Encore Fellows sponsors are visible local, regional and national leaders, spearheading social innovation that also contributes to the core mission of their organizations. Candidate sponsors may include corporations, member associations, foundations, or other organizations engaged in community philanthropy.
Sponsoring organizations can benefit in many ways from their participation in the Encore Fellowships Program.
- Employee engagement: Corporate-sponsored Encore Fellowships provide an attractive option for employees nearing the end of their midlife careers. An Encore Fellowship offers a proven transitional experience into an encore career – which combines social impact, personal meaning and continued income – in the nonprofit or public sector. Encore Fellowships fit well with other programs, such as early retirement, corporate volunteerism or outplacement services.
- Community engagement: Corporations and corporate foundations have long been important supporters of community-based nonprofits. Encore Fellowships provide a unique, new opportunity for corporations to provide direct, high-leverage assistance to those organizations. Now, along with direct cash contributions and employee volunteer programs, corporations can provide experienced, committed Encore Fellows who will work within nonprofits doing a variety of high impact assignments. The value-to-cost ratio of a sponsored fellow can easily exceed a cash contribution by a factor of four or more. Increasingly, foundations and other funders are recognizing the value of providing grantees with human capital in addition to traditional financial support.
- Market engagement: Most leading corporations have found ways to leverage their social responsibility efforts with their core business missions. Encore Fellowships allow companies to target specific sectors that will be most relevant to their customers, such as education, health care, environment, arts and culture, or even the boomer market itself. Direct benefits to the core business can take many forms: brand goodwill and public relations, product evangelism, the opportunity to engage in deep customer dialogue and technology/application capacity development.
- Fellow recruitment: Nominate Encore Fellow candidates from the ranks of employees who have already or will soon complete their midlife careers in the corporate world.
- Nonprofit connection: Identify potential nonprofit sponsors that would benefit from having an Encore Fellow.
- Financial support: Provide funding for stipends and program administration costs.
- Co-branding: Gain additional visibility in branded Encore Fellowships programs.