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What will a Fellowship do for you as a social leader?

Do you run a charity or social enterprise? Are you a senior manager in the social sector wishing to take your next step as a leader? If so, and you are also committed to creating lasting social change, you should consider applying to our 2017 Fellowship programme.

The aim of our leadership programme is to find the next generation of leaders who have an appetite to develop their skills and bring back their learnings to their organisations to ultimately transform the wider community. We recognise that undertaking our 12-month programme requires a big commitment, so potential applicants need to understand how it will be of benefit to them, both personally and professionally.

Building networks

All of our 125 Fellows have told us that building their professional networks is one of the most important benefits of the programme. Our Fellows are from a mixture of organisations, so being on the programme gives people the opportunity to mix with peers who have a range of backgrounds and expertise, where they can gain operational insights, share contacts and potentially collaborate on new initiatives. This not only opens up networks for Fellows in their localities, but in the rest of the UK too.

Ideas sharing

Fellows are given the opportunity to share, debate and develop ideas. When attending programme residentials participants benefit from discussing some of the new innovations that are sweeping the sector, such as new technology and social investment. Despite huge advances, the uptake of new technology is still relatively low in the sector yet we’ve seen Fellows collaborating on projects in this technical space, often bringing these ideas to their respective organisations.

Get to know yourself a little bit better, warts and all.

We ask applicants to be as honest as they can when they complete their application forms. We want them to be open about the parts of themselves they are proud of and the aspects they feel might need further development. Without exception, all Fellows have told us that they recognise their self-awareness has dramatically grown as a result of being on the programme, and this in turn benefits them in the workplace and in their personal lives. This focus on self-awareness is enhanced by various aspects of the programme that asks Fellows to look at their working styles and those of their colleagues.

Broaden your skillset

The demands on today’s social leaders are complex and varied, with individuals required to not only run their organisations successfully, but to have multi-disciplined skills at their fingertips. Social leaders need to understand areas like governance, fundraising regulation and change management, in addition to mastering the more practical skills that come with running a charity or social enterprise. The programme gives Fellows the space to reflect on their skills and understand the areas they need to develop; they receive coaching and training to fill their skills gaps.

Experiential learning

Throughout the programme everyone has numerous opportunities to practically implement their new learnings, both with their cohort of Fellows and within their organisations. During the application process we ask people to demonstrate the social change they would like to make as a result of their time on the Fellowship, and to illustrate how they will make this a reality in their organisations. This gives participants a clear aim for their Fellowship, and hopefully as leaders once they finish the programme.

Applications to the programme are open until midday 5 September 2016, visit here to learn more and apply.

This blog from Shaks Ghosh originally appeared on Third Force News.

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