FAO Schwarz Fellowship

Each year a new cohort of FAO Schwarz Fellows begins paid, two-year assignments with leading nonprofit organizations. FAO Schwarz Fellows work at high-impact nonprofit organizations in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia. These organizations are all deeply valued in their communities and have a strong record of delivering consistent results and high-quality services. Host organizations vary from year to year—and all have a proven commitment to addressing critical issues of social inequity. Fellows deepen their knowledge and understanding of relevant social issues, work directly with host communities, and lead strategic projects that strengthen the host organization’s capacity and impact. The FAO Schwarz Fellowship is committed to investing in the professional development of our Fellows through a structured program of retreats, professional trainings, and mentoring.

Fellows attend two four-day leadership retreats each year to learn about the social impact sector, develop critical skills and build relationships with—and learn from—current and alumni FAO Schwarz Fellows. For many Fellows, these retreats are one of the highlights of their experience. 

In addition to one-on-one weekly meetings with a supervisor, every Fellow has two mentors who offer support and guidance over the course of their Fellowship. Fellows also join a valuable network of current and alumni Fellows as well as leaders from host organizations. After two years, Fellows are well prepared for successful careers in the social impact sector.


National Deadline: February

Fellows engage in direct service work with youth and play an active role in special project work. They attend Fellowship professional development retreats, explore social equity issues, and receive individual mentoring and support. In addition, they participate in the Fellowship cohort experience while engaging with other social impact leaders and exploring careers in the social impact sector.

Those who start their Fellowship during the summer of 2023 will receive total compensation of approximately $85,000 plus benefits over the two-year Fellowship.

  • $40,000 in year one (includes $2,000 start of Fellowship bonus)
  • $45,000 in year two (includes $3,000 end of Fellowship bonus)
  • Health insurance coverage (100%—approximate value $12,000/year)*
  • Monthly subway pass (approximate value $1,200/year)
  • Professional development & leadership training

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be:

  • College seniors at accredited four-year institutions at the time of application 
  • Eligible to work in the United States for the duration of the Fellowship

Selection Criteria

The FAO Schwarz Fellowship is an intensive, transformative two-year experience in the world of social impact that includes focused professional development. The Fellows have always been highly motivated and passionate recent college graduates who are committed to social change and social justice  leadership. Successful candidates have demonstrated leadership in their college communities and have a proven record of academic excellence. They seek to immerse themselves in an experience that will challenge them, train them and empower them to become leaders in the world of social impact.

  • Coverletter
  • Short Answer Questions
  • Resume
  • Complete two NCA forms:
  • Launch your online application (application opens in early November)
  • Complete and submit application by National Deadline
  • Host organizations screen résumés and applications, conduct all interviews with candidates, and ultimately select their Fellow. Finalists will be notified in April, and Fellows are selected by the end of April.
  • FAO Schwarz encourages you to learn as much as possible about the host organizations and review the Fellowship positions that interest you carefully before applying.