Oak-MDC Emerging Leaders Fellowship

Deadline for application: 15 June 2021

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Oak Foundation and MDC are partnering to launch the Oak-MDC Emerging Leaders Fellowship (ELF) to support young leaders interested in social change, offering them an opportunity for practical experience as they learn how philanthropy can promote equitable systems-change. The fellowship intentionally seeks to diversify the philanthropic sector by supporting the career aspirations of recent college graduates from traditionally underrepresented groups. The fellowship will provide recent college graduates with a deep understanding of how nonprofits and foundations interact with each other, with the goal of developing a pipeline of young professionals who will bring diverse experiences and perspectives to the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

Fellows will have the opportunity to grow while helping philanthropic leaders understand and draw on the insights of the next generation of leaders. ELF also will address barriers that young professionals face when trying to access careers in the philanthropic world. The fellowship will provide a reciprocal learning opportunity for all involved in the program. It is a 24-month, full-time, paid experience that couples creative thinking, leadership development, and strategic philanthropy with practical experiences that foster a greater understanding of how equity-centered leadership can influence philanthropy in support of a systems-change agenda.

About the Organisations

Oak Foundation

Oak Foundation is family-led and reflects the vision and values of its founders. We commit our resources to address issues of global, social, and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged.

In all its work, Oak pursues rights-based approaches, gender equality, and partnership with partner organisations. Oak supports civil society as a pillar of democracy and justice, nurturing innovation and visionary leadership within it. Oak values diversity both within Oak and among our partners, seeks to be inclusive and flexible, and encourages different points of view. Oak believes that the best grantmaking reflects both careful due diligence and the willingness to take risks.

For more information, please visit: https://oakfnd.org/


MDC partners with Southern leaders and communities to catalyze systemic change that allows more people—particularly our most vulnerable neighbors—to thrive.

MDC offers research and analysis, community change and advisory services that can help communities create an “infrastructure of opportunity—the aligned systems and supports that can boost everyone, particularly those who’ve been left behind, to higher rungs on the economic ladder.

For more information, please visit: https://www.mdcinc.org/about/

Job Summary

Oak-MDC Fellows are young leaders who will provide key support to Oak Foundation’s Learning Differences Programme, Special Interest Programme, and/or the President’s Office. Oak-MDC Fellows will explore a range of projects and, with support of foundation staff, develop an individual learning plan in alignment with the fellow’s interests, skills, and content area knowledge. The fellows will actively contribute to knowledge development and learning by staying abreast of developments in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors and supporting data collection and analyses that demonstrate Oak’s effectiveness and impact. Oak-MDC Fellows also will participate in learning sessions where they will work with peers and subject matter experts to sharpen analysis in their field of interest. They will have the opportunity to better understand and apply their leadership style and abilities, with a keen emphasis on equity, as they continue to shape the work of their philanthropic host organisation.

OAK-MDC Fellows will be employed by MDC and work out of the Oak Foundation US office in Chapel Hill, N.C. This is a 24-month fellowship that will begin in August/September 2021, with the start date to be negotiated.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

In this full-time role, fellows will:

  1. Develop and execute a work plan aligned with Oak’s mission and values, aimed at helping to achieve the Foundation’s annual and strategic goals and tied to measurable The work plan should include playing a key, supporting role in projects and helping to ensure that Oak meets or exceeds all internal and external requirements of the work. The work plan should align with the fellow’s interests and skills.
  2. Write progress and end-of-grant reports, which includes reviewing narrative and financial materials and writing a summary of accomplishments and challenges.
  3. Attend Oak staff meetings and site visits with nonprofit organizations that are current grantees or potential applicants.
  4. Communicate regularly with supervisor on progress against workplan Help promote an interdisciplinary, evidence-driven, and constituent responsive culture of work. Routinely seek input from colleagues on emerging programmatic ideas and opportunities. Support data collection and analysis that demonstrate Oak’s effectiveness and impact.
  5. In concert with program staff, assist with the analysis of grant applications, which may include a review of financial documents, narrative proposals, and supplementary information.
  6. Stay abreast of developments in mission-related areas and especially in fields relevant to the assigned Bring new knowledge to bear to improve Oak’s grantmaking. Support Oak’s knowledge development efforts through research, writing, and analysis. Present to the Board of Directors and staff on learnings from the Oak Fellowship.
  7. Help develop Foundation capacity through effective project team participation and In consultation with supervisor, pursue professional development interests and activities as resources allow.
  8. Be knowledgeable about Oak’s work and operations, past and present, and effectively represent Oak Foundation to external audiences.
  9. Execute all other duties as assigned by supervisor, which could include editing documents, communicating with grantees, coordinating travel, or other items not specified.
  10. Participate in three gatherings (a combination of virtual and in-person learning sessions) with MDC focused on skills-building and equity-centered The program will emphasize self-awareness and reflection, professional development, mentoring and networking, and provide fellows access to senior-level advisers to advance career paths and community-impact goals.
  11. Promote and adhere to applicable policies and practices in the MDC Employee Manual.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements

Applicants will have a bachelor’s degree and up to two years of professional experience. Priority will be given to those with prior work or study in a variety of relevant areas including, but not limited to, public policy, education, economic and workforce development, poverty alleviation, sociology, political science, community development, leadership development, or similar fields.

Desired Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The Oak-MDC Fellowship is right for you if you:

  • Are curious about philanthropy and its role in the nonprofit sector
  • Value social justice
  • Have good written and oral communications skills
  • Have good decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Can communicate and work effectively with people who have diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Can handle multiple assignments and meet deadlines with attention to accuracy and detail
  • Approach your work with humility and curiosity;
  • Think creatively and meet challenges with initiative
  • Are proficient with using Microsoft Office, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, and are comfortable learning new technology including working with databases.

Benefits and Compensation

Compensation includes an annual salary of $42,000 plus a 30% benefits package from MDC including health insurance, paid vacation, and sick leave. In addition, MDC provides a host of health, wealth, and well-being benefits that promote economic security.

To Apply

MDC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and contractor. People of color are especially encouraged to apply. As an organization committed to diversity and equity, it is our policy to provide equal employment and contracting opportunities to all individuals without regard to age, color, race, religion, national origin, disability, military/veteran status, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, or status in any other group protected by federal or local law or for any other reason. For more info about MDC, go to www.mdcinc.org.


THROUGH JAZZ HR. Please send a brief cover letter that speaks directly to your skills and interests in this role, completed application, including your résumé, a writing sample, and two references via JazzHR by 11 p.m. EDT on TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2021. Please direct the cover letter to Jenna Bryant, MDC, 307 West Main Street, Durham NC 27701. NOTE: Please send the application package electronically through JazzHR rather than by regular mail; MDC staff are working remotely due to the pandemic. If you have problems filling out the application, please contact info@mdcinc.org.

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