Please read all of the following background information before beginning the application process to host a fellow.

The deadline to submit a letter of intent for agencies interested in hosting a fellow for 2017-2018 has passed.  We’ll begin the process again in early fall, 2017.


What to Know Before Creating a Fellowship Project

  • Philly Fellows partners with AmeriCorps VISTA to create each fellowship project. All projects are bound by the terms and conditions of VISTA in addition to Philly Fellows’ policies.
  • Fellows serve at their host agencies for one year in a full-time role (not to exceed forty hours/week). Most host agencies are able to reapply for a new fellow for up to three years on a continuing project.
  • All projects should be organized around a capacity-building goal for the host agency. Direct service should not be the focus of the project. As an example, a suitable role for a fellow could be designing and implementing a new after-school tutoring program, but working directly with the students in the primary role of a tutor would not fit within these guidelines. Generally our capacity-building projects either help the organization launch an all-new program, reach more constituents, or enable them to improve the services they already offer.
  • This new capacity must be sustainable for your organization. The end-results of the project should continue to benefit your agency and constituents after fellows are no longer placed with you. Agencies should not rely on fellows as a long-term staffing solution.
  • All projects must have a focus and an end result that contributes to eliminating conditions of poverty. The key objectives recently identified by our partners at AmeriCorps VISTA are: creating economic opportunities for low-income Americans (including financial literacy, housing, and employment), improving education (including school readiness, K-12 success, and post-secondary success), ensuring healthy futures for Americans (including access to care and anti-obesity and food security initiatives), and increasing opportunities for veterans and military families.
  • When designing fellowships, it is best to conceive of them as distinct projects. So rather than creating a position that gives you extra manpower in one of your departments, your agency would be more likely to be matched with a fellow if you were to present a project that focused on a specific goal or initiative that is distinct from the day-to-day work of that department or your agency.
  • The work of the fellow should directly lead to measurable and reportable outcomes related to the anti-poverty goals stated above.
  • Project locations must be within the City of Philadelphia.
  • Fellows should not serve in roles in which they are replacing an existing employee.
  • Fellows may not be involved in any of the following activities as part of their projects: direct political advocacy or lobbying, proselytizing or other direct religious activity, pro- or anti-organized-labor activities, or voter registration or voter-turnout initiatives. If your agency engages in these activities, the fellow’s work must be separated from them.

We generally have a competitive process when it comes to recruiting new host agencies. When selecting agencies to become part of the fellowship, our two most important criteria are:

  • Whether the project will have a meaningful impact on the agency that leads to stronger and more just communities in Philadelphia, and
  • Whether the project would be compelling to a typical Philly Fellows applicant and encourage them to apply for the program (project descriptions are included in our recruiting materials for prospective fellows).

Letter of Intent

The Philly Fellows Letter of Intent is a brief form that helps Philly Fellows staff determine whether prospective agencies align with the priorities and mission of Philly Fellows as well as AmeriCorps VISTA.

After these come in, selected agencies will be invited to submit a full application, providing more detailed information about the structure and goals of their project, including plans to measure the fellow’s impact.

Letters of intent for 2017-2018 are due October 21st.  See more about our application timeline here.