New Sector is committed to developing and supporting the next generation of nonprofit leaders. Our programs are focused on providing our Fellows with the professional skills, networks and experiences needed for their long-term success in the social sector.
The New Sector Impact Leadership Incubator is a 5- month professional development program designed for emerging leaders with up to 5 years of professional work experience. In addition to placement at a full-time job at one of our partner host-sites, Fellows receive New Sector’s training and support for the first 5 months of their employment. This includes monthly professional development trainings, mentorship, and individual career coaching to support Fellows’ long-term careers in the social sector.
The IL Incubator includes the following elements, which you can read more about in our Fellowships Overview page:
- Job Application/Interview Navigation: New Sector utilizes our vast network of alumni, partners organizations and trainers to identify challenging and impactful positions at nonprofits and social enterprises. We expect to be placing Fellows in fundraising, communications, direct service/programming, volunteer management and development, and data/performance measurement roles. Specific experiences that align with those roles are preferable. New Sector staff work directly with Hiring Managers to set up interviews for applicable Fellows. Fellows are then coached through the hiring process to eventually be matched and hired. Unlike traditional job searching, New Sector works with both the Fellow and the host-site to establish a match. We only make matches when both parties agree it’s a good fit.
- Host-site Employment: Our partners are focused on racial justice, alleviating poverty, closing the achievement gap, engaging in environmental issues, working toward healthier futures, and more. New Sector places Fellows in jobs that are intended to create, improve, or expand services, optimizing the impact of the Fellow’s work. Fellows work full-time for their organizations, attending New Sector trainings throughout the first 5-months of their employment and receiving continued support, after the Fellowship, through our alumni network.
- Training: Fellows meet regularly, throughout their term, for training on topics ranging from project management to nonprofit finance, communication to leadership styles, and more. Trainers include social sector leaders, consultants, career coaches, New Sector alumni, and others.Click here to see our curriculum overview.
- Mentorship: Each Fellow is individually matched with a professional who volunteers as a mentor during the incubator program. Fellows gain individual support in their role, their career planning, or other areas aligned with their individual goals.
- Coaching: Structured and as-needed coaching opportunities offer Fellows support in their role and career development, as well as additional learning. Coaching is supported by Learning Teams (peer groups) as well as individual meetings with New Sector Staff.
New Sector Alliance is committed to helping Fellows launch their career in the social sector. The goals of Alumni Career Coaching for our Incoming ILI Fellows are three-fold:
- Enhance and improve upon your existing application materials to get you into the type of role you want
- Provide you 1:1 support to reflect on your career goals and set you up for a career in the social sector
- Prepare you for success in the New Sector host site matching process
Each ILI Fellow will be matched with a New Sector Alumni for a 45 minute – 1 hour Career Coaching Session. You are expected to spend at least 1-2 hours in preparation for this session to make the most of this unique opportunity to receive 1:1 coaching on your career development in the social sector. Please complete our online course, work through the “pause for practice” materials, and review the reading resources below prior to your coaching session.
Pause for Practice Worksheets:
Fellows receive intensive training and support from New Sector, and become full-time employees of their matched host-site. New Sector’s network of partner organizations allows Fellow access to roles and opportunities in a wide variety of focus areas and functions. We expect to be placing Fellows in fundraising, communications, direct service/programming, volunteer management and development, and data/performance measurement roles.
New Sector helps accepted candidates navigate the challenges of the job application process so they apply for positions with background information on the organization, individualized interview coaching, and the high-quality reputation of New Sector Fellows. New Sector works closely with each fellow, introducing them to host-site placement opportunities that challenge and build critical skills.
Matching is specific to the Fellow, with variations in timeline and number of interviews. Regardless of how many interviews are required, New Sector commits to assisting with matching up until the beginning of our training program.
- Become a New Sector Fellow: Candidates are accepted as New Sector Fellows contingent on being matched successfully as a host-site employee
- Receive 1:1 Career and Job Application Coaching: New Sector Staff and Alumni work individually with accepted candidates to coach them through each step of job application processes, including cover-letter writing, resume editing, and interviewing skills.
- Interview with Social Impact Organizations: New Sector arranges interviews between accepted candidates and organizations based on their experiences and career interests. Both candidates and host organizations give interview feedback to New Sector to determine a great fit.
- Get Hired: New Sector commits to advocating on the behalf of all our fellows: While we cannot guarantee job placement, our staff often mitigate misunderstandings between hiring organizations and Fellows, provide extra context and information about our Fellows, and identify common goals. New Sector staff coach Fellows through determining a good job placement, so Fellows only have to accept positions they believe are a great match. Once all parties agree that the job is a great fit for the Fellow, the host-site hires the Fellow.
