Momentum Fellowship

Momentum Fellowship

 When we support Black, Indigenous and People of Color individuals in their professional development, our whole sector benefits.


The Momentum Fellowship is a program that supports professionals of color in philanthropy who bring their cultural backgrounds, identities and lived experiences into their workplace. During the 18-month program, fellows join a cohort of peers and engage in facilitated learning, networking and professional development opportunities.

Members of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities working in philanthropy are often part of predominantly white organizations and may be one of few or the only BIPOC person at their organization. This fellowship approaches personal and professional development from a decolonizing lens, empowering fellows to see their role and contribution to their host site and the communities they serve in a more holistic and authentic way.

What do Momentum Fellows do?

  • Over 18 months, fellows are part of a cohort of emerging leaders in philanthropy and engage in personal and professional development opportunities.
  • Fellows participate in virtual and in-person retreats facilitated by Philanthropy Northwest, where they create plans around their goals and discuss topics like racial equity in philanthropy; authentic and adaptive leadership; change management; individual strengths and motivations; and more.
  • Fellows participate in periodic check-ins with the facilitators of the Momentum Fellowship program.
  • To foster each fellow’s unique and impactful leadership development journey, participants are given access to a professional coach and meet with them to get support throughout their fellowship.


  • Fellows are professionals in philanthropy who identify as BIPOC and who want to deepen their knowledge and skills for working in the philanthropic sector.
  • Fellows are current employees in grantmaking institutions who are new to the philanthropy sector (approximately three years or less).
  • Momentum Fellowship participants are required to engage in 18 months of learning, networking and professional development in their cohort.
  • Fellows work in any of Philanthropy Northwest’s member states: Alaska, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Meet the Current Fellows

Our fourth cohort of Momentum Fellows includes 13 dynamic and diverse leaders who are expanding their learning and skills, while contributing to the sector.

Consider Being a Host Foundation

Are you committed to supporting opportunities for professionals of color to learn about and shape philanthropy? By serving as a host, you help build the capacity of your organization and the philanthropic sector as a whole.

Momentum Fellows Updates

Reflections from Our Cohort Three Momentum Fellows
By Mares Asfaha

Our third cohort of Momentum Fellows reflects on the lessons they learned and persistent questions that came up throughout their fellowship that they think other philanthropy professionals may benefit from.


Pathway to Giving
by Kevin Truong 

Kevin Truong, former Bezos Family Foundation's grants program analyst and Cohort 3 Momentum Fellow, writes about his road to the philanthropic sector and how the Momentum Fellowship program creates pathways for People of Color to work in the field. 

Check out the latest updates from our Momentum Fellows on our blog.

Questions about our fellowship program?

If you are interested in applying to become a fellow, please check out the applicant FAQ or contact Mares Asfaha.


To learn more about becoming a host foundation, please visit the Become a Host Foundation page.

"I can’t highlight enough the value of having such a strong and supportive cohort of brilliant people. Working through challenges together, sharing learnings and best practices, and knowing that I always had a group to go to for support, allowed me to dive into my role at the foundation with confidence and enthusiasm."