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Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy

Thursday, January 9, 2020
Deadline Month: 

Through the Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy, three graduating seniors or co-terms can gain first-hand experience in philanthropy by working full-time for 11 months with community, private, corporate, or family grantmaking foundations. Each Tom Ford Fellow is also matched with a senior mentor at a host foundation who guides the fellow's professional development.

Placements are made with foundations in the continental United States through a facilitated spring quarter process. The 2020 program provides an award of $35,000 plus travel reimbursement for placement interviews and fellowship meetings.  The program also ensures that each fellow has healthcare coverage, usually through a supplemental stipend offered by the placement foundation.

The Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy was created in 2001 to provide young professionals with intensive, mentored experiences in domestic foundations in order to educate Stanford graduates about the role of philanthropy in society and encourage them to enter the field. The fellowship is made possible by the generous support of Susan Ford Dorsey's Sand Hill Foundation and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. 

The Ford Fellowship celebrates the life of Tom Ford, whose contributions to Stanford stretch back to 1955. Over time, Ford touched many corners of campus through his involvement as a Trustee of the Children’s Hospital at Stanford, a member of the Stanford Athletic Board, a ten-year Stanford University Trustee, and an invaluable leader of the Haas Center National Advisory Board. Ford’s endeavors off-campus included his position as Managing Partner of the Ford Land Company and the development of 3000 Sand Hill Road, a well-known venture capital address in Silicon Valley.

Please note that Haas Center staff do not necessarily have direct experience with, nor do we professionally endorse, partner or placement organizations.

Meet the Ford Fellows


Tom Ford Fellows commit to 11 months of full-time work with a U.S. foundation starting no later than September 1st following graduation.  The Tom Ford Fellowship cannot be combined with any other award or employment.  Program commitments include:

Spring Quarter

  • Enroll in POLISCI 236: Theories of Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector (Sievers) and/or PUBLPOL 183: Philanthropy and Social Innovation (Arrillaga) as well as PUBLPOL144: Amplifying Your Impact: Philanthropy by Design (Arrillaga) or equivalent course or directed reading with Bruce Sievers
  • Participate actively in spring quarter placement identification process and placement interviews
  • Attend cohort meetings, orientation workshops and site visits
  • Complete a workshop on Principles of Ethical and Effective Service prior to graduation

During Fellowship Year

  • Design a learning plan in conjunction with the placement mentor
  • Attend mid-year site visits and a May presentation and evaluation meeting at the Stanford campus
  • Submit a final report and stewardship letters
  • Correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by Haas Center staff

Fellows are asked to assist the Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy in future years by recruiting applicants and/or mentors and by participating in information and training sessions.



Applicants must be current graduating seniors or co-terms at Stanford. Applicants are encouraged from any major field of study and from a wide variety of service experiences; they need only exhibit a commitment to public service and an interest in philanthropy.


Selection Process: 

Applicants are judged according to criteria including:

  • Record of academic accomplishment
  • Interest in and commitment to philanthropy
  • Leadership qualities and demonstration of the Principles of Ethical and Effective Service
  • Readiness for experience in philanthropy
  • Quality and content of written statements

Applications are screened, finalists interviewed, and fellows selected by a campus selection committee coordinated through the Haas Center with the intention to notify fellowship recipients before spring break.

Please note that you need not have a specific placement or mentor in mind to apply.

Sponsored by: 
Haas Center for Public Service
External or Stanford Fellowship: 
Administered by Stanford
Open to: 
Graduating students

For more information, please contact Juaquin Sims at the Haas Center.

1 year program