- Train and Work: Fellows participate in a two-day training session with New Sector in February, and receive ongoing professional development trainings throughout the Fellowship that build upon their work experiences at host sites. View the overview of our curriculum here.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAININGS
New Sector Incubator Fellows participate in nearly 60 hours of training, drawing from our curriculum spanning four dimensions of professional development. The structured training schedule includes:
- Two days of Kickoff Training at the start of the program
- Five full-day workshops (on the last Friday of most months); each workshop includes trainings on the social impact sector, structured reflection opportunities, and cross-cohort skill-share opportunities
A complete overview of our current Incubator curriculum can be found here.
TRAINING LOCATIONS AND DATES
The Impact Leadership Incubator program is not currently accepting applications. Candidates interested in applying should follow New Sector on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay tuned for future application dates.
- Operates in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Twin Cities areas
- New Sector Trainings: February 6th – June 30th
Salary and benefits are provided by the host site partner, New Sector does not pay Fellows. We also charge a fee to organizations to host a Fellow. This fee structure allows us to remain competitive in finding top placements for Fellows while enabling us to also deliver our highly effective professional development curriculum to our Fellows.
Minimum annual salary of our placements are based on location: $28,000 in Chicago and Twin Cities, $32,000 in Boston, and $38,000 in San Francisco.
New Sector also provides training, 1:1 mentorship, and coaching.
Our application has three parts:
- Online Application
- Round 1 Interview with a Program Associate
- Round 2 interview with another New Sector staff member (and reference check)
We review applications as they are submitted, and will stop accepting applications when our cohorts are full.
What Are We Looking For?
There is no typical Fellow, though all of our Fellows are early-career, and are:
- Committed to social impact
- Interested in learning, and will take advantage of our professional development opportunities as well as the peer learning environment
- Skilled in one or more of our project areas (see Host Site Placement tab for an
- overview of the types of projects Fellows complete).
- Demographic Information and Program Preferences
- Upload of Written Materials (Resume, Cover Letter, Answers to 3 Short Essay Questions) in PDF or Word formats
- Contact Information for References for two professional or academic references (no friends or family please)
In addition to preparing a resume and cover letter, we ask you to submit answers to 3 short essay questions. Please answer the 3 following questions in 300 words per question or less (900 words total), and include all 3 answers in a single document and upload using the button on the application.
- Please tell us why you are committed to the social sector, and how the New Sector program would enhance that commitment.
- Please tell us about an accomplishment you are proud of.
- In addition to each Fellow learning from the New Sector experience, we know each Fellow adds to the professional development of his/her colleagues in the cohort. Please tell us about the role you would play in supporting peer learning within the cohort. Fellows’ impact on their peers’ learning often stems from their unique experiences, backgrounds, personalities, and perspectives.
While you can save your progress in the online application, we recommend you prepare your written materials before starting the application.
Qualifications and Eligibility
We expect to be placing Fellows in fundraising, communications, direct service/programming, volunteer management and development, and data/performance measurement roles. Specific experiences that align with those roles are preferable. We also look for:
- Demonstrated commitment to social impact
- High level of self-motivation and academic, extracurricular, professional, and/or personal accomplishment
- Bachelor’s degree or 3 years of comparable experience preferred
- 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
- Clear commitment to growth and focus on professional development goal
Release of Information
To facilitate Fellow selection and matching, New Sector may share candidates’ resumes and other application materials with potential host sites, mentors, and others involved in the interview and matching process. If candidates have any questions or concerns about this, please contact a staff member. Please no calls.
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 a staff member.
Frequently Asked Questions
Application and Interview Questions
- What do you look for in candidates?
- We look for candidates with a diverse range of academic, internship/work, and life experiences, to build well matched and mutually supportive cohorts. Each of the early career professionals in our programs demonstrates commitment and focus, interest in professional development, interpersonal skills and professional achievement, leadership experience, and career goals aligned with our social sector focus. Our participants have backgrounds in everything from business to political science, biology to psychology, and beyond.
- Can I apply for more than one site?
- New Sector runs fellowship programs in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities. When you apply to the program, you will be asked to select one city in which to serve as a Fellow. If you are open to other cities, you may indicate this on the application. New Sector staff will consider that information in conjunction with your full application and host site projects when deciding the status of your application. Do NOT complete multiple applications for multiple cities it will slow down the processing and reviewing of your application.
- Can I still apply if it is past the deadline?
- Yes, we review applications until all cohorts are full.
- I have more than 5 years of postgraduate experience, can I still apply?
- While our programs are tailored for individuals with fewer than 5 years of post college work experience, we’ve had candidates that have more experience that are still an ideal fit for the program. If you have a question about your experience level and fit for the program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Are interviews casebased as they are at many consulting firms?
- No. New Sector interviews ask candidates to thoughtfully reflect on their skills, interests, and past experiences. We also ask candidates to consider opportunities challenges they have encountered and to clearly describe these an organized, coherent manner .
- What is asked of the references I listed in my application?
- References are sent an electronic form that asks about general feedback on the applicant and for ratings on skill areas including communication and professionalism.
