Foundation Fellow

The George Gund Foundation

Cleveland, OH, USA


US$50k (annually)


Full time

Jan 11


The George Gund Foundation fellowship provides an opportunity for promising professionals to work inside the Foundation, a philanthropic organization that plays a vital role in supporting the civic life of Greater Cleveland and in various state and national policy deliberations that affect our community. The fellowship is a two-year, full-time commitment beginning in summer 2023, requiring residence in Greater Cleveland during the term of engagement.

The George Gund Foundation, established in 1952, is rooted in Cleveland, the community that was the home of its founder and that remains the Foundation’s home. The Foundation’s commitment to Cleveland derives not just from our history but also from our belief that Cleveland can continue to develop original responses to issues that can benefit people everywhere. Our focus on Cleveland offers an important point of leverage to affect issues that go well beyond the city’s boundaries and includes its roles as a place for innovation, an example, and a leader in Ohio, a politically important state that can wield outsized influence nationally and, therefore, globally.

The George Gund Foundation is the largest private foundation in Ohio. In 2022, the Foundation made grants totaling approximately $41 million. Program directors handle grantmaking in public education, vibrant neighborhoods and inclusive economy, thriving families and social justice, creative culture and arts, and climate and environmental justice. Across those program areas is an underlying commitment to addressing climate change and environmental degradation; entrenched and accelerating inequality, especially racial inequity; and weakened democracy.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The fellow serves across program areas, typically rotating with each grant cycle. While there is some structure to this rotation, it is also based on Foundation needs and fellow interests. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Work with program directors on grantmaking and grantmaking strategies. This includes reading and analyzing grant proposals, meeting with applicants, presenting proposals to program staff, preparing written grant recommendations for program directors, and presenting grants for final approval at Board of Trustee meetings.
  • Engage in timely projects tied to the Foundation’s vision and current events, including attending meetings with program directors, gathering information, coordinating external meetings, returning emails and phone calls, and managing assigned interdisciplinary grants.
  • Represent the Foundation in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, working groups, committees, panels, and other community facing groups.
  • Plan, organize, and implement an annual event for the Trustees to engage in the community, also known as the Trustee Tour.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities on a local and statewide level.
  • Act as a thought partner on initiatives and strategies aligned to the Foundation’s vision.
  • Work with the director of strategy on Foundation communications, local and state level public policy and advocacy, and other cross-sector, interdisciplinary initiatives.
  • Manage special projects as assigned.

Learning Outcomes

The fellowship is an experiential learning opportunity providing in-depth experience and exposure to the inner workings of the Foundation and philanthropy’s role on a city and statewide level. At the completion of the fellowship, the fellow will be able to:

  • Identify attributes of high-functioning nonprofits and initiatives.
  • Evaluate grant proposals.
  • Work with grantees on a grant proposal from inception to completion.
  • Understand the role that philanthropy plays in every day civic life.
  • Understand the finances and operations of a private foundation.
  • Recognize and seize communication, public policy, and other systems-level opportunities.
  • Explain how foundations partner across sectors for increased impact.
  • Identify ways foundations can create and support capacity across different organizations.


  • Bachelor degree and 3–5 years of relevant work experience, which may include work done through national service programs and other credentialing programs. While an advanced (master’s) degree is typical of Gund fellows, the Foundation also welcomes applications from nontraditional candidates who possess the qualifications and skills outlined below but whose life experiences have taken them down different paths.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong public speaking skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks concurrently.
  • Strong organization, research, and analytical skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • A demonstrated desire to work in public service or the nonprofit sector.
  • Alignment of values with the Foundation’s What We Believe statement.

This position requires relocation to or residency in Greater Cleveland.

Salary and Benefits

The fellow will receive a salary of $50,000 per year plus a full benefits package including health, dental, disability, life insurance, 403(b) contributions, and work-related travel expenses. Housing, transportation, and other living arrangements are the responsibility of the fellow. In some circumstances the Foundation may be able to help underwrite some costs of relocation, including security deposit and first month rent/lease.

The fellow will be provided with external professional development opportunities available to other Foundation staff. The Foundation provides a transit pass to all employees who utilize public transportation, as well as partial cellphone and internet stipends.

The regular operating hours at the Foundation are from 9:00 am–5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The George Gund Foundation currently has a hybrid workplace format, in which employees may work remotely or in the office on Monday and Friday, and work in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Application Process

To be considered for the fellowship, each candidate must include the following:

  • Cover letter uplifting your past experiences, why you are qualified for this role, and how this role fits into your future personal and professional goals.
  • Detailed resume.
  • Approximately 500 word essay, to serve as a writing sample, illustrating your personal values alignment with the Foundation’s What We Believe statement.
  • Two letters of recommendation, which may be submitted as part of the application or sent separately via email or regular mail.

Application materials should be emailed to These materials should be combined into one PDF document for submission and are due no later than 5:00 pm EST on February 22, 2023. The fellow will be selected in the spring of 2023 with anticipated start date in June 2023. For interested candidates, the Foundation will host an informational webinar on February 8 from 12:00–1:00 pm and February 9 from 5:00–6:00 pm (EST). Please email if you are interested in attending one of the webinars.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Equal employment opportunity has been, and will continue to be, a fundamental principle at The George Gund Foundation, where employment is without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, disability, or any other protected characteristic established by applicable law. This policy of equal employment opportunity applies to all policies and procedures relating to recruitment and hiring, compensation, benefits, termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment. The Foundation will make reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities unless it would result in undue hardship to the Foundation.

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The George Gund Foundation

A nonprofit institution with the sole purpose of contributing to human well-being and the progress of society.