Build-Your-Own Fellowship

Building on the success of the existing Davidson Impact Fellows partnerships, we are excited to offer the Build-Your-Own Fellowship option for 2015-16. For the second year, students will be able to apply for funding to go towards paying their salary and expenses at a nonprofit organization that they identify and "recruit." If accepted as a fellow, students could earn up to $15,000 while working for a nonprofit organization willing to place them into a significant role under the supervision and mentorship of one of the organizational leaders.  

How it Works

  • Students should reach out to organizations with whom they would like to work to see if they can identify a common ground between the needs of the organization and the student's professional interests.
  • Students and organizational leaders develop a job description and agree to a timeline and salary for employment if accepted. True to the model of the Davidson Impact Fellows, projects would be expected to have a significant responsibility within the organization, mentoring from organizational leaders, and opportunities for exposure to the greater challenges of running a nonprofit organization.
  • Students may apply for between $5,000 and $15,000 in funding to work in an organization. The funding goes directly to the organization to offset the cost of the students salary and benefits. The organizations may help to increase the salaries beyond the Davidson contribution if they are able and willing to do so.
  • Fellowship opportunities should last 12 months as a rule.

The application deadline for these fellowship opportunities is February 16, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Proposals arriving after that date will be considered based on funding remaining. All materials should be sent via email to Jeff Kniple at

Application Submission Requirements

Position Description

Provide a detailed description of the proposed position, including specific duties and responsibilities to be undertaken. Describe the specific issues you will be working on with the agency in some detail so that the committee will have a clear picture of the experience.  

Personal Statement

Describe (in three pages) why you wish to undertake this opportunity, including reflection on how it relates to previous experiences and to exploration of long-term goals. Applicant should identify and talk about the work of the organization in general and how their professional interests align with the larger mission.


Provide a professional résumé that lists academic studies and co-curricular activities, leadership positions, and accomplishments or awards.

Information Needed from Sponsoring Organization 

  • Name and address of organization/agency that would employ you
  • Name and title of supervisor
  • Statement listing the primary mission of the agency
  • Proposed dates of employment (must be six-12 months, beginning in the year you graduate)

Letter from Organization

Candidates should supply a letter from the prospective supervisor in the organization/agency indicating its willingness to employ the fellow under the terms indicated.

Selection Process

A committee organized by the vice president for student life/dean of students will review written applications and schedule interviews with selected candidates during the middle of March, with the intention of awarding the fellowships by March 21, or as soon thereafter as feasible.

Organizations would need to provide a job description and a letter of commitment to each applicant, along with information on the total amount of pay the fellow would receive.