- My references have not been contacted, is everything ok?
- References are contacted at the same time as applicants are offered second round (staff) interviews.
- Is there a waitlist?
- Yes. Candidates placed on the waitlist can expect to be alerted within one month about the status of their applications.
Training, Mentorship, Learning Team, and Support Questions
- What does the timeline look like?
- Our training begins with Fellows on site on February 6th. Once accepted, we move quickly to prepare our Fellows for interviews at our placement sites. Fellows may begin working at their placement sites anytime before February 8th. New Sector’s training continues through June 30th, after which our Fellows are expected to remain employees of their host organizations and join our New Sector Alumni community.
- What do we learn in the training sessions?
- Fellows participate in New Sector’s Social Impact Leadership Curriculum, which is designed to 1) increase their ability to provide quality service, 2) provide professional and community development knowledge and skills, 3) create a dynamic “esprit de corps” by providing insight into the communities they serve, and 4) inspire commitment to a lifetime of service through exposure to role models, theories of change, and concepts of leadership. You can find more information in the training tab here.
- Who are Mentors and what do they do?
- Each Fellow is matched with a Mentor who provides support throughout the program. Mentors are typically consulting, business, and nonprofit professionals. Mentors are a great resource for feedback on deliverables, thought partnership on finalizing a workplan, instruction in technical skills such as Excel or PowerPoint, or general career advice and professional development. Discussions typically take place inperson or via phone or email.
- Can I choose my Mentor?
- Program staff make each Mentor-Fellow match based input about goals and desired characteristics that are shared via a survey.
- What are Learning Teams?
- New Sector believes the strength of our programs rests in our Fellows. Cohorts are designed to build upon one another’s skills and experiences, and colleagues support and challenge one another throughout the program. To enable the cohort model to flourish, Fellows participate in Learning Teams biweekly meetings of small groups of 45 Fellows and a staff member. These meetings provide a support network and a more intimate forum for sharing knowledge, ideas, successes and challenges.
- What is New Sector’s commitment to diversity?
- Our cohorts reflect diversity of identity and experience in order to (1) facilitate meaningful learning, (2) reflect the needs and populations of our local communities and host sites, and (3) support the development of a diverse social sector talent pipeline.
Host Site and Placement Questions
- What type of host sites does New Sector work with?
- New Sector partners with organizations that focus on a variety of issues, including: the environment, youth development and education, health, community and economic development, and military and veterans services. Please visit our current Fellows’ profilesfor more information on current host sites and projects.
- What are some typical Fellow job-placements?
- We expect to be placing Fellows in fundraising, communications, direct service/programming, volunteer management and development, and data/performance measurement roles. Roles will be dependent on the needs of our partner organizations.
- The base salary seems lower than market rate, why is that?
- New Sector understands that professional development is critical for long-term success and retention in the social impact sector. Unfortunately, most social impact organizations simply don’t have the resources to provide training, mentorship, and coaching to their employees. We view our fellowships as investment into our Fellows’ long-term careers, where they prioritize skill-building, support, and and professional development.
- New Sector offers this ILI Fellow cohort opportunity to provide entry into a position as an employee, provide the professional development training that most non-profits can not provide to their new staff and provide an ongoing participation in the support offered to New Sector Alumni. New Sector believes that such training and mentoring have measurable effects on job opportunities and financial compensation. ILI Fellows are encouraged to measurably increase their value to their employer over this five month experience and either renegotiate the compensation level or to seek alternative positions.
- Can I apply to be employed by a specific host site?
- Yes! If you are currently employed at an organization or have a relationship with an organization that would like to hire you, both you and the organization can apply simultaneously. Reach out to your program manager to discuss the specifics. If you do not have a relationship with an organization but would like a specific role, let us know! We can’t guarantee any placement or that the role would be a good match, but we can certainly try to make the connection.
- Is there a list of confirmed host sites I can review?
- Host site recruitment and Fellow recruitment often occur simultaneously so a complete list of host sites will not be available when candidates apply. If you have suggestions or connections at any nonprofits, feel free to share your networks with us!
- What does the timeline look like?
- Our training begins with Fellows on February 6th. Once accepted, we move quickly to prepare our Fellows for interviews at our placement sites. Fellows may begin working at their placement sites anytime before February 8th. New Sector’s training continues through June 30th, after which our Fellows remain employees of their host organizations and join our alumni community.
- What does ‘offer contingent on finding a match’ mean?
- We do not guarantee job placement, and candidates become official members of the cohort when they successfully match. Given this is a pilot cohort, there is a possibility that some may not find a match. Should that occur, candidates may not advance to participation in the program. New Sector strongly encourages those candidates to apply for future cohorts. You can expect to interview with between 2-4 host sites during the matching process; these interviews can be done via phone or in person depending on the Fellow’s location. If you have not been matched after these have been completed, you and your local program manager will identify a plan for moving forward.