2024 PLACES Cohort Application  

The Funders Network (TFN) is pleased to accept applications for the 2024 cohort of its signature leadership program, PLACES (Professionals Learning About Community Equity and Sustainability).  

The PLACES Fellowship is a transformational leadership development experience designed for individuals working in philanthropy or those working within a grantmaking institution who are dedicated to supporting low-income communities and communities of colors, marginalized communities, and communities most impacted by systemic racism.  

PLACES uses place-based learning, group coaching and reflections for participants to explore structural racism, intergenerational community engagement, and equitable grantmaking practices. The fellowship aims to help grantmakers understand interrelated issues of community and economic development, environmental sustainability, and regional planning using an explicit lens of social, economic, and racial equity.

Fellows have a broad range of philanthropic experience, represent diverse backgrounds and identities, and hail from across the United States and Canada. This 8-month fellowship offers participants coaching, tools, knowledge, best practices and opportunities to build networks with other leaders that can enhance grantmaking and incorporate equitable community engagement practices in ways that are responsive to the needs and assets of historically marginalized communities, most specifically low-income neighborhoods and communities of colors. 


PLACES applications and additional items must be submitted no later than Jan. 5, 2024.

Once selected, the PLACES cohort will meet four times during the 8-month fellowship (dates subject to change):
  • April – Virtual Orientation (date TBD)
  • May 13 to 17 - Cleveland, Ohio
  • July 10 to 12 - Denver, Colorado
  • September 18 to 20 - Toronto, Canada
  • November 13 to 15 - Sacramento, California
In addition to place-based learning, there will be peer group calls and coaching along with access to leading experts from the field who serve as mentors to the program. It is expected that participants will participate in all meetings and site visits. A minimum of three are required to graduate from the program.

As a result of participating in PLACES activities, fellows will gain:

An in depth understanding of how race/ethnicity/class impact decisions about growth and development in local communities;

Exposure to how a fellow’s own race/ethnicity/class can affect their role in philanthropy and grantmaking;

Tools, resources and coaching to help them intentionally infuse equity, diversity and inclusion into their grantmaking and philanthropic practices;

Exposure to best practices of grantmakers working to impact low-income communities and communities of colors;

Professional development and skill-building opportunities;

Opportunities to develop relationships with peers who share a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and an opportunity to connect with TFN members, working groups and the PLACES alumni network; and

Opportunities to increase capacity and advance local, regional, or national issues you are currently working to address.

TFN expects that fellows will be open to expanding their understanding of race, racialization, equity, diversity and inclusion, and using this expanded knowledge to influence how they approach grantmaking, and philanthropic practice;
TFN expects that, at the time of the first site visit, the fellow will have at least 12 months of philanthropic grantmaking experience;

TFN expects that the fellow will attend all PLACES site visits, participate in group calls and coaching sessions, and highly consider the TFN Conference and other learning opportunities offered by the Network;

TFN expects that the direct supervisor is committed to supporting the fellow’s professional development and work in advancing more equitable practices within the supporting organization or grantmaking portfolio. This support should include periodic discussions with the fellow regarding how PLACES is impacting their philanthropic practice and how this could affect the organization. Upon acceptance into the program, each selected fellow will be asked to submit a letter of support from their direct supervisor or CEO with stated commitments;

TFN expects that once the fellowship ends, the fellow continues to stay engaged with PLACES or the larger TFN community through engagement opportunities such as working groups, learning calls, or PLACES alumni activities.

If selected to participate in the Fellowship, the participant must pay a fee of $750 for TFN members or $1,250 for Non-Members. Participation fees go directly to supporting the PLACES program, including but not limited to honorariums for non-funder community-based leaders we engage with throughout the fellowship site visits. The Network expects that the fellow’s employer will cover time for participation in the program, and any travel/lodging expenses incurred during the fellowship.  Most meals are covered during the site visits, but meal purchases by participants can be expected at least once per visit. The average travel costs for fellows to participate varies based on the current market and geographic location of the participant. We encourage participating organizations to budget approximately $6,000, which should cover all travel and lodging for the year.

In an effort to ease some of the burden of costs incurred by the participants' organization, TFN (budget permitting) will make available up to two travel scholarships per site visit. This is done on a first come, first serve basis. Participating Fellows should notify Talissa Lahaliyed (talissa@fundersnetwork.org) as soon as possible to request support.
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Please respond to the application questions below in 200 words or less each.


One benefit of the PLACES Fellowship is ongoing participation in the PLACES Alumni Network.  We ask for your personal email address as a back-up for staying in touch when your career advances.  We will send TFN Communications to your work email address, but an individual staff member may follow-up at your personal email address if necessary. 



As an organization committed to racial equity and social justice, we believe collecting demographic data is one important way to live our values. In an effort to be an organization centered in equitable practices, we like to gather demographic information about our program applicants and participants. Please take a moment to answer the questions below.  



By submitting this application, you agree to receive email from The Funders Network at the preferred email address indicated above.