The Road to Becoming an Echoing Green Fellow

The Echoing Green Fellowship application process is selective and highly competitive. However, the process is also designed to be inclusive, constructive, and engaging.

Applications for the 2020 Fellowship will open in September 2019. 

Application Resources

Download sample short answer questions in this editable worksheet, as well as our help guide—a valuable resource for understanding each question and preparing your strongest pitch.

 Short Answer Worksheet

 Application Help Guide

Are you eligible to apply? Use our Eligibility Quiz to check.

Information and Resources for Applicants

Get alerts when new resources or opportunities are available, and when key dates are upcoming.

This Resources for Fellowship Applicants list is only contacted during our fall application season. Subscribe to Echoing Green's primary newsletter here.

“Don’t just look at the application as a way to get into the Fellowship. Use the questions as a step-by-step guide to build an innovative, self-sustainable venture.”

Alex Peay, 2016 Echoing Green Fellow, co-founder of Ones Up

SEPTEMBER Webinars, digital resources, and sample questions available in advance of application opening.
    Online application is open.
  NOVEMBER Applications screened, reviewed, and scored by internal Echoing Green team.
JANUARY Essays, budgets, and letters of reference evaluated 20 times or more by 800 expert volunteers.
  Applicants not selected to continue at this stage receive our evaluators’ scores and assessments.
APRIL Finalists are published online and promoted in our annual Social Impact Talent Report.
    Finalists are flown to New York for panel interviews, workshops, and networking events.
  Finalists receive individual feedback and consultation regardless of outcome.
JUNE The 2019 Echoing Green Fellows are introduced to our partners, donors, and friends at our Big Bold Benefit in NYC, and kickoff their Fellowship at their New Fellows Retreat.

Timeline and numbers are representative and are subject to change.


Who are we looking for?

This is the fellowship for innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders of positive social change. We know that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not—which is why we invest in talent wherever it is. Our Fellows represent diverse ethnic, religious, and gender experiences, with varied educational, economic, and geographic backgrounds.

As we seek to build a diverse and inclusive social impact space, we particularly encourage applications from:

» Racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S., including Black, Latinx, and Native/Indigenous people
» Women
» LGBTQ communities
» Currently underrepresented U.S. cities, including Baltimore, Atlanta, Oakland, Detroit, Louisville, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Miami
» Currently underrepresented regions globally, including Latin & Central America and East Asia

(Why? Read How and Where We Recruit for New Talent Matters, What Our Data Is Telling Us, and What Echoing Green Looks for in Startups.)


What do we base our decisions on?

Applicant Criteria

Purpose / Passion
Show us that you care deeply about this issue or community and help us understand why.

Demonstrate that you have bounced back or have the capacity to do so, as well as the ability to foresee challenges.

Show us that you can lead this organization toward its goals. What unique skills and experiences do you have that will help you succeed?

Ability to Attract Resources
Show us that you can attract money, people, and other resources to your cause.

Organization Criteria

Explain to us how your approach is different from things that have been tried in the past.

Explain to us the problem you want to solve and why it matters. On a global, regional, or local scale, why is this issue important?

Potential for Big, Bold Impact
Show us how your project will directly impact many lives or change a big system.

A Good Business Model
Be clear and concise in relating the details of how your organization will run. You do not have to have solved everything. We want to see that you are considering this thoughtfully and realistically.


Are you eligible to apply? Use our Eligibility Quiz to check.

In order to be eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship, the applicant must be over 18 years old, fluent in English, and able to commit a full 40 hour work week to their organization.

In order to be eligible for an Echoing Green Fellowship, the organization must be the original idea of the applicant(s), in its start-up phase (usually within the first two years of operation), and independent and autonomous.

An organization can be either a nonprofit, a for-profit, or hybrid. An organization does not only have to be run by one individual. Partnerships can apply for a Fellowship. Organizations still in the idea phase are eligible.

Types of organizations that are not eligible to apply include students, scholarships, or research projects; lobbying or faith-based organizations; and existing organizations which have grown past their start-up phase.


See our resource of Commonly Asked Questions About the Fellowship and Application.

We do not accept any phone inquiries regarding the Fellowship application. If your questions are not answered on any of these pages, email