Echoing Green Award for Innovative New Organizations

Posted on 27 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Fellowships & Scholarships, Funding, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Note: The application deadline for this funding opportunity is December 1, 2008. This is an annual opportunity, so if you miss the 2008 deadline, then check the Echoing Green website for information on opportunities in subsequent years. Some of Echoing Green’s past recipients have included a few new organizations based in developing countries. One past recipient is Eric Rosenthal, who used his Echoing Green fellowship to establish Mental Disability Rights International. Applications and inquiries should be directed to Echoing Green, NOT We Can Do.

Each year, Echoing Green awards 20 two-year fellowships to entrepreneurs creating new social change organizations. Fellows receive up to $90,000 in seed funding and technical support to turn their innovative ideas into sustainable organizations. These fellowships offer them the opportunity to develop and test their ideas. We accept applications from citizens of all nationalities, working in any country.

This is not a scholarship program. Our fellows do not develop their ideas in an academic setting. Our fellows work in the community. They launch, manage and grow organizations that implement and continually expand their ideas for creating lasting social change.

Echoing Green seeks individuals or partnerships (organizations led by two people) with:

* Innovative solutions to significant social problems
* Strategies to create high-impact, sustainable change in people’s lives
* The ability to grow and lead a new organization

The application process is open to citizens of all nationalities, working in any country.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship:

* Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
* Applicants must have sufficient English fluency to participate in interviews and Echoing Green events.
* Organizations must be the original idea of the applicant.
* Organizations must be independent and autonomous. Organizations cannot be considered independent or autonomous if they are started under the direction of an existing organization. The applicant must be the primary decision maker for the organization’s development and management. Generally, organizations with fiscal sponsors are still considered autonomous.
* Organizations must be in a start-up phase. To be considered a start-up, the applicant may have been running the organization full-time for approximately two years and Echoing Green’s financial support should qualify it as a major/primary early funder. Applicants who have only worked on their organization on a part-time basis or have yet to start an organization are generally considered eligible.
* Applicants must make a full-time commitment to the organization’s development. A full-time commitment is defined as a minimum of 35 hours per week; it is expected that the fellow would resign from their current employment to dedicate themselves full-time to their initiative.
* Partnerships (organizations led by two individuals) may apply. Both partners must make a full-time commitment of no fewer than 35 hours per week to the development of the organization.
* Applicants must commit to lead their organization for at least two years. Students who apply should note that they will not be eligible for their fellowship stipend if their organization is put on hold due to time commitment conflicts with their studies.
* Applicants can be citizens of any nationality and their organizations can be based in any country. However, if the applicant is not a US citizen or permanent resident and does not have legal status to work in the US, no services in connection with their fellowship may be performed in the United States. If you are authorized to work in the US but this status is granted to you through your current employer and you are only authorized to work for that employer, you are not eligible to apply for a US-based proposal.
* Applicants must commit to attending Echoing Green’s training conferences, if selected as fellows. All new fellows attend a conference in July the year they are selected, as well as a November conference that year and for the next three years. Echoing Green covers all expenses related to these events and will announce the dates a few months prior to each conference.

The following proposals are not eligible for consideration for an Echoing Green Fellowship:

* Plans for the expansion of an existing organization that is past its start-up phase
* Plans for research projects
* Plans for lobbying activities
* Plans for faith-based initiatives (in this context, faith-based implies that you are associated with a religious institution or are promoting a specific faith; if your work has a spiritual basis but is not tied to any specific religion or faith, you may be eligible for consideration)
* Recipients of prior Echoing Green funding

Will you be a competitive candidate?

Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria during the course of the selection process:

Applicant is an emerging social entrepreneur:

* Demonstrated entrepreneurial characteristics
* Demonstrated leadership potential
* Strong passion and commitment for the program area in which they plan to work
* Intelligence and problem solving skills
* Practical skills (e.g., strategic, organizational)
* Personal integrity

Applicant’s plan will result in a sustainable organization:

* Clear and compelling mission and objectives
* Sound strategy and plan for program development and delivery
* Plan for evaluating success and performance
* Plan for financial sustainability and growth
* Existing support network

Applicant can clearly articulate their vision for social change:

* Seriousness of the social problem they will address
* Innovative idea and approach
* Potential for tangible impact to the beneficiary population
* Potential for replication and growth
* Potential for effecting systemic change (e.g., policy change, societal change, influence in their field)

To apply for an Echoing Green Fellowship, please visit our Fellowship section. Proposals submitted via mail or email will not be considered.


Our 2009 application is now open. The deadline for submissions is 5 PM EST on December 1, 2008

We Can Do received this announcement via the Intl-Dev mailing list.

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