I work for an organization that is not in Los Angeles County. Can I apply to the Sabbatical Program?
No, the Sabbatical Program is limited to applicants who work in Los Angeles County.
There is no way that my organization can spare me for more than a month. Can I apply for a shorter sabbatical?
The program requires a sabbatical of three consecutive months. The purpose of the program is to provide nonprofit leaders with a real break from their work. This cannot be accomplished in one month. We are sympathetic to the preparation difficulties that a longer break presents, but believe that a strong nonprofit that is thinking about its future should be able to give a valued leader a longer break with the financial assistance that the Sabbatical grant provides.
Can I break my sabbatical into two six-week segments?
No, the sabbatical must be for three consecutive months.
I work for a very small nonprofit. Am I eligible?
Yes. Leaders of small nonprofit organizations are eligible for the program, as long as there is strong secondary leadership among full-time, paid staff. It is anticipated that the organization has at least three, and preferably more, full-time staff. All applicants must demonstrate that the work of the organization can carry on as usual while they are away.
I work for a very large nonprofit. Can I apply?
Yes, applicants from large nonprofits are eligible. However, the program requires that nonprofits receiving the Sabbatical grant must demonstrate financial need to underwrite the candidate’s leave. Organizations with very large budgets, especially those with significant endowments, are at a disadvantage in this process.
I am self-employed and do freelance work in the nonprofit sector. Can I apply?
No, only full-time paid staff are eligible for the program.
I have been a lifelong volunteer in the nonprofit sector. Am I eligible?
No, the program is open to paid staff only.
I am not an Executive Director, but a Program Director. Can I apply?
Perhaps, but it would be advisable to call the Foundation to discuss your situation before applying. While most Sabbatical grants support Executive Directors, Program Directors have occasionally received Durfee Sabbaticals. In addition to the other criteria for selection, the Selection Committee considers whether the Program Director plays a principal leadership role in the financial management of the organization, carrying a significant workload, managing staff and sharing substantially in fundraising and fiscal responsibilities such as making payroll and meeting other financial obligations.
I work for a nonprofit educational institution. Can I apply?
No, the program is not open to applicants working at educational institutions or in government.
Our organization is planning to hire an outside consultant to take over my duties as Interim Director during my sabbatical. Is that acceptable?
No. One of the purposes of the Sabbatical Program is to strengthen the secondary level of leadership at Los Angeles nonprofits. Applications are viewed most favorably when the organization has a plan to elevate one or more people from within the staff to provide interim leadership. Proposals to involve board members or outside consultants as interim leaders are not allowed.
How do people use their sabbatical time?
Sabbatical recipients have gone on driving tours of the National Parks, visited relatives, vacationed abroad, spent time at home or with their families, renewed old hobbies, and developed new interests. Applicants who wish to spend a significant portion of their sabbatical time in Los Angeles may do so, but are encouraged to “break away” by leaving town at the beginning and returning later. Sabbaticals may combine one or more locations, but applicants should resist the urge to pack in too much. The primary goal is relaxation and rejuvenation.
I would like to use my sabbatical to learn Spanish and visit sister organizations in other cities. Can I do that?
The Foundation recognizes that nonprofit leaders rarely have time to pursue professional development. However, several other well-known fellowship programs provide funding for professional development. Since the main purpose of the Sabbatical Program is to take a break from work, professional development or other goal-oriented projects are not allowed.
I would love to take this opportunity to write a history of the nonprofit that I founded.
As the purpose of the sabbatical is rest and rejuvenation, it is not the time to write a book. We understand that this may be your lifelong dream, but the Foundation believes that by setting up a goal-oriented project you diminish the rejuvenating purposes of the sabbatical.
I have worked in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years, though not consecutively, and I have been employed by more than one nonprofit institution. Am I eligible?
Yes, you must have worked a minimum of ten years in a leadership role in the nonprofit sector, but those years need not be consecutive and do not have to be at any one organization.
I have had a successful run as an Executive Director of a mid-size nonprofit for the past ten years, and I am thinking of what my next career move might be. Can I use the sabbatical as a time to plan my future?
The purpose of the Sabbatical Program is to allow nonprofit leaders time to refresh themselves so they can return to their jobs with renewed vigor. It is not intended to aid job transitions. We realize, of course, that there are natural transitions in individual career paths and in the lives of nonprofit organizations, and that former Sabbatical recipients may eventually leave their positions. However, we ask that people who are actively contemplating job transitions do not apply to the program.
I will be retiring in the next couple of years. Am I eligible?
The program is targeted to nonprofit leaders who will continue to dedicate themselves to nonprofit work for years to come. Those who will soon retire or move out of the nonprofit sector are not encouraged to apply.
Someone at my organization received a Durfee Sabbatical Award last year. Can I apply this year?
You can apply for an award five years after your colleague received an award, and if you are in a senior management position with significant financial responsibility. Because the program is so competitive, no organization can receive more than one sabbatical grant in a five-year period.
Who selects the Sabbatical recipients?
The Selection Committee consists of representatives of the Durfee board and staff, as well as nonprofit leaders who are former Durfee Sabbatical award recipients.
What is the purpose of the Professional Development Fund?
The Professional Development Fund is a contribution of up to $5,000 from the Durfee Foundation to the organizations of Sabbatical recipients. The Fund is designed to provide professional development opportunities to individual staff at the recipient organizations, such as workshop fees, travel or continuing education. Candidates for the Sabbatical Program must submit a plan for how the organization will operate the Professional Development Fund, what it is to be used for, who will decide how the funds are to be distributed, and who is eligible for the funds.
The Durfee Foundation will contribute up to $5,000 to the organization’s Professional Development Fund. The Professional Development Fund is expected to remain as a permanent line item in the organization’s budget, and be replaced on a yearly basis as it is spent down. Organizations that do not anticipate being able to replenish the full $5,000 annually can request a smaller amount.
How do I find my draft application once I have logged out?
On the dashboard, you will see ‘resume draft application’ with an arrow next to it which is hyperlinked to your pending application.
In the Organizational Background page, which category do I classify my application as under ‘organization type’?
You will apply as an individual.