of the nomination form, which asks them to give their approval for your nomination and e-sign the form.

You will fill out the remaining three  questions:

  • What managerial and leadership experiences make you a strong candidate for this fellowship?
  • What skills do you hope to strengthen through the fellowship?
  • Describe the change project that you will design and implement during the course of the program.

Each of these responses must be at least 150 words long. You can find samples from previously accepted fellows on our extended FAQs page.

What is the change project?

The “change project” is an initiative of front-burner importance for the organization, developed in consultation with the executive director or CEO of the organization. The initiative must address a potential leadership or managerial challenge or opportunity facing their organizations. Fellows draw on the knowledge gained in each session to develop their change project into potential initiative for implementation at their organization.

You can find change project samples from previously accepted fellows on our extended FAQs page.