What to expect in your El Pomar Fellowship
Fellows are very much a part of the day-to-day fabric of the Foundation’s work. From the first moment of New Fellow Orientation and the group Outward Bound adventure, to the daily program operations and professional trainings, to the comprehensive job preparation and Fellow Farewell, Fellows are engrained in the work of El Pomar and in their own career journeys.
We expect a lot, as do Fellows, so there is mutual benefit – much of the work of the Foundation is done by Fellows engaged in programmatic management, so the workload is high and so are the expectations.
Each Fellow’s experience is different, but one thing that every Fellow gets to be a part of is the Foundation’s grant making. You are assigned one or two regions through our Regional Partnerships program, and you support the councils on your regions in making grants. This includes processing grant recommendations from your council and preparing them for Trustee meetings; setting up and facilitating quarterly council meetings to discuss regional grant making impact and strategies; and working to represent the Foundation to nonprofits in the region.
Fellows also support our competitive grant making process. Each year, we get hundreds of grant applications from nonprofits across the state. Fellows read through the grant applications and draft up a document summarizing the work the nonprofit does, the request, and staff funding recommendation. Fellows then present these write-ups to Trustees for their review and approval.
We are proud to say we contribute $25 million each year to nonprofits across Colorado, but we know not everything can be addressed through grant making, which is where our programs come into play. Fellows are assigned to support multiple programs. Whether you want to learn more about business and finance, or you prefer content creation and public relations, we have something for you!
Because each Fellow supports the work of multiple programs, you’ll use and develop a core set of skills, including: project management, nonprofit support, business writing, grant making support, event planning, communications, investments, and more.
The opportunity to learn and grow, as well as contribute, is exceptional
Professional Development and the Cohort Model
A key component of the Fellowship is professional development. Through an intentionally designed curriculum, Fellows develop of their soft skills through public speaking trainings, leadership assessments, and individual coaching sessions from Fellowship leadership. Additionally, Fellows have the opportunity for continued education through investment and finance classes; Excel, PowerPoint, and Project Management Ready certifications; and tuition reimbursement and certifications to continue your formal learning and professional skill development.
Additionally, you gain from the peer support of other Fellows. The cohort model is a key aspect of the Fellowship program, and allows each class of Fellows to learn, grow, and develop as a community of young professionals. Each year, Fellows participate in a Colorado Outward Bound School river or mountain course, which provides the opportunity to deepen your relationships with other Fellows and stretch beyond your comfort zone. You work closely with your own cohort as well as the cohort above or below you. With this, you have the opportunity to form invaluable working relationships, friendships, and gain feedback from your peers.
Finally, a core part of the Fellowship experience is preparing for the next steps in your career journey. You’re guided through preparation with career readiness and job search coaching. In the final four months of your Fellowship, you’ll spend one day a week supporting the work of another organization or business to widen your perspective before departing the Foundation.
Professional as a Rule, Casual by Nature
Our founders had a lot of style and flair and liked to be a little fancy when they could. We keep this tradition alive with professional spaces, attire, and practices. That’s not to say we don’t also enjoy our casual days, and even a group mountain bike ride or spontaneous pickleball tourney now and then. From suit and tie to hiking pants – it’s all about balance!
Beyond the office, Fellows explore Colorado Springs and the beauty of our state in their free time.
Schedule an Informational Interview
We believe it’s important to be familiar with what a Fellow really does on a day-to-day basis and with El Pomar’s programs before you’re ready to apply. We offer the opportunity for you to chat with current Fellows about their Fellowship experience. Informational interviews allow you to get a better sense of what it might entail to apply and participate in the program. These informational interviews are not mandatory for the application, and we recommend them as a way to gain deeper insight into what your two years at El Pomar Foundation might look like.
We can host these conversations either virtually or at our offices in Penrose House in Colorado Springs.