Become a Wild Gift Fellow (7/15)

wildgiftEvery year, The Wild Gift recruits a new class of talented social entrepreneurs, ages 21-35, to its Network of Fellows.  Successful applicants are talented visionaries committed to and capable of bringing about urgently needed change to better our world.

If selected to join the Network, you will receive The Wild Gift, which consists of:

  • a deep wilderness trek in the Idaho wilderness to refine your vision,
  • up to $10,000 as a grant to further your work,
  • access to professional mentors to help translate your vision to reality, and
  • membership in a dynamic and growing community of new thinkers determined to have a significant impact in promoting peaceable community development in balance with the resources and values of wild nature.


What is the “Wild Gift” and what will I receive if selected?

If you are selected as a Wild Gift Fellow, you will receive:

1. The Wild Gift: A 20-day winter wilderness immersion experience in Idaho backcountry

2. A $350 allowance for airfare to Idaho

3. A project mentor(s) who will work with you throughout the course of your Fellowship, plus access to a pool of resource mentors to provide specific expertise when needed

4. Seed funding grant up to $10,000 paid out in  quarterly installments

5. Opportunity to participate in a synergy river trip in Idaho at the end of your Fellowship, alumni retreats, and other gatherings provided all grant requirements are satisfied

4. Life time membership in the vibrant Wild Gift Network that includes alumni, mentors and other supporters



What commitment will I be making as a Fellow?

If you accept the Fellowship, you will be agreeing to the following:

1. Participation in the Idaho Winter Alpine Expedition February 6 – 24, 2015.

2. Meeting all deadlines including revising your social venture plan, meeting with your mentor, quarterly reporting, updating your Wild Gift Fellow profile, etc.

3. Pay It Forward — serve as a mentor, Alumni Council member, and/or donor following your 16-month fellowship.


I’m not an American or Canadian citizen. May I apply for a Wild Gift Fellowship?

No. While your venture can be located anywhere in the world, you must be an American or Canadian citizen to apply.

Is there an age limit?

Yes, you must be between the ages of 21 and 35 as of February 6, 2015.

Must I have a developed social venture to apply?

In addition to meeting other eligibility requirements, applicants should have plans in place for an early stage social venture that serves the Wild Gift Mission – a self-designed venture that promotes the stewardship of wild nature and/or development of sustainable communities.  (To date, we have supported projects in the areas of  education, sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, energy efficiency and innovation, community development, water, health care, public policy and wildland conservation and stewardship.)

My venture is based outside the US. May I apply for a Wild Gift Fellowship?

Yes, as long as you meet our other eligibility criteria.

My venture is structured as a for-profit organization. May I apply for a Wild Gift Fellowship?

Yes, as long as you meet our other eligibility criteria. Wild Gift seeks applications for innovative entrepreneurs creating high-impact social change, regardless of profit structure.

If I applied for the Wild Gift Fellowship in the past, may I reapply?

Yes. If you applied for a Wild Gift Fellowship in the past, you are welcome to reapply as long as your social venture meets our eligibility criteria.

I am currently a full time student. May I apply for a Wild Gift Fellowship?

Yes. You may apply for our Fellowship Program while you are a full time student. However you must have completed your studies by the beginning of your Fellowship period. If you are awarded a Wild Gift Fellowship, you are agreeing to make your venture your primary focus for the Fellowship 16 month period of time

I am working towards my doctorate degree. May I apply for a Wild Gift Fellowship to fund a research project in support of my degree requirements?

No. Unfortunately Wild Gift does not provide scholarship money or fund research.

I am working on a book or film  that I believe will have significant social impact. Am I eligible?

Not as a general rule. Wild Gift funds ideas for creating sustainable ventures; we do not fund discrete projects.

I currently have a full time job and have been running my social venture on the side. Am I eligible to apply for a Wild Gift Fellowship?

Yes. If your venture meets all eligibility criteria and you are prepared to make it your primary focus, you may apply. Please note that if you are awarded a Wild Gift Fellowship, you are expected to commit no less than 20 hours per week to your venture.

Do I need to have 501(c)(3) status before I can apply for a fellowship?

No, you do not need to establish 501(c)(3) status or register your organization before you apply.

I have never run a social enterprise before. May I still apply for your program?

Yes. Wild Gift believes in identifying and supporting talented, yet unproven social entrepreneurs.

My organization was founded by several people. Can we all apply for the Wild Gift Fellowship?

No. Only one founder may apply per organization. As a result, please choose one individual to represent your organization to Wild Gift. However, this does not require you to change your internal leadership structure. Even if only one founder can be a Wild Gift Fellow, you can have as many people leading your organization as you see fit.

Do you give preferences to diverse applicants?

Wild Gift embraces diversity and as such, we strive to diversify our Wild Gift Network to ensure broader views and perspectives to today’s challenges.  Preference will be given to applicants who come from diverse personal, professional, and cultural backgrounds and experience including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, education level, culture, religion, disability, physical appearance, or any other difference that would allow us a diverse perspective.


Jelisa Adair

I am the Civic Engagement Fellow for 2013-2014. While a student at Wesleyan I double majored in Psychology and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and completed a joint thesis during my senior year. I am interested in issues of social justice, mental health, media, and global welfare.