Julie L. Rogers Sabbatical Program
Launched in 2014 in honor of our outgoing president, the Julie L. Rogers Sabbatical Program aims to replenish the stores of energy and inspiration for our community’s visionary leaders. Julie Rogers was a tireless champion for nonprofit leaders and a passionate advocate for promoting their personal well-being. This program pays tribute to that legacy, as well as Julie’s years of service to the Foundation and the community.
The Value of Sabbatical
Sabbatical grant support is a documented, effective strategy for supporting executive directors and strengthening the organizations they lead. “Creative Disruption”—a study conducted by Third Sector New England and CompassPoint—found that the demands of leadership make intellectual, emotional, creative, and physical burnout all too common among nonprofit executives. Meyer’s sabbatical program, which was heavily influenced by the Durfee Foundation and O2 Initiatives, is designed to recognize and support effective executives who may be in danger of burnout.
Sabbaticals also provide an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of other leaders within an organization, increasing the likelihood of successful transitions when long-serving executives decide to move on.
About the Program
In 2018, the Meyer Foundation made three sabbatical grants to organizations led by outstanding executive directors. Each $50,000 award includes up to $30,000 to support the costs of a three- to four-month sabbatical for the organization’s executive director. Costs may include the executive’s salary and benefits for the duration of the sabbatical, and funds that will allow the recipients to travel, reflect, or otherwise renew themselves in whatever manner they propose. The sabbatical award also supports professional development for other leaders within the organization (up to $15,000), and a stipend to compensate the interim leader or leadership team (up to $20,000). Award recipients may choose how to allocate the grant among all three activities (sabbatical support, professional development for staff, interim leadership) depending on their organization's individual circumstances. Recipients are required to start their sabbatical within one year of the grant approval (October 2018).
Applicants for the sabbatical program must meet the following criteria to apply:
- The executive director’s organization must be a current grantee of the Meyer Foundation, which means it must have received a program or operating support grant any time after January 2016.
- Applicants must be currently serving in an executive director role, and have served at least seven consecutive years as executive director in the same organization.
Local leaders of national organizations are eligible to apply for a sabbatical as long as the leader and the organization meet the other eligibility requirements and their work is primarily focused on the Washington, DC region.
Please Note: Receipt of a grant under the Children and Family Capacity-Building Initiative or Organizational Effectiveness Program does not confer eligibility for the sabbatical program.
Application and Selection Process
2018 sabbatical recipients have been announced. Stay tuned for program updates.
To learn more about the sabbatical program, please contact Karen FitzGerald at kfitzgerald(at)meyerfdn.org.