MAPC Workshop

A Leadership Pipeline for Philanthropy

Applications for the 2013–2014 Class of Proteus Diversity Fellows are now open. Learn more about this unique program dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and cultivating emerging practitioners of color who represent the next generation of leaders in philanthropy.

When people ask me how I found my way into a career in philanthropy, I always say I fell into it after serving as an Allocations Volunteer at the United Way. That time as a volunteer opened my eyes to an entirely different way to apply my skill set—I was working then as a commercial bank auditor—and to a career well suited to my personal interests and values. And so it has been a real privilege for me to be able to pay forward the same kind of opportunity-making and door-opening through something called the Proteus Diversity Fellowship.

Incubated and launched at Associated Grant Makers in Boston in 2006, the Diversity Fellowship is now housed at the Proteus Fund in western Massachusetts. Its mission is to identify, recruit, and cultivate emerging practitioners of color who represent the next generation of philanthropic leaders. As Pat Brandes, Barr’s executive director, noted in a May 2012 Chronicle of Philanthropy article spotlighting the fellowship, “If you go to a philanthropy conference today you can see that we still don’t have the level of diversity that we should have. We have to get very concrete about ways to create a pipeline for philanthropy.” The Proteus Diversity Fellowship is precisely this kind of pipeline.

Diversity Fellows spend a year as staff members at different foundations, working on major projects. As a group, they also receive extensive professional development and networking opportunities.

Barr has been a supporter of the Fellowship since its inception. And I have had the chance to supervise three different fellows, including our amazing director of operations, Ify Mora, who was a Diversity Fellow in 2009–2010.

Updated February 3, 2015

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Kimberly Haskins

Senior Program Officer, Sector Effectiveness