Friday, November 11th, 2011...12:38 pm

Cordes Fellowships

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Cordes Fellowships provide exceptional social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders engaged in poverty alleviation and economic justice enterprises the opportunity to participate as Delegates in the Opportunity Collaboration.  The purpose of the Cordes Fellowship program is to (a) open doors, minds and networks for emerging social entrepreneurs and nonprofit executives, (b) enrich the Opportunity Collaboration with new, emerging leaders and (c) infuse the collaborative discussions with a diversity of perspectives.

“The Opportunity Collaboration was absolutely stunning!  I was awestruck by the great insights on leading a superior management team and how to have good relations with donors which the instructors tackled in a brief, but concise way. For the first time in my life, I flew in a plane, visited a foreign nation and attended a high-profile conference.  It was a life changing experience. Long live opportunity Collaboration!” — Wiclif Otieno, Director, Kito International, Kenya.
Cordes Fellowship Program

In total, 50 Fellows take part in all aspects of the Opportunity Collaboration. In addition, Fellows earn a certificate of completion awarded by the University of the Pacific Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship.  “At the Opportunity Collaboration, I honestly learned more in the past few days than in a semester in business school.” — Cynthia Koenig, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Wello, USA.  “From my learnings at Opportunity Collaboration I felt confident that it was time to start sharing my story, so I’m now sharing it across a variety of mediums. Thank you so much once again for the OC opportunity, it really was a personal and professional game changer.” — Adam Braun, Founder & Executive Director, Pencils of Promise, Cambodia.

Fellows attend three ninety minute courses on areas critical to the success of organizations and individuals creating social impact and combating poverty. Topics are:

• Converting Your Idea Into An Investable & Bankable Enterprise
• When & How To Scale Your Enterprise
• Social Investor & Impact Donor Fundraising
Finally, along with other Delegates, customized capacity-building clinics are offered. For times and locations, see the Agenda.

Fellows are expected to attend the full Opportunity Collaboration in Ixtapa, Mexico, and participate in the on-site University of the Pacific Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship program. Fellows should read the following articles in advance of arrival:

“Market-Minded Development” – Hima Batavia, Justin Chakma, Hassan Masum, & Peter Singer
“Scaling for Social Impact” - Gregory Dees, Beth Battle Anderson, and Jane Wei-skillern
“Ten Nonprofit Funding Models” - William Landes Foster, Peter Kim, & Barbara Christiansen

Eligibility Criteria

Successful Cordes Fellowship applicants are high-impact, innovative, entrepreneurial for-profit and nonprofit organization executives with a demonstrated commitment to economic justice and poverty alleviation. Like all Delegates, Fellows are catalytic leaders who by their actions and accomplishments evidence pragmatic vision, passionate tenacity, multi-sectoral thinking, adaptive leadership skills, non-ideological activism and a strong ethical grounding.

Financial need is a primary consideration. Applicants from both nonprofit and for-profit organizations with adequate resources are less likely to be selected for a Cordes Fellowship.

Applications from Delegates whose organizations, companies or ventures have already attended a prior Opportunity Collaboration will not be considered. Multiple applicants from one organization will not be considered; submit one application for the most senior leader from your institution.

Cordes Fellowship Terms & Conditions

Fellows selected from non-OECD countries (developing economies) receive a $4,750.00 full scholarship, and pay no registration fee. Fellows from OECD countries (developed economies) receive a $4,000.00 scholarship, and pay a $750.00 registration fee.  See point 3 under Application Process & Deadlines, below.

The all-inclusive Cordes Fellowship includes all on-site costs for housing and meals (5 nights lodging, 3 meals per day), gratuities, airport shuttle, etc. All Fellows are responsible for their own roundtrip airfare; if applicants cannot fund the airfare, they should not apply.

Fellows agree to roomshare with one other Delegate roommate.  If Fellows are traveling with a spouse or other traveling companion, larger rooms with private bedrooms will be arranged.

Fellows are responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents, including a travel visa from the Mexican government, if required. The Opportunity Collaboration provides Fellows with a formal invitation letter for use with immigration authorities.

To assure every Fellow has a productive Opportunity Collaboration experience, the Director of International Relations is available to explain program elements, facilitate logistics (including help with government visas), handle specific problems and answer questions. If you are selected as a Fellow and have special requirements, contact Leticia Jauregui, Director, International Relations (email:

Application Process & Deadlines

The application period is now open and closes on January 31, 2012.  Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Late applications will not be considered. All applicants will be notified by e-mail regarding the outcome of their application within 30 days of receipt.

Applicants must submit the following five items to the Opportunity Collaboration selection panel by emailing

1) Personal resume.
2) An organizational website URL and/or a brief description (not to exceed one page) about the organizational mission, activities, current challenges to growth, etc.
3) Applicant should specify whether he or she is applying from an OECD or Non-OECD country.  Cordes Fellowship Terms & Conditions, above.
4) Full contact information for two references from individuals personally familiar with the applicant’s accomplishments and abilities. Current and former Opportunity Collaboration Delegates are preferred references.
5) An organizational financial statement or balance sheet.

Once notified that an application is approved, a Fellow has thirty (30) days to accept the Cordes Fellowship by registering at the Opportunity Collaboration website. Fellows from OECD countries pay a non-refundable $750.00 registration fee. Fellows from non-OECD countries pay a refundable $250.00 application fee which is returned after the non-OECD Fellow attends the Opportunity Collaboration.


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