By Martha Cecilia Ovadia, Senior Program Associate, Equity and Communications

This year marks the 10th anniversary of one of the Funders’ Network’s most significant efforts to foster leadership in philanthropy: the PLACES Fellowship. PLACES — which stands for Professionals Learning About Community, Equity and Smart Growth — has welcomed 127 fellows to participate in a yearlong learning opportunity to help grantmakers embed the values of racial, social and economic equity into their work. By the end of their fellowship, participants are equipped with the tools and resources to understand, challenge and change systemic inequities. Our alumni hail from all corners of the United States and Canada, representing national, regional and community foundations.

TFN is happy to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2020 class of its PLACES Fellowship!

For more information on the PLACES Fellowship, click here.

Applications are due Nov. 1, 2019.





In Their Own Words: Fellows Share Their PLACES Stories

For the 10th anniversary of TFN’s PLACES Fellowship, we worked with two award-winning journalists to help capture the stories shared and the lessons learned through the PLACES Fellowship. The result is our PLACES Impact Stories project, which includes profiles written by WLRN social justice reporter Nadege Green and videos created by documentary filmmaker Oscar Corral.

We’ve also continued our popular Going PLACES blog series, which features original content from our PLACES Fellows. Our gratitude to all of the PLACES Fellows alumni who have taken the time to share their own stories of impact with our network. We hope you find them as inspiring and illuminating as we do.

PLACES Impact Videos

We invite you to hear directly about the impact the PLACES fellowship has had on its fellows and their work in our PLACES Impact Videos. You can watch these videos, including this video from Susan Dobkins, Program Director for the Vista Hermosa Foundation and a PLACES 2012 Fellow, here.

PLACES Impact Stories

We asked PLACES alumni to share what inspires, motivates and challenges them in their efforts to embed the values of racial, social and economic equity into their work. You can read all of her profiles, including this one from Kris Archie, Executive Director of The Circle on Philanthropy and a PLACES 2016 Fellow here.

Going PLACES Blogs

After each PLACES site visit, we ask the fellows to reflect on their experiences in our blog series Going PLACES. Check out the many blogs written by our fellows on the ground here, including #StayWoke Philanthropy: Owning our role in the system, a reflection on a PLACES site visit to Miami by Mordecai Cargill of ThirdSpace Action Lab.


In 2008, the Funders’ Network launched PLACES (Professionals Learning About Community, Equity and Smart Growth), its first philanthropic leadership development initiative. PLACES is designed as a year-long fellowship program that offers tools, knowledge and best practices to enhance funder grantmaking decisions in ways that are responsive to the needs and assets of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.