Our founders, staff and advisors carried out a rigorous selection process to find changemakers whose work would benefit from a unique combination of supports.
Our advisors are a group of leading social changemakers who work across a variety of issue areas. With these experts, we carried out a rigorous selection process to identify a diverse cohort of fellows whose work would benefit from a unique combination of early risk-tolerant financial support, training, and peer learning. Many early stage nonprofits aren’t able to secure the finances they need to expand their work and their impact. We set out to change that by providing early support to the most inspiring leaders we could find.
With these advisors, we recruited almost 100 talent scouts from nearly all 50 states to nominate candidates for FNL fellowships. These talent scouts, established leaders in their regions, nominated candidates working on the ground in their communities largely unknown by traditional philanthropy.
We received written applications from 133 candidates, hailing from 39 different states. The evaluation process involved teams of reviewers interviewing more than 50 leaders, evaluating their work using a 6-part criteria scorecard and narrowing them down to a small group of finalists.
The advisors, staff and founders chose 13 start-up organizations (including one team of 2) to join FNL’s inaugural cohort of fellows, based on their performance throughout the application and interview process.
Megan Black is the Common Good Program Director at Western States Center. She is a community organizer by training who focuses on navigating tensions generated by race, religion, and politics, with an emphasis on antisemitism and anti-Black racism.
Carrie Brunk works as a facilitator, educator and leadership coach for transformative personal and systems change through projects like Ridgeway Transformative Leadership and the Intercultural Leadership Institute.
April Lawson Kornfield leads the Braver Angels’ Debate and Public Discourse Program. April designed Braver Angels Debates and has grown the program from its first debate to serving over 1,000 participants per month.
Evan Milligan is the executive director of Alabama Forward, a statewide civic engagement table advancing efforts of nonpartisan organizations throughout Alabama to expand the voter base, protect voting rights, and make election systems as accessible as possible.
Greg Nelson is the Managing Director of a family office in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, investor, and youth sports coach, and previously served seven years in the Obama White House, including as Chief of Staff for the National Economic Council and Associate Director for Public Engagement.
Marley Pierce has served as an elementary special education teacher, outdoor environmental science guide, and program manager for a nonprofit focussed on inclusive democracy. She currently teaches U.S. History at a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area and holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from Brown University.
Palak Shah is the Social Innovations Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading organization working for the power, respect, and dignity of the 2.5 million nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers in the U.S.
The youngest of the three Hartman children, Andy is currently pursuing a B.A. in Theatre with a minor in Dance and modules in Acting for Screen and Playwriting from Northwestern University. Andy is passionate about community service and advancing social justice efforts in all aspects of life.
Katie Hartman is currently a lead special education teacher at The Shefa School in New York City. She holds a B.A. in English and a M.S.Ed. in Special Education and Elementary Education, both from the University of Pennsylvania. Katie is grateful and humbled to be part of the FNL team!
Max Hartman is currently a software engineer at Amazon Web Services. He holds a B.S.E. in Computer and Information Science and a M.S.E. in Computer and Information Science, both from the University of Pennsylvania. Max is inspired by the work of the FNL Fellows!