Apply for the Local Economy Fellowship

Connect with peers. Share ideas. Deepen impact.

We are currently not accepting applications for a 2020 Local Economy Fellowship as we are excitedly developing new programs. If you have not done so, sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on our news and programmatic updates.

If you have suggestions for folks who would make great future fellows, we’d love to hear from you — please email us at fellowship@bealocalist.org. If you have an interest in being a fellow, we recommend that you review the criteria below and get to know some of our fellows to understand whether the program might be a fit.

BALLE Fellow Derrick Braziel is chief relationship officer at Mortar, an organization that is cultivating entrepreneurship in Cincinnati, OH, with a specific focus on creating opportunitites for the African American community.

BALLE Fellow Derrick Braziel is chief relationship officer at Mortar, an organization that is cultivating entrepreneurship in Cincinnati, OH, with a specific focus on creating opportunities for the African American community.

As a BALLE Local Economy Fellow you can expect to walk away with:

  • In-depth examples of successful programs in other communities that could be adapted and adopted in your place;
  • Opportunities to collaborate on concrete projects with exceptional peers;
  • Exposure to diverse facilitation, convening, and transformational development practices;
  • Deeper awareness of your personal leadership style (both strengths and vulnerabilities) and how these can be channeled for increased effectiveness and sustainability;
  • Skills to advance difficult conversations and work with difference, especially around race and class;
  • An expanded leadership role within a national Localist movement;
  • Lifelong access to a peer-to-peer Leadership Network made up of BALLE Fellows, local economy funders and the broader BALLE learning community.

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How to decide if the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship is the right fit for you?

We are delighted that you are considering applying to the Local Economy Fellowship. Before submitting an application, we suggest that you:

(1) Review the “What does it take to be a BALLE Fellow” section below. If you meet all of the criteria listed, that is a strong starting point.

(2) Become familiar with other BALLE Fellows. If your work is in alignment, that is a great sign. If particular fellows’ work resonates, consider reaching out to learn more about their work and their experience in the Fellowship.

(3) Ask yourself questions such as, “Can my organization support me operationally and/or financially if I’m chosen as a Fellow?” “What are my goals for myself, my organization, and my community?” “What could I contribute to my cohort and the broader BALLE network if I were chosen for the Fellowship?”

Fellows from all four cohorts connected at the 2016 BALLE Leadership Summit.

Fellows from all four cohorts connected at the 2016 BALLE Leadership Summit.

What does it take to be a BALLE Fellow ?

  • Priority area: BALLE typically selects a theme or themes for each cohort, based on feedback from our Leadership Network. For example, our 2018 cohort prioritized fellows doing work in rural communities. Leaders whose work fits within the priority area will be given preference in the selection process.
  • Work with local businesses or entrepreneurs:  We recognize that there are many essential roles in the effort to build more healthy and equitable economies; the Local Economy Fellowship focus on those who convene, fund, train, or otherwise help to support and connect local businesses and entrepreneurs towards this end.
  • Proven track record and confidence of your community: Minimum of three years experience leading local economy projects that yield results; recognition as a local economy leader from regional partner groups;
  • Openness to personal and leadership development: Willingness to examine individual leadership beliefs and practices, in order to develop more effective and sustainable approaches to work;
  • Bridge builder and fierce collaborator: Demonstrated examples of successful collaborations locally, regionally and/or nationally;
  • Clear vision: Clearly able to articulate your vision for what is possible, short and long-term, through your local economy work;
  • Financial viability: Proven track record with fundraising, financial management acumen, and ability to convene and maintain key partnerships;
  • Organizational viability:  Your organization is past the start-up phase, making it possible for you to attend six convenings over eighteen months (four immersions and two BALLE Leadership Summits);
  • Representative of multiple cultures and experiences: As a whole, cohorts should represent the diversity of North American society, with an emphasis on underrepresented, low income, and previously underserved communities;
BALLE's 4th cohort of Local Economy Fellows at their November 2016 immersion.

BALLE’s 4th cohort of Local Economy Fellows at their November 2016 immersion.

I’m Ready to Apply!

Once you’ve reviewed the information above and feel ready to apply:

  • You will fill out an online application. Applications are generally accepted on a rolling basis until the cohort is filled. Applicants can expect to be notified of their first round status (finalist, declined, or still under review) within 4-6 weeks of receipt of their application. We encourage fellows to apply early! The earlier you apply, the earlier you’ll receive a response from us. Also, many folks wait until the last minute to apply, which gives us less time to review your application and materials.
  • All finalists will be asked to provide three professional references; those who have not yet spoken with a member of the Fellowship Team will be contacted for an interview.

BALLE is committed to a diverse cohort of Fellows based on race, gender and geographic region. We prioritize equity, and therefore make a special effort to seek out leaders from communities of color and low-income populations.

If you have questions about the fellowship program or would like more information, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Fellowship Team at fellowship@bealocalist.org or 510-587-9417 x 104