Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE)

Click here to apply.
(Applications are now closed and will re-open in Fall 2014.)

Table of contents:

Program Overview
The New Sector AmeriCorps Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE) program is an 11-month fellowship program for emerging leaders committed to careers in social impact. RISE fellows are selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants and serve as part of cohorts of approximately 25 fellows in the Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago areas. Fellows serve full-time to strengthen nonprofit organizations, while engaging in intensive professional development activities to strengthen their skills for immediate and future impact.

Program Dates and Locations
Our 2014-2015 RISE cohorts will serve September 2, 2014 – July 31, 2015, in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, and Twin Cities areas.

Program Activities
The RISE Fellowship experience includes the following structured opportunities, as well as additional community activities including network-building, service days, and extended learning opportunities.

Host Site Projects
Fellows serve full-time with nonprofit host sites, completing projects that aim to expand these organizations’ capacity to effectively achieve their missions and serve their constituents.  Before the start of the fellowship, New Sector works with each host site to develop a project scope that provides a meaningful, impactful, and challenging experience.  You can read more about typical host site projects here.

Throughout their service term, Fellows engage in New Sector's Social Impact Leadership Curriculum, which covers a wide range of skills and tools for effective social sector leadership. RISE training activities include:

Kickoff Training: These two weeks include service activities, cohort-development activities, skills and tools for effectiveness in delivering impact through host site projects, as well as on-site orientation days at host sites.

Biweekly Seminars: Over the course of the term, fellows engage in over 20 afternoon seminars covering a range of skills including nonprofit finance and strategy, performance measurement, fundraising skills, and much more (click here for additional information on training).  

Full-day Workshops: Fellows engage in 9 full-day workshops during the term, each of which offers a deeper-dive into topics from our curriculum (click here for additional information on training), career development and planning tools, and peer learning.

Mentor, Colleague, and Staff Support

Mentorship: Each Fellow is matched one-on-one with a mentor, who can provide valuable input to support host site project success, personal and professional development, career planning, and more.  Our mentors are skilled professionals who volunteer their time to support fellows, and are often management consultants, business professionals, and nonprofit leaders. Consultants from the following firms, just to name a few, have volunteered to be Mentors in previous cohorts:

  • Accenture
  • Bain & Company
  • FSG
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • The Bridgespan Group
  • Deloitte
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Oliver Wyman

Learning Teams: Fellows also meet biweekly with small group Learning Teams of 4-6 Fellows to collaborate, problem solve, and provide one another support to strengthen host site projects, career planning, and integration of new skills and tools. New Sector staff facilitates Learning Teams to provide regular support, and is also available to provide individual support and coaching throughout the program.

Compensation and Benefits
RISE fellows receive a stipend and benefits totaling roughly $30,000 in value. Compensation includes:

  • AmeriCorps living stipend of $19,000
  • Health-care coverage with no financial contribution from the Fellow
  • A $5,550 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, available upon successful completion of the program and good for outstanding loans or future educational expenses at any accredited institution in the United States (pending individual eligibility; lifetime limit of two full-time education awards).

Program Application Information

Important Application Dates

  • Applications are now closed and will re-open in Fall 2014.

Selection Process
Successful candidates will progress through four rounds during the selection process:

  1. Application Screening
  2. 30-45 minute Phone Interview with a New Sector program alumna/us
  3. 45-60 minute Phone or In-person Interview with New Sector staff
  4. Reference checks with at least two professional references

​*New Sector is not able to refund travel expenses for interviews and does not penalize candidates who interview by phone.

When candidates accept an offer to join the cohort, they must accept enrollment in the program as a whole, not with any one particular host site or project.  We begin the matching process (see below) after individuals accept a spot in the cohort.

Matching Process
After accepting our offer, New Sector will offer incoming Fellows interviews with potential host sites. After each ‘matching interview’ we will seek feedback from both the Fellow and the host site in order to identify the best possible match.  It is likely that each accepted Fellow will end up at one of his or her preferred host sites, but it is in no way guaranteed that even the most qualified applicant will end up at his or her first choice site.

- RISE Fellows must have completed their undergraduate degree before the start of the program year.

- Fellows must be eligible for AmeriCorps service, which includes being a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, having a high school diploma or GED, having completed any previous national service satisfactorily, and having completed no more than three previous terms of national service (through CNCS).

- There is no "typical" Fellow; New Sector consciously seeks individuals of differing perspectives and backgrounds and with various career goals. Successful applicants will demonstrate the following:

  • Demonstrated commitment to social impact
  • High level of self-motivation and academic, extracurricular, professional, and/or personal accomplishment
  • Core leadership attributes, including: resourcefulness, responsibility, independence, patience, integrity, energy, and a strong work ethic
  • Adaptability in the face of change and resource constraints
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including the capacity to understand the needs of multiple and diverse stakeholders, build strong host site relationships, and work effectively individually and as part of a team
  • Excellent project management, analytical, and/or research skills
  • Ability to approach challenges in a structured manner by setting goals, devising a plan to achieve those goals, and meeting those goals in a timely manner
  • Desire to proactively take on responsibility within New Sector, our host site partners, and your own personal/professional development

Completing the Application
Click here for the online application.

The application process will include submitting your resume, cover letter, and short writing samples (uploaded in Word or PDF formats).  For your writing sample, please answer each of the following questions in 300 words or fewer (you will include all three in a single document and upload that document):

1. Please tell us why you are committed to the social sector, and how the New Sector program would enhance that commitment.
2. Please tell us about an accomplishment you are proud of.
3. Please describe a meaningful day in your life.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to more than one program or location?

No, you may only apply to one program and location.

To whom should I address my cover letter?

Applicants to the Boston program should address cover letters to Zack Dagneau, 711 Atlantic Avenue, Lower Level, Boston, MA 02111.

Applicants to the San Francisco program should address cover letters to Justin Crum, 156 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94105.

Applicants to the Chicago program should address cover letters to Jessica Paulsen, 120 W. Madison Street, Suite 200-3, Chicago, IL 60602.

Applicants to the Twin Cities program should address cover letters to Brian Garshelis, 800 Washington Avenue N., Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55401

What is asked of the references I listed in my application?

References are sent an electronic form that details their relationship to the applicant.

What are some some types of host site service projects that Fellows complete? 

Click here for examples of host site projects that Fellows complete.


Release of Information
To facilitate Fellow selection and matching, New Sector may share candidates' resumes with potential host sites and mentors If candidates have any questions or concerns about this, please contact

Inquiries can be sent Please no calls.

The New Sector Residency in Social Enterprise Fellowship Program is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
New Sector Alliance actively seeks to build fellowship programs enrolling individuals with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, representing a diversity of race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, secular preference, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, and ancestry. Further, we encourage individuals with disabilities to apply to the program and can provide reasonable accommodations for those individuals upon request. For additional assistance please contact

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