Next Gen Fellows Program

Applications for the 2022 cohort will open in the fall of 2021

The Next Gen Fellows Program is a leadership development program for the next generation of foundation leaders. The fellowship is de-signed for current or soon-to-be trustees and staff roughly 18–35 years old.

In this program, you will:

  • Be guided by experienced practitioners and field leaders.
  • Learn about best practices and emerging trends.
  • Try out new skills in a safe and encouraging environment.
  • Set a personal learning agenda to deepen your knowledge and fill your gaps.
  • Come away with an unmatched peer group that will provide support, ideas, and guidance.

You’ll gain the competence and confidence to lead—in your foundation, in your community, and in your field—and you’ll return to your foundation ready to ask thoughtful questions, make meaningful contributions, and strengthen your giving.

Program Components

Foundations 101 Virtual Seminar (self-paced pre-work)
Learn the fundamentals of good governance, investments, legal basics, grantmaking strategies, and an overview of the nonprofit sector with our Foundation 101 virtual seminar.

Virtual Learning Series
Together with your peers, build off the knowledge you gain in the Foundations 101 series and learn from experts on topics such as effectiveness, equity, managing change, and envisioning the next generation’s legacy. Plus, learn from exemplary local nonprofits and connect with other funders. During the training, you will identify your learning objectives and work to create your personal action plan.

Virtual Roundtables
Connect with other participants throughout the three-week learning series outside of our learning modules. You will join one-on-one and small group discussions around specific topics and emerging trends.

Peer Coaching
Fellows will be thoughtfully grouped in small peer coaching circles and will connect throughout the fellowship. Your peers will support your individualized learning, help you achieve the objectives of your personal action plan, and serve as a trusted resource long afterward.

Receive Exponent Philanthropy’s top-selling publications, The Foundation Guidebook and The Trustee Handbook, the most comprehensive resources for foundation trustees and key staff.


This program is facilitated by Kerry McHugh, a Next Gen Fellow alumna, and Exponent Philanthropy board member.

Kerry is a seasoned facilitator and serves as a program officer and board member at The Helen J. Serini Foundation in Frederick, MD, named after her grandmother. She previously worked in marketing with a variety of government and nonprofit clients. Kerry is an avid reader and book reviewer and serves as a literacy tutor for the Frederick Literacy Council. She is also a membership co-chair for the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club.

Application Procedure

Applications will be reviewed to ensure that participants meet age guidelines and are currently or soon-to-be trustees or staff in a foundation. As we fill the cohort, we will assess all applications to ensure a diverse range of personal backgrounds, experience, foundation types, and geography. We will also consider the fit between applicants’ learning objectives and program design.

Exponent Philanthropy Member Program Fee: $1,995
Non-Member Program Fee: $2,295

Participants accepted to the program pay a program fee of $1,995 or $2,295 and must attend the virtual learning series in order to take part in this year’s cohort. Accepted fellows who cannot attend the virtual learning series are not eligible to be in the cohort; their registrations will be canceled. Canceled registrants are welcome to reapply for a future cohort.

By applying for this program, participants are agreeing to the Exponent Philanthropy Participant Guidelines. Cancellations (especially those close to the event date) can negatively impact the cost-effectiveness and quality of our programs. However, we understand that situations may arise that prevent your participation in the cohort. Written cancellation requests received 15-days before the program starts will be approved only under extreme circumstances and will be subject to a $75 processing fee; your spot will not carry over to future cohorts and you will need to reapply. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after 15-days before the program starts or if you leave the fellowship once the program has commenced. Please submit all cancellations by e-mail to

Platform and Accessibility

This program uses Zoom; closed captioning available.