The Community Fellows Program (CFP) aims to ground emerging nonprofit and community leaders in the systemic context of social change work and develop key management and leadership skills.


Built from community organizing values and frameworks, CFP invests in the next generation of high potential, emerging social sector and community leaders. CFP students advance their leadership skills, increase their social capital, and are embedded in a robust professional network to propel their careers forward.

There is no tuition. CFP is a fully-funded, academic-year fellowship engaging leaders poised to meaningfully advance social justice and their leadership and become part of a growing network of change leaders.

It’s more than a class. It’s a community. CFP includes:

  • Twice-per-month Management Seminars covering a range of topics in organizational leadership, including social justice and systems change, community organizing, personal brand building, fundraising, networking, developing your leadership narrative, healing and self-care, and much more.
  • Monthly Practice Seminar facilitated by Senior Fellows (Meet current faculty here) and conducted in small groups that engage in action-oriented problem-solving regarding specific leadership and management challenges confronted by students and their organizations.
  • Two retreats that allow for group connection and cohesion and the beginning of Fellows’ exploration of the connection between leadership and achieving community and social justice.
  • Intensive exploration of values and discussion of the impact of power and privilege on individuals, the nonprofit and public sectors, and society.
  • Access to additional resources through the Institute’s network. This includes learning from other leaders in the sector, current students, alumni, faculty members, community partners, and funders.

Who are the Community Fellows?

We actively seek to inform and advance a leadership pipeline that reflects our communities and strengthens inclusion and belonging in the learning experience. 

CFP is a good fit for high potential, emerging leaders committed to social justice and seeking to expand their management acumen. This fellowship is an opportunity to learn about organizing and justice for earlier career professionals who are:

  • Committed to and actively working within nonprofit, organizing or public sector careers
  • Passionate about social justice, racial and gender equity work, and community change
  • Looking to build their personal and community leadership skills

The primary goal of CFP is to advance the careers and influence of community and proximate leaders who can drive missions forward with values at the center. We are committed to advancing diverse leaders, including Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and women into leadership roles, and we encourage prospective students of all backgrounds who are focused on justice to apply. Social change requires all of us.

We also accept nominations for Community Fellows.

Apply Now

Opening retreat

The CFP program year opens with a weekend retreat focused on the topic of “Power and Grace – Building a Community for Social Change”. (Note: Opening 2021-2022 retreat will be virtual and is subject to change).

Management Seminar

Generally, Management Seminars meet twice per month, from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Management Seminars are led by a faculty member, with guest instructors. Topics include:

  • Equity-centered organizational leadership
  • Strategic financial management
  • Demystifying the leader’s journey
  • Storytelling for social change
  • Adaptive and facilitative leadership
  • Community organizing and leading for social change
  • Securing and managing organizational resources
  • Managing yourself and others across difference
  • Self-care, mindfulness, and healing

Practice Seminar

Practice Seminars meet once a month (5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.), are facilitated by faculty, and use a highly engaging case presentation format for students to address organizational and leadership challenges in supportive cohorts. Students are supported toward identifying actionable steps toward their personal development goals.

Closing retreat

The CFP program year closes with a weekend overnight retreat focused on the topic of “Public Narrative: Storytelling & Powerful Communication”.

Academic Year

Our program term typically lasts from October through early June; a detailed schedule will be provided during the enrollment process.

The Community Fellows Program is currently offered through two sites*, and enrolled students commit to the schedule of their specific class.

Generally, Community Fellows Program students convene three times each month: twice for a 4-hour student commitment; and once for a two-hour commitment. Please see an overview of our current site schedules below:

  • Boston (MA): 1st and 3rd Tuesdays; from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. (with a break); Weekend Opening Retreat in October and Closing Retreat in May*.
  • New York City (NY): 1st and 3rd Tuesdays; from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. (with a break); 2nd or 4th Tuesday (pending student assignment) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.; Weekend Opening Retreat in October and Closing Retreat in May*.

INP will be virtual for the 2022 class year while accepting students by class location who work or live in proximity to those sites given plans to offer additional (though not mandatory) in person programming as soon as the option becomes available.  INP will consider public health guidelines as well as the INP community’s well-being to make a decision regarding transitioning to optional in-person programming over the course of the academic year.

*Some logistics may change due to considerations for COVID-19.


Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Community Fellows Program is a fully funded fellowship for one academic year. Fellows do not pay any tuition for this program.


Our application process consists of:

  • Online application, requiring a resume and brief answers to a few questions
  • Submission of two recommendations (References will receive a notification to complete an online form after the application is submitted.)
  • Group interview (up to 2 hours)

Completed applications will be reviewed with priority for each deadline. Applicants will receive a more detailed timeline during the interview process.

Application Deadlines

Applications are currently closed. Please sign for our mailing list to be notified when we open applications for 2022!

Continuing Education

Students who are interested in receiving Continuing Education hours should reach out to INP staff to discuss further. In Massachusetts specifically, students can earn over 70 Social Work Continuing Education hours for re-licensure, in accordance with 258 CMR.


Community Fellows Program graduates receive a certificate in Community Leadership and Social Change from INP.

Through an affiliation with Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, students who successfully complete our New England programs will earn a certificate from both the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and Tufts. Program graduates who are admitted to and enroll in Tufts graduate degree programs may earn the equivalent of 3 credit hours.

Alumni community

Become a lifelong learner. Check out our Alumni page for more on these benefits.

CFP Alumni Report


strengthened their skills in organizational leadership


increased their confidence


built their networks


enhanced their self-awareness

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